Services


For a description of each of the services I provide, click on the links below, or scroll through.

 

Individual Psychotherapy

Adults of all ages come to therapy to deal with emotional struggles, psychological issues, and life problems that are negatively impacting their sense of well-being and contentment.  Individual therapy can help restore a sense of intention (“I know how I want to live my life”) and of agency (“I am in charge of my life”) that are central to one’s sense of wellness and balance.

Individuals seek therapy to address a wide variety of concerns, including:

  • sadness and depression
  • worry and anxiety
  • marital and relationship distress
  • adjustment to major life changes, such as divorce, remarriage, career changes, moves, coming out
  • family relationships and conflict
  • grief and loss
  • problematic behaviors
  • sexuality concerns
  • childhood trauma
  • health concerns

Some individuals are seeking life coaching to address a specific, short-term, clearly identified goal.  Others would like a deeper exploration of long-standing patterns that have become problematic. Young adults often come to clarify their direction and goals and explore how to build a meaningful life. 

Whatever your concern, please contact me for an initial phone consultation so we can discuss your needs.

 

Child and Adolescent Therapy

I provide therapy for children and teenagers ages 7 and up to address a wide variety of concerns:

  • coping with depression, “moodiness,” fears, and anxiety 
  • dealing with “acting out” and other behavior problems
  • fostering healthy adjustment to divorce and blended families
  • strengthening parent-child relationships 
  • strengthening attachment and growth in adoption
  • resolving grief and loss 
  • developing healthy peer and social relationships 
  • building self-esteem and resiliency in the face of social, family, health, and life challenges
  • turning around school refusal or performance issues 
  • resolving big identity questions (gender/sexual orientation, race & ethnicity, family of origin, religion/spirituality)

Once I have a good understanding of your child’s needs and goals for improvement, we will decide together what mix of resources (e.g., individual vs. family therapy, group therapy, outside enrichment programs, etc.) will best support your child and address his or her needs.  I stay in close communication with parents and work collaboratively to help your child feel better and stay healthy and strong.

 

Couples Therapy and Workshops:  Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)

For more information on the Hold Me Tight Couples Workshops that Dr. Blum conducts, read further below and visit www.EFTResourceCenter.com.

Couples Therapy

I provide therapy for all couples– married, unmarried, and “pre-married,” gay and straight, in long-term relationships and newly committed  -- who are dealing with a wide variety of concerns and problems.  These are just some examples of the reasons couples seek therapy:

  • difficulties communicating
  • frequent conflict
  • distance in the relationship or loss of connection and vitality
  • loss of emotional or physical intimacy
  • healing from infidelity and other relationship injuries
  • sexual problems
  • infertility and/or the roller coaster of assisted reproduction
  • major life decision making (for example, marriage, children, extended family, career and life changes)
  • premarital counseling
  • relationship changes brought on by pregnancy and child rearing
  • reconciling cultural and religious differences


Beginning in early 2009 and continuing in the present, I have undertaken extensive training, continuing education, and on-going supervision in a very effective and well-researched approach to couples therapy called Emotionally Focused Therapy, or EFT.  This approach has transformed the way I work with couples.  I have found it to be a very powerful approach to helping couples heal their relationships by understanding the source of their distress, learning new strategies for communicating and resolving deep conflicts, and creating new  experiences of closeness and security that help couples have lasting resolution and repair. 

I now work extensively with couples using EFT and I also offer EFT-based educational, relationship enhancement workshops for couples several times throughout the year 
(see www.EFTresourcecenter.com.  To sign up for my mailing list with occasional notices of workshops and events, click here.)

To learn more about EFT, continue reading below.  You can also find more resources and information about EFT for Couples on the Resources page of this site.  For some examples of how EFT couples therapy works in practice, see the article based on an interview with Dr. Blum.
   
What is EFT?
Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), founded by Dr. Sue Johnson, a prolific researcher and psychologist, is a new way of understanding adult love relationships, drawing on attachment theory. This approach has been met with unprecedented success in helping distressed couples improve their relationship and deepen their bond.  Research on EFT meets the “gold standard” set by APA (American Psychological Association) for valid evidence of its effectiveness.

EFT starts by acknowledging that people are inherently social creatures -- we are neurologically hard-wired to create and maintain strong emotional ties with our partners and loved ones. This means acknowledging that we are designed to attach – to rely on our partner for safety, comfort and support. EFT understands that e
ach of us needs to know that our partner is accessible, responsive, and engagedThis means that when you turn to your partner and ask, Are you there for me?  Can I rely on you to respond when I call?  Do I matter to you? the resounding answer you need to hear and feel with certainty is "Yes!"  

EFT sees distress in relationships as caused by the loss of this secure emotional connection. We all have fears, feelings, needs for comfort, closeness, and care. Secure couples can reach to each other for this comfort, care, and closeness. But fears get in the way when the bond isn't secure and thus, there are blocks to reaching for each other. When that loss of connection is experienced, a negative cycle of interacting with each other is established  These cycles are often characterized by high reactivity for both partners, and often include anger, criticism, withdrawal, going cold or quiet, or turning to other things or people outside the relationship during times of distress. Once established, these negative cycles can crop up over even small issues, and these negative cycles, repeated over time, wear down the bonds of trust and security in the relationship. 

EFT helps couples stop these negative cycles.  We do this by first identifying and mapping out the cycle, then by helping each partner identify and articulate his or her needs, and then to communicate the emotional signals in a clearer way. This new way of sharing and understanding feelings and needs allows both partners to express a more loving, compassionate response to one another.  This makes it possible for couples to experience each other in new ways, and is powerfully transformative in relationships. 

