Providing individual, and group counseling  in person, by phone, Skype and FaceTime Video Conferencing. I work with a wide range of emotional and behavioral issues providing services that span from therapy for depression and grief counseling to parenting support, couples counseling and beyond.  In a comfortable and supportive atmosphere, I offer a highly personalized approach tailored to each of my client’s individual needs to help attain the personal growth and solutions they’re striving for.

Individual therapy is a collaborative process involving two people, therapist and client, that strives to resolve some problematic situation in a person’s life experience. A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:

  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
  • Developing skills for improving your relationships
  • Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
  • Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
  • Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
  • Improving communications and listening skills
  • Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
Jungian Analysis

Jungian analysis is a method of psychotherapy developed by C.G. Jung, the eminent Swiss psychiatrist (1875-1961). It is generally a longer-term form of therapy that makes use of both conscious and unconscious material from the psyche of an individual. The purpose of Jungian analysis is to establish an effective relation between the ego and the unconscious in order ultimately to facilitate a transformation of the psyche. Dream interpretation is vitally important to that process.

Dreams, the Ego, and the Unconscious

Jungian analysis explores unconscious material through the use of dreams and fantasies.  “The interpretation of dreams,” Sigmund Freud wrote, “is the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious.” Dream interpretation is integral to any Jungian analysis. In contrast to Freud, who asserts that all dreams are wish-fulfillments (usually sexual ones), Jung contends that most dreams are attitude-compensations. The attitudes that dreams compensate are those of the ego. Jung says that compensatory dreams “add to the conscious psychological situation of the moment all those aspects which are essential for a totally different point of view.”

According to Jung, the attitudes of the ego are invariably partial and prejudicial, even at the extreme utterly defective. In dreams, the unconscious presents to the ego alternative perspectives that compensate these maladaptive or dysfunctional attitudes. The unconscious challenges the ego seriously to consider these alternative perspectives.

Dreams offer the ego information, advice, constructive criticism, even wisdom. If the ego is receptive rather than defensive, it can evaluate these alternative perspectives and decide whether to accept or reject them. In addition to this compensatory function, Jung says that some dreams have a prospective function. According to Jung, prospective dreams are “an anticipation in the unconscious” of some probable future result. They occur when the attitudes of the ego deviate radically from the norm. In such instances, Jung says, the compensatory function of the unconscious becomes a prospective function that guides “the conscious attitude in a quite different direction which is much better than the previous one.”

The Three Jungian Methods

Jungian analysts employ three methods to engage the images that emerge from the unconscious. These are:

  1. Explication
  2. Amplification
  3. Active imagination

Explication and amplification are techniques for interpreting the unconscious. Active imagination is a technique for experiencing the unconscious.

Explication

Freud assumes that images mean something else than they apparently mean. He translates them into other terms (usually sexual ones). In contrast, Jung assumes that images mean nothing else than they apparently mean. He explicates them in terms of what they essentially imply.

“A man,” Jung says, “may dream of inserting a key in a lock, of wielding a heavy stick, or of breaking down a door with a battering ram.” Freud would reduce these different images to a sexual common denominator. They would all be euphemisms for the penis. “All elongated objects, such as sticks,” Freud says, “may stand for the male organ.” He also says: “There is no need to name explicitly the key that unlocks the room.” (It evidently goes without saying that keys, too, may stand for the male organ.) When Freud sexualizes images, he employs what Alfred Adler calls “organ jargon.”

In contrast to Freud, Jung emphasizes that a key, stick, and battering ram are three quite specific images, each one of them with uniquely different qualities. According to Jung, the unconscious has the capacity to select an especially apt image from all those available to it in order to serve a particular purpose. The task is to discover exactly what that purpose is. Jung says that the fact that the unconscious “for its own purposes has chosen one of these specific images — it may be the key, the stick, or the battering ram” is of decisive importance. “The real task is to understand why the key has been preferred to the stick, or the stick to the ram,” Jung says. “And sometimes this might even lead one to discover that it is not the sexual act at all that is represented, but some quite different psychological point.”

In short, sometimes a key is just a key, a stick just a stick, and a battering ram just a battering ram. Implicit in each image is an essence (“keyness,” “stickness,” and “ramness”) that requires explication.

For Freud, a lock (or the keyhole in a lock) is a vagina, and a key is a penis. On this analogy, the insertion of a key in a lock is an allusion to sexual intercourse. In contrast, for Jung, a lock is essentially a device to prevent entrance, and a key is essentially a device to gain entrance. (In addition, a “key” is, metaphorically, the solution to a problem — for example, a riddle.) In analytic terms, “locked” essentially implies that some content (which might or might not be a sexual content) has been “repressed” or “dissociated” in the unconscious.

Amplification

Jung also amplifies images. That is, he compares them to the same or similar images in other sources. Jung would amplify a key, stick, or battering ram in a dream by comparison to keys, sticks, or battering rams in myths, fairy tales, folktales, art, literature, and culture. Amplification is a comparative method that attempts to identify parallels.

