My approach is one of coaching first, that is, looking for and building on your natural strengths. You are strong, smart and capable. The challenges you face are the stuff of personal growth, and you have many resources within and without to tackle them.
We will explore practical insights and skills to help you find your answers quickly.
At the same time, if need be, I am skilled in helping you process old feelings and unhelpful thinking that are getting in your way, and liberate you from painful past experiences. That's when my expertise as a counselor kicks in. (My license prevents me from counseling outside the state of New York, but if necessary I can refer you to where to find a local counselor.)
As simplistic as it may sound, I think whatever is wrong with us, apart from organic injury, is generally about not getting the most essential element for psychological, emotional and spiritual health: Unconditional love. We suffer from not getting it and also from looking for it in the wrong ways. And the ultimate solution to whatever is troubling us is largely about unconditional acceptance, respect and love--our need to receive these and our responsibility to give them.
True and unconditional love is what makes us feel joyful, free, full, important, fearless, strong and powerful. Without it we feel empty, afraid, overwhelmed, in pain and desperate for whatever hollow pleasure, fleeting significance, momentary sense of power or temporary hiding place we can find. This may sound exaggerated and silly--but it so universal and normal that it is largely unconscious.
When we find real connection with other people, when they know the worst of us and accept and appreciate us anyway, when we know we are loved for just being who we are and we don't have to earn it or perform for it or worry every minute about losing it, we become our best selves. We are healthy and magnificent powerhouses. We can let go of all those unhealthy things we learned to do to substitute for what we really want and need--unconditional love. And we can fill up and nourish the people who depend on us and make a glorious difference in the world around us.
One more thing: One of the ironies of having a problem and needing to focus on overcoming it is that we have to start admitting our weaknesses and shortcomings with others. This gives us a chance to experience unconditional acceptance and love; you could argue that it is the only way we can experience it!
When we finally confess to someone that embarrassing secret, "Hey, I have this problem," we discover that not everyone goes screaming out of the room to get away from us. We find that some people still respect us and remain engaged with us in spite of it. And some actually like us more because of our honesty. At this point, we are getting undeniably unconditional love. And it deeply heals and satisfies.