For more information about EFT, visit: www.iceeft.com, the website of the International Center for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy.  There you can read more about the practice of EFT and the research evidence supporting its effectiveness.

EFT in Organizations

Emotionally Focused Therapy has been successfully adapted to the work environment for building strong and cohesive work teams in organizational settings.  For more information on EFT at Work, click here.

Couples Workshops: The Hold Me Tight Program

For more information on the EFT couples workshops for relationship enhancement and healing that Dr. Blum conducts -- The Hold Me Tight Program -- visit www.EFTResourceCenter.com, and alsoclick here to be added to the mailing list for occasional announcements of workshops and events.

 

Family Therapy

Sometimes the very best way to resolve a problem that is affecting the whole family is to address it together, as a team, in family therapy.  I work with families to reduce conflict and restore relationships, as well as build coping skills to deal with life’s challenges such a family member’s physical or mental illness or disability, addiction, absence, or death.  I help families deepen bonds with each other in blended families and adoption. I help parents and children, sisters and brothers reconcile differences in a way that reconnects and restores the loving connections and good feelings between family members.

 

Parent Coaching

Even the most skilled parents sometimes feel challenged by their child’s behavior, emotional needs, personality expression, or educational challenges.  Parent coaching offers parents collaboration with an experienced professional to gain support, information, and strategies for responding to their children effectively and lovingly.  Many parents find that a short course of parent coaching helps them get through

  • a difficult developmental period with their child
  • a new challenge such as a medical issue or an educational problem, or
  • a major transition such as divorce,  blending a new family unit, a move, adoption, loss in the family, or other significant life and family changes. 

Parent coaching provides concrete strategies and tools to help the parent(s) feel more effective and knowledgeable in handling the pressing issues, more informed about recognizing signs of progress or trouble, and more sure and confident in responding to their child’s changing needs. 

To discuss whether parent coaching or family therapy would best address your family’s concern, please contact me for a phone consultation.

Co-Parenting Counseling

“Co-parenting” (sometimes called “shared parenting”) is a specific form of Parent Coaching where parents who live apart can work together as a team to take the best possible care of their children.  A common form of co-parenting counseling is to help divorcing or divorced parents learn to navigate their life-long parenting relationship in the aftermath of their separation.  The counseling helps parents learn the communication and conflict-management skills that allow them to focus on the best needs of their children, while also getting professional guidance and advice where needed on caring for their child[ren]’s emotional and psychological needs.

Co-parenting counseling also refers to the proactive advice and guidance that some unmarried individuals seek when they decide to create a family together and raise children, but they live apart from the other parent.  Individuals or couples, both gay and straight, who choose to create family together utilize co-parenting counseling to create a safe forum to work through the many decisions and concerns that naturally arise when creating family in this way.  Co-parenting counseling is an excellent way to anticipate and plan for the likely challenges in negotiating these new forms of parenting relationships, so that the family can function well in the long term. 

For more information on co-parenting counseling of either type, contact me for a phone consultation so we can discuss your needs.

Professional Supervision

Dr. Blum has been providing supervision to masters- and doctoral-level trainees since 2006.  She has supervised interns, in both psychology and marriage and family therapy disciplines, for the Southern California Counseling Center, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, and the Institute for Girls Development in Pasadena.  She provides supervision that is trainee-centered, compassionate, and attentive to both theoretical and experiential components.  Contact Dr. Blum If you would like to discuss professional supervision.

Organizational Consultation

Prior to and concurrent with her clinical practice, Dr. Blum has worked nationally and internationally as an organizational consultant with both profit, public sector, and non-profit organizations to develop strong teams, build leadership skills, and foster organizational learning and development.  Examples of her projects include the following:

Private Sector

  • Research, design, and facilitation of multi-day professional development seminars on team leadership, team building, and professional writing for worldwide management consulting firm in the U.S., Europe, Mexico, Australia, Asia
  • Executive coaching for managers and supervisors to strengthen interpersonal leadership competencies
  • Seminars on health promotion and wellness in the corporate environment
  • Design of a comprehensive program in coaching skills and team building strategies for mid-level managers in a mid-size consulting firm


Public Sector

  • Organizational assessment and intervention for a large public agency going through significant change 
  • Research and writing of a policy white paper on school-based health prevention and promotion strategies for a State department of health
  • Critical incident debriefing after workplace crisis or trauma


Non Profit and School Sector

  • Research, design, development and evaluation of a new county-wide parenting support service 
  • Curriculum design, training, consultation and technical assistance to a state-wide network of schools and community-based organizations implementing a peer leadership health promotion program
  • Design and implementation of a school-wide initiative to promote students’ social competence skills and improve school social climate
  • Faculty in-service training sessions and parent workshops on fostering children’s social competence, empowerment, and problem-solving skills

 

EFT at Work

EFT, as described above, is fundamentally an approach to helping human beings bond with each other with greater responsiveness, engagement, and understanding.  EFT has been successfully adapted for helping work teams and cross-departmental groups work in "synch" and more efficiently with each other.  

Through a short series of sessions, team members learn the skills to diagnose their team's interpersonal challenges, and to communicate and interact in ways that build trust, cohesiveness, and enjoyment of their team.  These changes positively affect team productivity, and members' organizational commitment and job satisfaction.

If your team, department, or organization is interested in learning more about how EFT at Work can strengthen your bottom line, contact Dr. Blum.