Psychotherapy is a conversation, a relationship, and a challenge. You call on a therapist when you need help tackling what life has thrown your way, often when your other resources have come up short. I know it takes courage to step into a therapist’s office, and I take seriously my clients’ need to forge a path toward change. As a sensitive, intuitive, and empathic therapist, I provide a place for you to explore and challenge yourself around the most important relationships in your life.
From our very first session, I work to create a comfortable atmosphere where my clients can weather their distress. With an engaging, practical style, I see therapy as a dialogue dedicated to the specific needs of each client, with strong professional boundaries in place to maintain that focus. In my bright, spacious downtown Northampton office, I work with a wide range of adults, adolescents, and couples in both brief- and open-ended therapy.
Therapy is a unique relationship, offering you a space to focus on yourself every week, in collaboration with a person whose only stake in your life is your greater happiness, peace, and mental health. I use professionalism, humor, and direct communication about how I work — and how therapy works — to help my clients begin their experience.
We all bring “the leftovers” of childhood to the table of adult life – the ways our parents did or didn’t love us, the needs that never got met, the inner tantrums (metaphorical and real) that we had — and have — over and over. We bring the many patterns we developed along the way to adapt to deprivation, trauma, unhappiness, and isolation. The problem is that what worked for us as kids is often counter-productive as adults. Therapy helps you sort out and discard the leftovers, to build more nourishing ways of being in relationships as an adult.
I gently push my clients to do the work of self-exploration and movement toward change. I help you to build important psychological skills, as well as a sturdy, well-resourced support network, so you can be well-equipped when therapy’s work is done.
Specialties: Relationship crises, challenges, and losses; trauma; sex and sexualities; LGBTQ Issues; fertility challenges; women and food
The #1 mistake made by couples is that they wait too long to get help. Relationships are hard for everyone; passionate love and deep connection don’t always produce the greatest ease and harmony, especially when life stresses wreak havoc on your couplehood. Run-of-the-mill frictions can easily turn into the well-worn ruts of a couple’s conflict patterns. Together, we take on the repetitive differences, shouted or silent, that dead end at complacency, contempt, or despair.
As your couples therapist, my role is to
- help each partner to understand how past relational experiences, conflicts, and unmet needs play out in the current relationship
- translate each partner to the other, in a language both can understand, even if it means bridging different ways of communicating
- generate new strategies to deal with inevitable differences, helping the couple move into a new territory of intimacy and trust
- facilitate acceptance of what this relationship does and does not offer, and assist the couple to make reality-based decisions about the future
In my work with heterosexual, same-sex, and trans/cisgender couples, I take a forthright and collaborative approach to helping you understand how to best understand and remedy your relationship difficulties.
Parent Guidance around LGBT Concerns
What are your dreams for your child?
Whatever they are, they probably didn’t include your teenager hiding from you that he or she is gay; your college student calling you to say she wants to have chest surgery and take testosterone because she is really a he; or your 4- year old boy wanting to wear all-pink, all-princess, all-glitter all the time. The experience can be shocking, painful, and disorienting. Many parents will feel grounded by talking with a therapist who has been around the block with gender and sexual identities.
I draw on decades of experience to help parents move from crisis to connection with their children. I work with parents and families individually, focusing on the unique strengths and challenges of each family situation.
Parents often need reassurance that it can turn out right, as well as skills for remaining loving and supportive while they themselves are troubled. Bringing compassion for the parents and respect for the children, I help families create an open dialogue where difficult, conflicting feelings can be aired without yielding first to political correctness. Meetings may include parents only, parents and children, siblings, and extended family, as warranted. I also draw on my access to resources and networks of support which are dedicated to these families.
As Julie’s former clinical supervisor of many years, I can unequivocally say that I do not know a single therapist worthy of greater respect. She approaches the work with deep commitment and energy for new learning in order to meet the specific needs of each client. Her exceptional intelligence, respect for others, clinical acuity, and sophisticated communication skills make her an excellent therapist, teacher, and consultant.
Adin Thayer, MSW
Clinical Social Worker
Community Trauma Consultant/Educator