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, developed by Dr. Steven N. Gold. 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
Dr. Ellis is educated and trained in the following treatment modalities:
- Contextual Model
- Relational and Interpersonal
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
- Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
- Prolonged Exposure (PE)
- Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)
The following clinical services are provided:
- Individual therapy
- Couples therapy
- Family therapy
- My office can assist you with filing claims 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 sliding scale to increase affordability.
For Your First Appointment:
- Please arrive 10-15 minutes early to your session to fill out some brief paperwork. There will be a clipboard with paperwork ready for you in the waiting room. Once you have completed the paperwork, please ring the bell by the front window and your therapist will be notified.
- Our first session will be focused on getting to know one another and will be somewhat longer about (1.5 hours).
- Individual therapy sessions are typically 50 minutes long, and held 1-2 times per week.
- Payment is expected at the time of the session, in the form of cash, check, 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, we 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 your therapist. 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.