We don't always choose
the circumstances of our lives,
but we CAN choose our response.
is about transforming life's lemons,
and fully living the life you have,
even if it's not the life you wanted.

Psychotherapy Approaches

Individual or group psychotherapy for adults, young adults, and adolescents

It is sometimes difficult to find or make meaning in a world that is confusing and frustrating. Sorting out what you CAN control and what is BEYOND your control is an important step. It is challenging to understand that we are constantly making choices about our lives in this complicated world. Taking responsibility for those choices and their consequences, and creating value and meaning for ourselves is empowerment at its best. It’s also the heart of Lemon-Aid Counseling. Exploring and becoming your best self is a challenge for both adolescents and adults. And the journey through young adulthood can be very difficult, as those in their 20s or early 30s seek to find their own way. Some people still think getting help with personal issues is a sign of weakness. Yet most would not hesitate to seek help for a broken bone or for heart disease. Think of the rest of your life as you think of your body — a broken heart or spirit might heal on its own, but the results probably would be faster and better with some assistance.

  • In addition to “talk” therapy, I often work with people who have difficulty with verbal communication.
  • Because of my specialized education training, I am expert in learning styles and Multiple Intelligences theory, and will tailor your therapy experience to match your strengths and preferences.
  • Art, music, visualization, movement, computers, writing, role playing, animal assistance (see photo with my special friend, Fletcher) or other modes of expression may be utilized if they will help you improve the quality of your life and relationships.

Couples / Marriage Counseling or Therapy

“I don’t want to talk about that. It will rock the boat.” Maybe so, but if you DON’T talk about it (whatever IT is), there’s a good chance the boat will sink!

Whether married or not, straight or gay, young or seasoned, all couples have differences that can lead to tension, hurt, anger, loneliness, disappointment, or emotional distance. Don’t wait until your problems become insurmountable and your relationship falls apart – get help soon and see if you can regain whatever magical attraction and interest drew you together in the first place. We’ll work together to identify your difficulties more clearly, communicate more effectively, and either heal your relationship or make peace with a decision to part ways and move on to better ones for each of you.

I also offer a unique, flexible, optional scheduling approach to couples counseling:

  • our appointment runs longer than a traditional 50-minute session
  • we end either at a pre-set time, or whenever we agree is a good point to stop for that session, whether it is 2 hours or even longer
  • we get more done over a shorter period of time – counseling issues may be resolved in weeks instead of months
  • you have the choice of paying for each session or charging fees to your credit card, which allows you more time to cover the higher initial outlay

What if one of you wants counseling but the other doesn’t? Then come by yourself … you may be surprised at how much one person can change — and improve — the relationship.

Premarital Counseling

Today’s clergy and wedding officiants recommend and often require premarital counseling. As someone who has worked with many marriages in trouble, I heartily agree. The stars in the eyes of couples about to marry often cloud their perception of reality, and sometimes cause them to overlook or ignore critical matters that can make or break the relationship. The benefits of premarital counseling far exceed the time, effort, and cost. You will have the opportunity that couples in love might neglect in their blissful trip to the altar:

  • to confirm and validate the positive reasons for this marriage
  • to explore differences in your backgrounds that can enhance your partnership
  • to anticipate and avoid difficulties and arguments that can arise from your differences
  • to discuss those essential but difficult (or possibly even “taboo”) topics, such as the roles of each partner, expectations, finances, sexuality, religion, conflict styles and management, childrearing, in-laws, blended or step-families, etc.
  • to raise any concerns either partner has about the future, with a supportive facilitator as coach and assistant

I offer a premarital counseling package at a cost considerably below my usual fee. It includes three 2-hour counseling sessions (total of 6 hrs). This is the amount of time often required by clergy for premarital counseling. A longer amount of time might be needed if there are any issues already popping up that need to be resolved, or if there are previous marriages or children to take into account. It is possible that insurance will reimburse you for a portion of the cost, depending on the issues raised.

Coaching for life transitions

Life transitions can be exciting, but also challenging – and sometimes downright frightening! I can coach you through the steps in any life cycle transition, such as:

  • Birth of a child
  • Puberty (including rites of passage celebrations)
  • Graduation and leaving home
  • Marriage or living with someone
  • Divorce or separation
  • Death of a friend or loved one
  • Loss of a pregnancy, by any means
  • Job loss or job change
  • Loss of a pet
  • New limitations from illness or physical disability

Coaching can be in person, by phone, or by Skype.

Telephone or Skype counseling

For some people, getting into a counseling office is difficult for one reason or another. While in-person counseling is a much better process, I can also provide assistance by phone or Skype (or VSee, an encrypted video site). For those out of the area or out of state, Skype counseling/coaching may be the solution to getting assistance. To discuss this option, contact me and we will consider whether it will work for your situation.

Psychotherapist with psychotherapy office serving Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Valley Village.