Psychotherapy for resilience and wellbeing
A resource for parents and grandparents of children with special needs
Welcome to my practice!
Individual, couples and family therapy
When you struggle with trauma or loss, or you are trapped in the narrow trenches of depression or anxiety, it is no small thing just to survive. I believe that each person has unique gifts to offer the world, and the seeds of those gifts are often found in the struggles that they find themselves in. Therapy allows you to move from merely surviving to thriving, freeing you to bring yourself fully to your relationships, your work, and your life.
I have enormous respect for the courage it takes to be in therapy. It is important to me to create a space where you feel fully seen. I view my role as a guide and mentor in the therapy journey, helping to shine a light on the possibilities that are there within you to live a more satisfying life.
Support for families of children with special needs
When you become a parent, you give birth to all sorts of expectations. Learning that your child has special needs is like putting a pin into this bubble of expectations. You can feel a sense of shock, disappointment and fear, and might have doubts about your ability to parent your child. Your relationship with our partner and with our other children can become more strained. You might isolate ourselves from other parents, because you might feel that they can’t really appreciate what you’re going through.
You have even less time for yourself. And when you aren’t feeling balanced, it’s even harder to be there for your child.
Surviving and Thriving puts the focus on you, the parent, because when you are thriving, your children will benefit as well. We invite you to find support and inspiration in our workshops and support groups. We also provide coaching as well as individual, couples and family therapy. We also provide support for other members of the family, including grandparents!
Special Needs Parenting and Coping with the Unknown
In the wake of COVID-19, it’s been helpful to remind myself of some of the coping strategies I’ve learned as the parent of a child with autism.
A Surviving and Thriving Toolbox: The Self-Care of Patience
Patience is a critical character trait when it comes to self-care, because patience helps you navigate difficult emotions. And when you are a special needs parent, you find yourself riding a veritable roller coaster of intense feelings.
Being a Beginner on the Bus
The worst part of this experience was that I couldn’t give myself permission to be a beginner, to be OK with not knowing what to do. Instead, my anxiety grew with every mistake I made. The ironic part is that, as Noah’s parent, I have been in countless situations like that bus ride.
Helicopter Parenting and Autism
These days, as I try to envision an independent life for my adult son with autism, I am aware of two battling impulses inside me. On one side is the knowledge that I need to step back, to allow Noah to experience the world in his own way. But on the other side is a constant vigilance, the helicopter parent part of me that is always ready to intervene.
Getting Lost at the DMV
Recognizing ambivalent loss and making way for compassion The other day I took my son, Noah, over to the Department of Motor Vehicles to get his picture taken for a new ID card. It is no one’s idea of a good time, but we had the day off and it was something...
All Opinions Are Not Created Equal: Learning not to sweat the small stuff
When my son was diagnosed with autism around the age of two, it was as if the ground underneath me had suddenly shifted and wasn’t so solid anymore. I was struggling to understand what the diagnosis meant, and it was agonizing to see my son plateauing and even...
My Son The Music Man
I was recently talking to someone about my son, Noah, who has autism. And at the end of our conversation, she said, "He is the best teacher you could ever have." I am still learning all the ways that this is true. Noah is constantly helping me recognize how...
When You Feel Like You Are Out There All Alone
I am no stranger to the stress that comes hand in hand with parenting a child on the autism spectrum. After 19 years of parenting my son, I've become better at knowing when stress has the upper hand and I need to take care of myself. This doesn't mean that I...
A Few Good Things: Moments in Gratitude
I don’t think of myself as a glass-half-empty kind of person, but I have to admit that when my mind is free to wander, it is usually occupied with what is wrong. As the parent of a son with autism, I find I have lots of material. These days, I am trying to have...
Hitting The Pause-Button: Creating Space Cushions In Everyday Life
A friend of mine was taking her teenage daughter to the doctor—and running very late. With her daughter in the seat beside her, my friend was in full road-rage mode, clutching the wheel like a madwoman, cursing at other drivers, garbage trucks and slow traffic...
Business-Casual Thursday. And Leaving “Comparison Land.”
I’m in line in the supermarket, leafing through a magazine, and I see an advertisement for something I just have to have. It is the newest coffeemaker, one that makes espresso with more steam pressure than a locomotive. And suddenly, the reliable coffeemaker I...
The Reality of the Cliff and the Comfort of Community
As the parent of a 17-year-old with autism, I have four more years before being faced with The Cliff. The cliff is a time of reckoning for many families who have a child on the autism spectrum. You come to this cliff when your child turns 21, and he or she ages...