ABOUT MY PRACTICE
My goal in counseling others is to help create or restore health within each individual and to facilitate connection between people and their loved ones. Our need for closeness and attachment to others is a lifelong need (Bowlby). I believe that problems arise when people become disconnected from themselves and others, fearing rejection or abandonment. Some people become stuck in relational patterns of fear and anxious clinging to their loved ones. Other people become detached, avoid intimacy, and isolate themselves. Many experience disappointment, depression, and anger due to unsatisfying or painful relationships.
Often times we learn relational patterns from early childhood experiences and then carry them on into our adult relationships. In addition, circumstances in our lives can seem unmanageable and we become overwhelmed. Feelings of stress, depression, helplessness, anger, irritability and addictive behaviors can be signals that we need increased support in order to access inner resources and to learn new ways of approaching difficulties.
I see therapy as an opportunity to explore your inner self, relational patterns, self-care behaviors,
and life situation in the presence of a compassionate and accepting other in order
to create a life that’s worth living for yourself and your loved ones (Linehan).
I am passionate about helping people reconnect with themselves, their loved ones, and their hopes for a good life.
I tailor my therapy to the individual in order to address the specific issues that have weighed them down and caused them such despair. From personal experience I know that people can recover from the absolute darkest places in life and I am committed to helping others discover ways to recover themselves and their dreams for a beautiful future.
From 2004-2015, I was an assistant and adjunct professor at Azusa Pacific University (APU) where I taught classes such as Child & Adolescent Therapy, Family Therapy, and Human Sexuality & Sex Therapy. I have been working therapeutically with children, college students, and adults in setting such as schools, hospitals, and counseling centers since 2001. I have over 5 years experience supervising graduate students and post-doctoral interns in their clinical work.
I am the cofounder of Peak Experience Training, a professional development organization to train wilderness guides in therapeutic skills and activities. I wrote the manual, Adventure therapy for adolescents: A skills training manual for adventure counselors, which serves as the text for the Clinical First Responder™ training (http://www.peakexperiencetraining.com). It is a handbook of clinical skills and therapeutic activities for use with adolescent clients in wilderness settings. It includes topics such as adolescent development and common adolescent diagnosis, emotion dysregulation and the development of psychopathology, the nature and treatment of addictive behaviors, motivation-enhancing therapy, common factors for change and, and a method for setting limits and consequences. The manual was reviewed by a panel of experts in the field of adventure therapy and is self published.
Prior to starting my doctoral degree, I worked for over 12 years as a wilderness instructor with troubled adolescents in wilderness therapy programs (see www.strugglingteens.org for more information about these programs). During this time, I also worked with abused and fostered teenagers in group homes, alternative schools, and outpatient settings. In addition, I taught yoga for 7 years and I currently use that experience to incorporate mindfulness and relaxation techniques into therapy sessions.
I see therapy as an opportunity to explore your inner self, relational patterns, self-care behaviors, and life situation in the presence of a compassionate and accepting other in order to create a life that’s worth living for yourself and your loved ones (Linehan).
Therapy is a partnership and a collaborative endeavor between yourself and Dr. Puchbauer. Reaching your goals requires very active involvement, honesty, and openness in order to change your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and relationships.
You can't change the problem from the same mindset that created the problem in the first place.
--Albert Einstein (paraphrased)
Psychotherapy can help shift your consciousness and illuminate solutions you haven't thought of yet.