The scope of my practice is broad. Many people come to see me because they are experiencing anxiety, depression, or some other symptom they are concerned about. Others come because of my interest in the following:
Trauma and EMDR
I am trained in EMDR (eye movement desensitization reprocessing), developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro in the late 1980’s. When patients come into therapy with clear histories of trauma -- experiences like sexual and/or physical abuse, violent accidents, devastating medical situations, or sudden and profound losses – we start by talking about these experiences. For some, this is all that is required to heal. Patients release pent up emotions, clarify distorted beliefs, and find ways to integrate these experiences into their lives in meaningful ways. For other patients, talking about traumatic experience is itself too traumatic, and/or no amount of discussion would ever be enough to achieve relief or release. Others have no clearly defined traumatic event, but hold negative beliefs about themselves or the world that just won't budge with regular talk therapy approaches.
EMDR is a highly effective means of helping patients metabolize traumatic experience and negative beliefs. EMDR harnesses the mind-body connection, so patients can release distorted perceptions and deeply held sensations in the body that intrude upon their ability to feel safe, competent, and connected in day-to-day life.
EMDR is a well-research protocol that has been endorsed and recommended by many in the field, including the American Psychiatric Association and the Departments of Defense and Veteran’s Affairs. For more detailed information about EMDR go to www.emdr.com.
I am Level 2 trained in EMDR with additional certification in attachment interventions and I am EMDRIA certified.
Sex, Sexuality and Gender
Come talk about sex, pleasure, safety, your relationship to and with to your own body, sexual orientation and gender identity, issues related to transitioning and coming out-- all with curiosity, dignity and delight. Having sex worth having is important. And orgasm isn’t the measure of great sex. Explore sexuality through major life changes and include sexual health in your recovery from trauma. Changes in desire, physiological sexual functioning, opening up relationships and sexual/genital pain are also good reasons to come talk. I work with many clients who identify as sexual minorities as well as transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming. The monthly LGBTQIA support group I co-facilitate is a powerful resource in the community. I am a certified sex therapist through the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists and am co-founder of Upwell, LLC (https://upwellcenter.org). I am happy to work with individuals and couples.
Listen to me and my colleague Patricia Swander Farrell talk about our shared venture on the podcast Tell Me Everything with Janelle Brown- Sex Therapy.
Mindfulness Meditation and Stress
I am a co-founder of the Saratoga Stress Reduction Program. Since 2005, my colleagues, Dr. Selma Nemer, Pierre Zimmerman and I have taught mindfulness-based stress reduction classes, and we have graduated over 2,000 students! Our program is based on John Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program at the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine, which has been around since the 1970’s. There are good reasons why people have practiced meditation for thousands of years; it is an incredibly heart-opening and practical means of helping us manage what feels unmanageable in this stressful and fast-paced world. We participate with most insurance plans, which offsets some of the program costs. Program fees and current schedule can be found here.
The Saratoga Stress Reduction Program is separate and distinct from my psychotherapy practice, but I do incorporate many mindfulness practices and principles into my individual work with people struggling with anxiety, depression and overwhelming life circumstances.
Food and Body Image
Some people come to see me with food and body image concerns. I will support you in making the necessary attitudinal and behavioral changes to the way you eat and care for your body, and I will challenge you to think more critically about what your relationship with food says about your relationship with yourself.
Choices and Dilemmas
Finally, many people come to see me for therapy because they are struggling with some kind of choice. Whether the choice is about a job change, relationship decision, or medical treatment, the bottom line is that not knowing what to do can be wildly uncomfortable. I obviously can’t identify the “right” course of action for anyone, but I am skilled at helping clients develop the psychological and emotional musculature to tolerate being in a state of “not knowing” long enough for their innate wisdom to arise.