About Stephen



As a Social Worker


I was trained as a social worker at Yeshiva University, New York City.  As a social work student,   I began to understand clients as a whole—bio-psycho-social-spiritual—and in the context of their environments — families, communities and other systems.  The approach at this school of social work was humanistic and eclectic.  As a social worker, the primary intervention is the professional relationship.  I graduated and began working professionally in 1993.


Addictions & Trauma Counselor

I started my professional work in the alcohol and drug recovery field, and became a trauma specialist, working with those who were experiencing unresolved sexual and physical abuse.  I also treated co-dependence, sexual addiction, compulsive debting and spending, and eating disorders.  The theoretical framework from which I worked in addictions recovery was cognitive-behavioral, and the primary modality was group work, with family systems work and 12-Step support.  In addictions recovery, I have helped clients develop spiritualities, including meditation techniques, of their own choosing.  In trauma recovery, I helped clients feel safe, taught skills for expression, gave witness to their story, helped clients gain power over their bodies and their sexuality, and connect with supportive others.

 

Experiential:  Gestalt, NLP, Ericksonian Hypnosis


I trained in Gestalt therapy, which is interactive and expressive, does “parts” work and stays in the "here and now" of the therapeutic relationship.  I sometimes use "empty chair" enactments in my work.  I also studied Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) which taught me good techniques for short-term solution-based therapy.  I studied Ericksonian Hypnosis, and often use visualization and metaphors in my work.

 

Body Work

I have trained in various body and energy work, including yoga, Bio-Energetics, Holotropic Breathwork and the Feldenkrais Method.  I have studied Focusing, which is based in a “felt sense” and metaphors, and Hakomi, based in mindfulness meditation and a body-centered approach to the unconscious.  I have had recent training in Somatic Experiencing.


Carl G. Jung & Psychoanalysis

I have read and studied a good deal of C. G. Jung and his followers, and been in personal Jungian analysis, which has helped me understand the role that the unconscious plays in our lives, and the necessity of our developing a relationship and understanding with this part of ourselves - our personal and cultural memory - more than our conscious minds. I appreciate working with dreams, and encourage the creative and expressive arts.  I have been on the leadership team of the Friends Conference on Religion and Psychology, a conference that was started 75 years ago to explore the intersection between these themes, in particular between Quakerism and Jungian psychology, Quaker silent "meeting for worship" and the "collective unconscious." 


EFT for Couples

Starting in 2007 I have been working with Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples (EFT), a model which helps couples achieve safe attachment so that they can get out of their cycles of distress to share deeper, often unnamed emotions with each other, and thus be brought into deeper intimacy.  Research shows this model to be the most effective couples therapy available today.  I am a Certified Emotionally Focused Therapist for Couples and a Certified Supervisor.


AEDP

In recent years, I have studied and worked with other systems of emotions, the works of Silvan S. Tomkins and Donald L. Nathanson, and most importantly, Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP) with Diana Fosha.  AEDP is a system that incorporates and integrates much of what has come before in my professional development.  AEDP is a transformation-based, healing-oriented model of therapy.  It creates a safe environment and relationship for our innate transformation and healing to take place (as opposed to pathologizing us).  AEDP has roots in many disciplines, including psychoanalysis, attachment theory, affective neuroscience, body-focused approaches, and transformational studies.  In AEDP we process difficult emotional and relational experiences in a therapeutic relationship as secure base.  We experience, live in more, and express our truest self, our core self.  I am a Certified AEDP Therapist. 

Mindfulness, Meditation and Spirituality

My approach is similar to mindfulness:  paying attention to whatever comes, without judgment.  With my broad knowlege and acceptance, as well as skills developed in an M.Div. degree in theology, I have helped persons who have been on various spiritual, meditation and contemplation paths as well.  I offer spiritual direction as well as psychotherapy.

Summary

In all, creating safety and security; experiential and body-focused; using empathy and compassion and wisdom; toward peace, joy, freedom, healing, transformance; toward self-satisfaction and realizing dreams and visions beyond one's wildest imagining; finding nurturing, dependable and loving relationships; and discovering meaning, higher purpose, your vocation and destiny, your unique contribution to the world.  


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