Whereas explication establishes what is essential in an image, amplification establishes what is typical (or “archetypal”) about an image. The images in myths, fairy tales, folktales, art, literature, and culture are manifestations of what Jung calls the “archetypes” of the “collective unconscious.”

For example, Jung might amplify a key and a lock in a dream by reference to the fairy tale “Bluebeard.” In that tale, it is arranged for a beautiful young woman to be married to a man who is considered ugly because he has a blue beard (the man has already been married several times, but no one knows what has become of his previous wives). After the wedding, Bluebeard tells his wife that he must go on a journey. He gives her several keys to rooms that contain rich furniture and silver and gold plate, to strongboxes that contain gold and silver money, and to a casket that contains jewels, as well as a master key to all the apartments in the house. He permits her to use all of these keys. He also, however, gives her a key to a closet. He forbids her to use that one key. After he departs, she inserts the key in the door of the closet and enters the room. Inside, she discovers that the floor is covered with blood and that the bodies of several dead women are ranged against the walls. In fear, she drops the key. Then she picks up the key, leaves the room, and locks the door. Outside, she notices blood on the key. She wipes, washes, and rubs the key, but no sooner does she remove the blood from one side of the key than it reappears on the other side. When Bluebeard returns, he asks her for the keys. She gives him all of the keys except for the key to the closet. When he demands that key, she reluctantly gives it to him. Then he asks her how the blood came to be on the key. When she says that she does not know, he says that he knows that she used it to enter the closet. “Very well, Madam,” he says, “you shall go in, and take your place amongst the ladies you saw there.” He will murder her and use the key to lock her body in the closet with the bodies of all his previous wives whom he has murdered, apparently because they, too, used the key to unlock the closet. She is ultimately saved only because her brothers kill Bluebeard.

In The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales, Bruno Bettelheim proposes a Freudian interpretation of “Bluebeard” that, from a Jungian perspective, arbitrarily sexualizes the fairy tale. “The key that opens the door to a secret room suggests associations to the male organ, particularly in first intercourse when the hymen is broken and blood gets on it,” Bettelheim says. “If this is one of the hidden meanings, then it makes sense that the blood cannot be washed away: defloration is an irreversible event.” In addition, Bettelheim infers “from the indelible blood on the key and from other details that Bluebeard’s wife has committed a sexual indiscretion.” He concludes that this sexual indiscretion is marital infidelity, which is “symbolically expressed by the blood.”

Like Freud, Bettelheim does not explicate the lock and the key in terms of what they essentially imply but translates them into sexual terms, or organ jargon. From a Freudian perspective, lock and key are the “manifest content” of the fairy tale, and vagina and penis are the “latent content.” Bettelheim derives the manifest content from the latent content, reduces the former to the latter, and sexualizes the fairy tale.

This is “free association” indeed. In the fairy tale, it is not a man but a woman who inserts the key in the lock, and the blood is not the result of defloration or marital infidelity — it is quite explicitly the result of murder.

“Bluebeard” is not about sexual intercourse, defloration, or marital infidelity. It is a cautionary tale about curiosity — and about murder. The “moral” of the tale is that the consequences of excessive curiosity about what is locked, “repressed,” or “dissociated” in the unconscious may be very serious indeed — extremely dangerous, even deadly. A Jungian amplification of a lock and a key in a dream by reference to “Bluebeard” would emphasize the archetypal consequences of impulsive or compulsive curiosity.

“Bluebeard” is also a cautionary tale for all analysts, whether Freudian or Jungian, for it demonstrates that analysis can be what William James calls “a most dangerous method.” In the fairy tale, Bluebeard is an archetypal image of homicidally psychotic contents that are “repressed” or “dissociated.” The implication is that analysts should exercise extreme caution when interpreting (or “unlocking”) the unconscious. Certain contents may have been kept under lock-and-key for a very good reason.

“Bluebeard” is not the only source that a Jungian analyst might cite for comparative purposes. Locks and keys in other fairy tales – and in myths, folktales, art, literature, and culture – might provide even more relevant parallels to a lock and a key in a dream. Curiosity might not be the decisive issue at all in the dream. Amplification requires of the Jungian analyst an extensive, even an “encyclopedic” knowledge of myths, fairy tales, folktales, art, literature, and culture in order to specify precisely which parallels are archetypally pertinent.

Active Imagination

Active imagination is a technique by which an individual evokes images from the unconscious and then engages them in conversation. The method requires active participation with the images rather than mere passive observation of them.

The technique assumes that the imagination is a reality just as real as any other reality (for example, external reality). In active imagination, the images emerge from the unconscious as figures (or “personifications”), and the individual must interact with those figures in internal reality as if they were real persons.

It is imperative, Jung says, that “you say what you have to say to that figure and listen to what he or she has to say.” He says that you must pose a question to the figures and “compel the figures to give you an answer.” According to Jung, active imagination is “a dialogue between yourself and the unconscious figures.”

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Group psychotherapy can be an affordable alternative to individual work or a good adjunct to individual therapy. I regularly offer a Jungian Dream Work Group and a Men’s Group that deals with male issues in mid-life.

