My Philosophy


Authenticity and awareness are the foundations of my work with clients. The more we are able to live the truth of our lives (the "what is"), the less we tend to resist our life circumstances and the more peaceful and alive we feel. The mind is never in the present. It is always in the past or future. The problem with this is that our life occurs only in the present moment-- the experiences we label as good as well as those we judge as bad. So when we resist the present we resist the joy as well as the pain. In fact, we resist our very lives.

One of my basic mottos for therapy is "feeling is healing." Feeling occurs only in the present. All healing takes place in the here and now, so techniques which bring us into this ever-present Now, where we can feel our pain in a supportive atmosphere, and heal, are the most effective. Techniques such as mindfulness practices, meditation, and others help us culture present-moment awareness. We can train our brains with practice and support to embrace rather than turn away from our present moment experience in order to feel and heal.


What is the self? This is the basic question psychology tries to answer. And based on its answer, treatments for various psychological conditions that affect the self are devised. The field of psychotherapy has come a long way since I began studying it years ago. With the advent of new ways of studying the brain, a whole new idea of the self has emerged.

When I began studying psychology in the 1970's I was naively hoping to find answers to the deeper questions of life--Who am I? What am I here for? What is the meaning of life? I remember my very first undergraduate class. It was entitled "The Self." I was full of hope and anticipation of finding the answers I was looking for. I watched with eager anticipation as the professor drew a circle on the board to represent the self, with arrows pointing in different directions. The self was seen as a solid entity that interacted with a separate outside world (Western model). This concept of the self was at odds with the spiritual wisdom traditions of the East I had been drawn to, which hold that there is a basic unity within all creation and we are not separate from that unity. I had had some profound spiritual experiences which had led me to question the nature of reality. I realized that Western psychology at that time did not have the answers to these questions.

I continued to pursue the study of psychology, searching elsewhere for answers to these deeper questions. My search took me to India where I have studied with spiritual teachers for several years.  During that time Eastern spiritual wisdom has begun to infiltrate many aspects of Western culture, including the field of psychology. (For more insight into this process read Philip Goldberg's book "American Veda.")

Today, through neuroscience research and quantum physics, we know that the self is not the solid separate entity it appears to be. Rather, "the intimate and powerful experience of being a self, exists as patterns in the mind and brain" (neuroscientist, Rick Hanson from his book, "Buddha's Brain"). The self is fluid, impermanent, constantly changing according to fluctuations in brain chemistry, and in fact does not truly exist as a "thing" at all. We are not a separate and distinct self that is, as Rick Hanson puts it, "the unified, ongoing owner of experiences and agent of actions." The Western mechanistic perspective of individualism and separation is slowly giving way to the Eastern view of oneness, the  basic unity throughout all creation.


So what does all this mean in terms of psychotherapy? We come to therapy because we want to find a way out of our psychological (and/or our existential) suffering. We may be depressed, anxious, stressed, traumatized. No matter what shape our suffering takes, at a basic level we suffer because we mistakenly believe ourselves to be a distinct, isolated self. We try to relieve our suffering by resisting life. But that very resistance causes more suffering. From a psychological perspective, as well as learning coping techniques, we can utilize techniques that help reduce our resistance to our feelings and increase our tolerance in order to feel and heal.

Ultimately, from a spiritual perspective, the true cure for suffering is to awaken to the reality that we are not a separate, isolated being interacting with the world 'out there.' We are one with all that is. It is true that most of us feel like a separate, individual self most of the time. But there are moments, and sometimes longer periods when we may catch a glimpse of our true nature which the spiritual masters tell us is infinite, expansive. And we can cultivate our nervous systems to awaken more and more to the truth of who we are. As we do this, we decrease the tendency to resist life and begin to flow with it, which allows us to experience a greater sense of wholeness, inner peace and well-being.

Please see my website: for information on my book on this topic, "Simply Sacred."

Schedule Appointment

Start your new path in life and be the change today!

Click Here

Helpful Forms

Click here to view and print forms for your appointment

Click Here