our life is all around difficult. But few things are as challenging or painful as your drinking and drug use. It’s been a source of shame for some time now, but it’s remained something that’s felt easiest to avoid or hide from others. But people party, right? This is Los Angeles. So why does it feel like it’s a little different when you get drunk or high?
Maybe you blacked out recently, and you’re are afraid to look at your phone to find out what you did the night before. You’re embarrassed when you’re buying a second round before others are halfway through their first. You’re ashamed of how excited you get when you find out someone at the party has coke. You’re terrified to see that your body hurts when you haven’t gotten high in a while. You feel panicked, your heart races when your partner says they need to talk to you about last night. You’re keeping more and more secrets, and ultimately, it just feels easier to be away from others.
But you don’t have to be alone anymore!
By reading this, you’re already on your way to no more secrets, shame, and isolation.
Therapy for a Path to Recovery
You are in many ways high functioning – a professional musician, engineer, business owners, manager, or actor. It’s possible that substances aren’t even impacting your job. Maybe it’s just part of the culture where you work. Regardless, it’s currently a source of powerful shame and fear, and if not addressed, it will undoubtedly get worse.
Fortunately, with the right support, you can put these all behind you and live a life unburdened by alcohol or drugs.
My approach to therapy for addiction
We will work together to help you decrease or even stop your use. But ultimately, the goal is to make you feel better about who you are as a person. We’ll do this by creating an environment where you examine and then let go of the shame and self-loathing you carry with you every day. It’s been telling you that you’re a bad person or a fraud. You’ve even started to believe that you don’t deserve to live a healthy life. Other people do, but you, for some reason, don’t have the right to be happy. With the right support you’ll start to believe that you’re not the bad person you’ve thought you are, no matter what the voice in your head tells you.
Instead of you having to attend an inpatient rehab to reduce drug or alcohol use, which can take months and cost you tens of thousands of dollars, we can work together to offer you a path toward recovery that will cost significantly less and allow for turning your life around, while maintaining your career and personal functioning outside of the office.
Allow yourself to heal and rebuild without having to spend time away from the people you love… not to mention, the tens of thousands of dollars spent at a rehab.
I provide psychotherapy approaches that address substance usage from various angles. This includes using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), emotion-focused therapy, internal-family systems, and narrative therapy. This allows for not only the behavior of drinking or getting high to be treated, but the fear, trauma, and shame that keep you stuck.
A path to recovery for individuals, couples, and families
You are suffering under the weight of shame, secrets, and substance abuse. In therapy, I’ll support your goals toward having the relationship you want with alcohol or drugs. Together, we’ll address the pain that’s motivating your substance use, and rebuilding a sober, healthier life.
Your or your partner’s drinking or drug use is a big problem, but you don’t know what to do. It’s affecting the relationship, the family, and trust. I can help you two resolve the problems associated with substance abuse in a relationship (getting clean, rebuilding trust, honesty, etc).
A member or members of your family are experiencing substance use challenges and it’s impacting the family greatly. In family therapy, members can practice ways of supporting the individual struggling, while making sure they are taking care of themselves as well.
Therapy for Musicians
Being a musician can come with a complicated life. There are the uncontrollable nerves that blindside you right before you walk on stage, the intense stress that comes along with trying to write something “modern,” a fear that the money is draining away and can’t be reliably replenished, being stuck on a tour bus with a bandmate that you just had an intense argument with, and worse, being left to continue working with this person that you now despise.
You’re always worrying that this is your last hit, that it’s just a matter of time before people realize that you were just lucky and don’t have it in you to write another one. Times change so fast, it’s terrifying to think about being a “has-been” imposter. You’re successful, so why is it so hard to relax and enjoy it without dreading the future?
It’s a scary, lonely place to feel like a fraud or imposter. There are a lot of musicians in this town, you tell yourself, and you worry your success won’t last forever. You fear that you cannot keep up with ever-changing trends in music and are ashamed of feeling stuck in the past, leaving your music and style passé. You carry a terrible weight with you when you hide all of your doubts from the world around you. You want to be open and authentic with friends and family – to feel calm and free – but you just don’t know quite how to do it. The good news is that you don’t have to be alone any longer, stuck in fear and shame.
You love music, and that’s why you’ve made a career out of it. If only the other pain, stress, shame, or anxiety didn’t come with it, it would be near perfect. As a creative, you experience and document your emotion and internal experience better than others, but this is a blessing and a curse. You’re sensitive by nature and therefore feel painful emotions in an acute manner. It’s no surprise how many musicians turn to drugs or alcohol to numb the pain. But that doesn’t have to be you.
