My Approach to Counseling

A flower.

I begin my work with clients by setting goals and expectations for the counseling relationship, while informally assessing each client's unique culture and world view. This multicultural and systemic assessment provides me with the information I need to begin the process of client conceptualization, which I see as ongoing for the duration of the counseling relationship. When working with clients I utilize an integrative approach that is grounded in the unique needs and dynamic cultural context of each client. Multicultural and systemic frameworks are foundational to all of my counseling work, as using these frameworks enables me to understand and contextualize clients and to make intentional treatment decisions that are specifically tailored to each client's unique culture and developing needs. I use constructivist philosophy to conceptualize and facilitate the construction of shared knowledge and understanding with clients. After building a relationship with clients and conducting an informal assessment of their personal needs and culture, I begin to integrate formal counseling theories and techniques. I strongly believe that counselors must be versed in a range of counseling theories, in order to meet the needs of each unique client. I draw on my knowledge of research design and data analysis to interpret current counseling research, which I use to guide the process of selecting among the more than 380 evidence based treatments that have been identified thus far. The theories that I most often integrate into my work with clients include:

  • Person Centered
  • Systems Theories, particularly Ecological Theory
  • Attachment Theory
  • Existential Counseling
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Behavioral Therapy
  • Interpersonal Process Therapy
  • Gestalt Therapy
  • Social Justice Counseling
  • Developmental Theories