"Without understanding our emotions as a compass in the territory of close relationships, we are effectively lost"
My work is based on Attachment Theory and Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) grounded on the revolutionary empirically-based work of Dr. Sue Johnson. I am a Certified EFT Trainer, Supervisor and Therapist.
The need for connection with others shapes our view of the world and how we respond to stress, our everyday emotional lives, and the interpersonal dramas and dilemmas that are at the heart of those lives. I can help you explore ways of becoming a more integrated person so you can live your life with greater vitality, joy, secure interpersonal connections and a clearer sense of purpose. Individual and couples therapy will help you:
• Affirm strengths in your relationship(s)• Address negative interaction patterns• Understand more clearly your emotions and behaviors• Recognize underlying reasons for your conflicts• Learn how to repair and forgive• Enhance your emotional and physical closeness• Improve your communication• Be more accessible, responsive, and emotionally engaged.
I am a Clinical Psychologist in private practice, licensed in California since 1995. My areas of professional practice include online psychotherapy, clinical supervision for therapists, and training mental health professionals internationally to become Certified Emotionally Focused Therapists. I have expertise working with couples, families, and individuals experiencing emotional distress and a desire to deepen their understanding of themselves, improve in the areas of parenting, connection, work satisfaction, communication, commitment, forgiveness, sexual satisfaction, attunement, relationship-building, emotion regulation and conflict resolution. I am bilingual in English and Spanish.
My husband and I haven't talked, let alone talked openly, about our emotions that are behind our wounds ever! We both realized how many hurts we have, and how much of the success of having a conversation about our emotions behind the reactions, depends on the safety we provide for each other. That's HUGE!Working with Sam taught me that empathy requires us to stand next to the person that is hurting and to reach down into ourselves to "experience" their feelings with them, without trying to make it better or offer solutions (very hard for a direct fixer like me), and that the extent of our willingness to be vulnerable determines the extent we can feel any emotions, good or bad. Fully embracing vulnerabilities is scary and counter intuitive, but the only pathway to finding intimacy and love. Every human being is worthy of and deserves to love and be loved wholeheartedly.
SF Bay Area
My partner and I saw Sam for couples therapy. I was ambivalent at first about being in therapy but I now really see the value of it. Sam helped us to understand our conflict in a way we had never considered. This therapy was way beyond skills-building. Underneath our conflict we learned that we both want greater connection with each other but that what we do and say when we are upset pushes the other away. What we deeply want or worry about gets hidden by our reactivity. Sam is a warm and intelligent therapist who could clearly understand and validate both of us. He helped us to uncover that beneath our fights, beneath the criticism and the defensiveness there was a lot of hurt and a lot of fear and a lot of love. We are learning how to share that with each other. We are communicating in a much more vulnerable way now. We are healing from many hurts and I feel a lot closer to my partner.
SF Bay Area
Emotionally Focused Therapy is the approach I now recommend to anyone that is considering being in therapy. Sam helped me to explore and to better understand my emotions and needs, the link between the messages I received in my childhood and the way I feel about myself in the world and the way I engage all of my relationships, especially my family, with my partner and at work. Sam is thoughtful, engaging and very authentic in his caring. He is down to earth and easy to talk to.
Why Do People Seek Emotionally Focused Therapy?
Emotionally Focused Therapy is known as a cutting edge, empirically validated couple intervention. Come work with me and trtansform your relationship:
• From alienation to emotional connection.• From vigilant defense and self-protection, to openness and risk taking.• From a passive helplessness in the face of the inexorable dance of the relationship, to a sense of being able to actively create that dance.• From desperate blaming of the other, to a sense of how each partner makes it difficult for the other to be responsive and caring.• From a focus on the other's flaws, to the discovery of one's own fears and longings.• From stress and pain to comfort and joy.• But most of all, from isolation to connectedness.
Emotionally Focused Individual Therapy (EFiT) is an Attachment Science-based approach to individual therapy. Clients learn to trust their own experience and accept their emotions. They learn that they are capable of being authentic in their relationship with others and they learn how to send clear and direct signals about their internal experience. By doing this, they are more likely to be affirmed in their existence as valuable people. What we see is that the more securely attached clients are able to be more specific and coherent, as well as more reflective and able to find meaning in their experience.
To learn EFT
Transform the way you do psychotherapy. Learn an integative approach with clear links between Attachment Theory and an experiential humanistic model of intervention. A good therapist needs a clear way of seeing human beings, a map of their struggles and a clear route for guiding their clients toward wholeness and health. For more information about learning Emotionally Focused Therapy go to: www.SFCEFT.comThe point of an experiential therapy is not to fix, as in find immediate solutions for the symptoms clients present at the beginning of therapy. The therapist is not a coach who corrects misguided assumptions or teaches skills or a wise creator of insight. The EFT Therapist is a process consultant who accesses and walks into painful experience with clients and collaboratively joints with them in processing this experience more fully.