My approach to therapy is one that is collaborative and that seeks to be deeply understanding of not only the presenting problems, but the context in which those problems developed. I was trained in a Contextual Model of treatment. This approach focuses on understanding how life events, along with early family environment, can contribute to areas of impairment or poorer functioning. What this means, is that everyone is innately capable of living a fulfilling and satisfactory life; however, some individuals may or may not have had access to developing particular skill sets to achieve this. These skill sets may include difficulties in learning to regulate your emotions (e.g., sensitivity to rejection or abandonment, anger and irritability, overwhelming sadness or anxiety), developing skills to interact with others to get one’s needs met, accepting and understanding past experiences to “make sense” of your world, etc. I believe that you are the expert in you, and through a warm, positive relationship, we can either further hone in on these skills and/or develop them, to create a richer, more satisfying life.
My View on the Nature of Disorders:
My view on disorders is that they were, at one time, adaptive approaches to dealing with life issues. The difficulty is that while they may have been advantageous at one point, they are no longer functioning in that capacity, which is why we present to therapy. For example, when we are sad or overwhelmed, we are often tempted to stay in bed. In the short-term, this functions quite well for us. We don’t have to go to work or handle the responsibilities that cause us anxiety. Yet, over time, these behaviors seek to paralyze us in life. In this sense, a disorder is a reaction to a problem that is no longer working for us. In therapy, I try to first understand why that behavior is there – what function does it serve? Once understanding it better, we can then implement other tools and adaptive actions that may actually better get our needs met.
Dr. Ellis specializes in and treats:
- Trauma (childhood sexual, physical, and emotional abuse; domestic violence; single-incident trauma; natural disasters; military/combat trauma)
- Eating Disorders (anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, orthorexia)
- Personality Disorders
- Depression and Bipolar Disorder
- Anxiety Disorders
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Bereavement and Grief
- Family Conflict
- Phase of Life Issues
- Contextual Model
- Relational and Interpersonal
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
- Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
- Prolonged Exposure (PE)
- Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)
- Individual therapy
- Couples therapy
- Family therapy
- My office can provide you with a superbill for out-of-network benefits. I also believe that access to therapy is important, and will work with you and/or your family on a reduced fee for a limited time to increase affordability. Please note, I have limited spots available for this.
- Paperwork will be emailed to you ahead of our first session. Please complete this and send back no later than 24 hours in advance of our appointment day and time. Once this is received, you will get a link to enter our therapy session.
- Our first session will be focused on getting to know one another.
- Individual therapy sessions are typically 50 minutes long, and held 1x per week.
- Payment is expected at the time of the session, in the form of credit or debit card. An itemized invoice can be provided by the office should you wish to submit for reimbursement to your insurance company. If you are interested in doing this, I recommend contacting your insurance company and asking about “out-of-network mental health benefits.”
- It is very normal to have mixed feelings about attending therapy. Please discuss any concerns you may have with me. Therapy is about two people working together to achieve YOUR goals. Your comfort is of utmost importance to me.
- As always, feel free to call if you should have any questions or concerns in the interim.