I also offer music groups for adolescent males. These groups involve playing music or drumming together for an hour to 90 minutes per week and inherently teach cooperation, creative collaboration, listening and turn taking skills, along with the affirming achievement of learning to play with others.

All group offerings are scheduled according to interest and demand.

Cost is $25.00 per 90-minute session and groups usually meet once per week.

I am available for an initial free 30-minute consultation. This time will enable us to understand whether we would be a compatible fit for therapeutic work. I will ask you about what is moving you to seek therapy at this time and a bit of the background related to the reason. You can ask me any questions relative to the way I work. This consultation can be in person, by phone, or via video conferencing such as FaceTime, Skype, or Google Video.

I am also available to consult on any psychological issue in my areas of expertise.

My consulting fee is $150.00 per hour, and can be negotiated for longer periods of time.

I am available to speak publicly on a variety of topics, such as: Who was CG Jung? The split between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud; Jungian Dream Work; Jungian approaches to working with Children and Adolescents; Parenting; Sand play for children and adults; Jung’s Red Book; The therapeutic use of music; Music and Autism; The Musical Archetype; Mindfulness and Self Regulation; The History of Psychology; Ethics from a Jungian Perspective; Jung and Film; Men in Mid-life;

My speaking fee is $150.00 per hour but negotiable for longer programs.

Contact me at 310-882-0943

Video teletherapy is becoming a more common way of conducting therapy. Many people make use of it when away from town or if they want to work with a therapist that is too far for convenient commuting. It consists of using current video-calling technology, such as Skype, Google Video, Facetime or Everbliss to conduct sessions, instead of in-person sessions. I am licensed in both California and New Mexico. Sessions can be conducted on a computer, smart phone or tablet.

Therapy FAQS

How can therapy help me?

A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:

  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
  • Developing skills for improving your relationships
  • Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
  • Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
  • Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
  • Improving communications and listening skills
  • Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence

Do I really need therapy?  I can usually handle my problems.  

Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you’ve faced, there’s nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you’re at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.

Why do people go to therapy and how do I know if it is right for me?

People have many different motivations for coming to psychotherapy.   Some may be going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.), or are not handling stressful circumstances well.  Some people need assistance managing a range of other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts and creative blocks.  Therapy can help provide some much needed encouragement and help with skills to get them through these periods.  Others may be at a point where they are ready to learn more about themselves or want to be more effective with their goals in life.   In short, people seeking psychotherapy are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and ready to make changes in their lives.

What is therapy like?

Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual.  In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy session.  Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development.  Either way, it is most common to schedule regular sessions with your therapist (usually weekly).

It is important to understand that you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process.  The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in session back into your life.  Therefore, beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, your therapist may suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your process – such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals. People seeking psychotherapy are ready to make positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives and take responsibility for their lives.

What about medication vs. psychotherapy?  

It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness.  Working with your medical doctor you can determine what’s best for you, and in some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action.

Do you take insurance, and how does that work?

To determine if you have mental health coverage through your insurance carrier, the first thing you should do is call them.  Check your coverage carefully and make sure you understand their answers.  Some helpful questions you can ask them:

  • What are my mental health benefits?
  • What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
  • How many therapy sessions does my plan cover?
  • How much does my insurance pay for an out-of-network provider?
  • Is approval required from my primary care physician?

Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?

Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist’s office.   Every therapist should provide a written copy of their confidential disclosure agreement, and you can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone.  This is called “Informed Consent”.  Sometimes, however, you may want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your Physician, Naturopath, Attorney), but by law your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.

However, state law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:

* Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.

* If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threated to harm another person.

Confidentiality Statement & Privacy Policy

Confidentiality & Privacy Policy

The law protects the relationship between a client and a psychotherapist, and information cannot be disclosed without written permission.

Exceptions include:

  • Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse, for which I am required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
  • If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s, I must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
  • If a client intends to harm himself or herself, I will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in ensuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, I will take further measures without their permission that are provided to me by law in order to ensure their safety.
  • Limits of Confidentiality/Cancelation Policy

If you would like me to coordinate care with another provider (for example, your psychiatrist, primary care physician, etc.), complete this form to authorize release of psychotherapy information:

billing and policies

Rates

$75 per 25-minute session
$125 per 50-minute session.

$180 per 75-minute session

Insurance
Services may be covered in full or in part by your health insurance or employee benefit plan. Please check your coverage carefully by asking the following questions:

  • Do I have mental health insurance benefits?
  • What is my deductible and has it been met?
  • How many sessions per year does my health insurance cover?
  • What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
  • Is approval required from my primary care physician?


Reduced Fee

Reduced fee services are available on a limited basis.

Payment
Cash, check and all major credit cards accepted for payment.

Cancellation Policy
If you do not show up for your scheduled therapy appointment, and you have not notified me at least 48 hours in advance, you will be required to pay the full cost of the session. This notice allows me to allocate the time to another client.

Contact
Questions? Please contact me for further information.