Dr. Steiner's Therapy Services
Special Interests and Expertise
- Relationship issues
- Chronic medical illness
- Therapy groups
- Therapy for therapists
Relationships determine the quality of life.
The Value of Therapy and Consultation
As you know, therapy can open new doors, make room for deeper connections with others and help a person learn new ways to enjoy a more satisfying life. I believe deeply in the healing power of therapy, and feel fortunate to help people make changes that bring them more comfort and joy.
For 30 years I have successfully helped adults feel better about themselves and improve their relationships. I supervise, train and provide consultation to therapists, and believe in the healing power of a wide range of groups.
My approach is heavily influenced by my belief in the importance of lovingkindness and compassion, not only for others, but for oneself.
I offer supportive individual psychotherapy that focuses on clarifying the issues patients/ clients want help with and helping them make desired changes. My style is warm, and interactive. I am guided by my belief that most of us have our own answers but we may need assistance in learning how to trust our own judgment. I draw on a variety of techniques depending on need and the issues you want to deal with.
Working with couples in therapy can deepen intimacy, create greater understanding of each other and teach tools for having a more satisfying and meaningful relationship. Therapy can include guiding couples to agree on ways to keep the richness of the connection they enjoyed early in the relationship, or helping them decide whether and how to remain connected. This kind of therapy creates greater clarity and mutual understanding. Couples therapy is often a good adjunct to individual psychotherapy with a different therapist. I enjoy collaborating with colleagues.
Group therapy is a powerful way to learn about oneself and practice making changes in how we relate to and experience others in our lives. To learn more about groups in general, please read my article The Healing Power of Groups and see the descriptions of my therapy groups. I pioneered the first therapy groups for psychotherapists and have added a group for Pre-Licensed and Early Career Therapists. I also lead a bi-weekly facilitated Consultation Group, to help combat isolation, maintain connection and clinical skills.
These groups are rich sources of self-discovery, support, and skill building for therapists throughout the lifespan. To learn more about my groups for therapists, read the descriptions and feel free to call me if you have any questions.
Theoretical Orientation and Approach
I draw on a variety of theoretical approaches and techniques, depending on the type and needs of each individual. My primary approach is psychodynamic, with relational, control mastery and systems theory, all of which focus on individuals' strengths, the influence of their childhood experiences, culture, problem solving skills, and motivation to change old patterns. I find that it helps if we understand the major influences in each individual's life and to focus on how their personal history and past relationships affect their current life and choices.
I value the emphasis on context that Systems theory encourages us to bring to understanding each individual. Using the lens of context involves learning how the individual or couple percieves the impact of their history, culture, religious or spiritual beliefs, support systems and core values.
Therapy works best when there is a good match between the therapist and patient/ client. Feeling emotionally safe and creating enough trust to express negative feelings towards one's therapist can be life-altering. I encourage clients to attend to and express how they are truly feeling in the moment, including their feelings towards me. In starting therapy it helps to learn about a client's life history, their core values, sources of support, and what self knowledge is most important to them. I use a collaborative approach in exploring clients' expectations, what they want to change, or learn about themselves. Therapy is an investment in many ways. Throughout, I attend to what is and isn't working in therapy.
My style is warm, interactive and practical. I listen to each individual, then work with them to clarify their goals and map out an appropriate plan of treatment.
Hope can be rebuilt, pain managed, and a feeling of connection to others expanded. Using a collaborative, practical approach, I help clients increase their comfort, self-confidence and enjoyment in life. My areas of expertise are life transitions and challenges such as relationship issues, chronic medical issues, pain, trauma, and grief work.
Several mental health guilds have begun to encourage clinicians to seek consultation throughout their careers. Consultation, even on an intermittent basis, is especially helpful for clinicians in solo practice.
I provide individual and group consultation for pre-licensed as well as seasoned psychotherapists and professionals. It is often helpful to get an outside clinician's perspective and input. As with psychotherapy, my consultation services are tailored to each person’s particular needs. For further information, please see the page about my consultation services and feel free to call me directly at 925 962-0060.
Virginia Satir, widely regarded as the mother of family therapy, wrote this verse to describe what a healthy loving relationship can look and feel like:
"I want to join you without invading.
Appreciate you without being judgmental,
Love you without clutching,
Love you without demanding,
Leave you without guilt,
Criticize you without blaming,
And help you without insulting,
If I can have the same from you,
Then we can truly meet and enrich each other."
— Virginia Satir
This Goethe quote reminds me of other perspectives about balance and reciprocity in relationships:
"No matter how close two people may be, there will always be infinite differences. And a wonderful growing up side-by-side can occur. If they learn to love those differences, so that each can see the other whole against the sky. A good marriage is where each is the protector of the other's solitude."