Nancy Davidson, PsyD.

 

Psychotherapy

Theoretical orientation:  I am a “systems oriented, person centered integrative therapists”.  This means that I believe that we are inherently social beings and that every person has the capacity and desire to self-actualize...to be the best person they can imagine being.  My job is to help clients self-actualization.  To do this, we focus on what is happening in your current experience, looking back only to the degree that history informs understanding of the present.  I pull from systems theory, cognitive behavioral theory and strategies, Gestalt theory and strategies and whatever else might be helpful for a particular client.  I am a trained transpersonal clinical hypnotherapist and we may use those techniques, if it is appropriate.  I believe psychotherapy is most effective and most empowering when it is a collaborative effort between the client, the therapist and any other practitioners providing care to the client (medical doctors, naturopaths, etc.).  We are all whole beings, not only our bodies or our moods or psyche.  Our work together will always be holistic and integrative in nature.

Clients:   Individuals--Adults & Children

                Couples--Relationships

Specialties:  Challenges that arise in relationships, serious medical illness, depression, anxiety and trauma.


Relationships:  Relationships are often where we have our richest and our most challenging experiences, whether the relationship is with our partner, our children, our friends, our co-workers or our boss.  The goal is to find a satisfying rhythm with our important people, a rhythm that allows for everyone to be seen and appreciated.  People work at all levels as they aspire to satisfying relationships, but ultimately authenticity, trust, respect and honesty with self and others provides a solid foundation for long term joy and fulfillment.  I enjoy the challenges and complexities of working with couples.


Serious Medical Illness:  Serious medical illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, chronic pain and other acute and chronic conditions present extraordinary psychological challenges to the patient and the patient’s family.  We know that depression and anxiety are common with these conditions and we know that both depression and anxiety increase the perception of pain and physical distress.  Help is available that will improve quality of life and help relieve physical suffering. 


Depression:  Nearly everyone, over the course of a lifetime, has times when they feel sad or teary, irritable, overwhelmed, unable to concentrate, loss of interest in pleasurable activities, loss of appetite, weight gain/loss, fatigue, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, are sleeping too much or too little or have recurrent thoughts of death.  When a few of these symptoms happen at the same time, the quality of life diminishes.  Psychotherapy can help, either with or without medication.


Anxiety:  Our lives are full of things that stress us or make us anxious.  Anxiety is an additive condition, meaning that all of our stresses add together to increase our constant level of anxiety.  Eventually, if we fail to attend to our anxiety, it may become overwhelming and cause panic attacks or phobias that can significantly impact our health and well-being.  However, anxiety disorders are all treatable with psychotherapy, often without medication.


Symptoms often include regular feelings of worry, fear, panic or uneasiness, problems sleeping, muscle tension, uncontrollable or obsessive thoughts, repeated flashbacks of a traumatic event, shortness of breath, racing heart/palpitations, cold sweaty hands/feet, inability to stay still or calm, ritualistic or repetitive behaviors and can include dry mouth, numbness of limbs, nausea or dizziness. There are many types of anxiety disorders, each with specific symptoms.  However, all are uncomfortable and disruptive to our lives.


Trauma:  Sometimes traumatic events overwhelm our ability to cope or process them.  When this happens, working with a professional who is familiar with trauma can help.  Trauma can result from an experience that seems like “the last straw” in a series of difficult situations or it can result from experiencing, witnessing or being confronted with an event or events that threaten serious harm or death to ourselves or to others.  Symptoms can include feeling continuously distressed, recalling the traumatic event in intrusive thoughts or dreams, having flashbacks, avoiding thoughts or feelings associated with the trauma, avoiding places or people associated with the trauma, inability to recall aspects of the trauma, feeling detached from others and worries about the future.  Trauma can also cause difficulty with sleep, increased irritability, difficulty concentrating, feeling jumpy and easily startled.