Live freely as a musician, not burdened by the pain and stress that comes with the life of a creative.
Save the Band from Breaking Up
Your band is coming apart. You resent the other band members for ignoring your ideas, taking the band in a direction that you know isn’t right. You’re tired of members taking sides and how the songwriting percentages are distributed. You can feel that the band is in danger of breaking up and don’t want it to happen. You’ve known them for years, made great music with them, reached success as artists. They used to be like family, but now they bring out a frustration and stress that can’t continue.
The good news is that the band doesn’t have to fall apart. I provide therapy for bands to mend the wounds that cause so much pain and frustration between members. I can help your band move past resentment, writer’s block, and other struggles that keep a band stuck. As a therapist, I’ll heal the pain, anger, and frustration you’re experiencing as a band, and teach you the skills you need as to continue making the powerful music that got you the success you deserve.
A Therapeutic Process for Individual Musicians and Bands
Individual therapy for musicians
In individual therapy, I completely support you, the musician, to navigate the rewarding, but challenging life of an artist. Together, we can help you cope with various challenges including:
• Anxiety or shame around money (financial insecurity, spending)
• Fear around pressures to change artistically or professionally
• Stress that comes with a life with little predictability month-to-month
• Alcohol and drugs
Band or group support therapy
This type of therapy is meant to help support bands that are struggling interpersonally or at risk of breaking up. This includes helping a band:
• Resolve problems
• Communicate better
• Eliminate resentment
• Establish mutual respect
• Grow together artistically and relationally
During a session, we’ll focus on establishing and practicing effective and honest communication between band members, resolving resentments and conflict between members, ensuring each member is heard, collaborating on the band’s creative direction, and establishing mutual respect between members.
What It’s Like to Be in the Room With Me
As a therapist, I provide a warm, welcoming, non-judgmental environment in which we will work together on addressing the challenges being experienced. I am always there with you, to reduce shame and self-criticism, and foster an environment of forgiving oneself for previous behaviors or actions. Many of my past therapy clients have told me that I’m easy going and friendly.
How I Work as a Therapist
As a therapist, I use several different approaches to treat my clients. This includes cognitive-behavioral therapy, emotion-focused therapy, and eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) first addresses the different thoughts you have that criticize or shame yourself, keeping you unhappy and unable to move forward. Your thoughts are telling you that you aren’t good enough, you’re a fraud, a failure, and a disappointment to your family. These thoughts are terribly painful and make it difficult to be happy. Using CBT, we will explore and then disregard these painful beliefs and thoughts so that you can move forward. You will learn that these thoughts are completely inaccurate, and begin to forgive yourself, something that will change your life.
The “behavioral“ part of CBT helps you understand and change the behaviors that keep you from living a happy life. This could be certain behaviors that are more outwardly problematic, such as drinking or using drugs, but also the more subtle, day-to-day behaviors that keep you stuck and unhappy (i.e. how you function in your relationship, spending time with the friend that parties too much, isolating from others when unhappy, etc). You will learn to modify the problematic behaviors so that you live a life more in line with who you want to be.
Emotion focused therapy (EFT)
Emotion focused therapy (EFT) addresses the early wounds you experienced in life that impact your relationships and functioning today, such as your parent’s divorce, a father who was angry or detached, a mother you couldn’t rely on, an individual traumatic situation, or pain of any other type. We will explore and then process these wounds so that they don’t continue to haunt your present life, your relationships, and your views on yourself. Through this process you will understand that the pain in your past can actually a strength to enjoy once you’ve processed and moved on with it.
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a powerful form of therapy that uses what’s called “bilateral sensory input” to profoundly, and efficiently process traumatic incidents in your life. No longer will you be stuck in the past, constantly reminded of the event, relationship, or other memory that haunts you today. EMDR uses eye-movement or other side-to-side sensations to access the brains memory bank and free yourself of the painful memories that keep you in pain.
In using these three different forms of psychotherapy, I can support you in getting clean, being happy as a musician, moving on from past trauma, or simply living a more fulfilling life.
Finally, in my work with clients, I can provide therapy on Saturdays, which is somewhat rare. In addition to this, as a male in a largely female field, I can offer therapy to individuals who prefer working with a male.
Thank you for reading what I offer and I hope you are able to find the therapist that’s right for you.