My Approach

My therapeutic approach is flexible, drawing on evidence-based theories of clinical psychology and my broad range of experience working with clients in a variety of settings, presenting with a variety of difficulties, from situation specific anxiety or depression to symptoms of severe and complex trauma. I strive to meet my clients wherever they may be in a given moment in a given session, and I adjust my approach accordingly. I can help you develop tools to address a specific problem you are dealing with currently, or we can explore and engage with broader themes related to your overall functioning and way of being in the world.   

How I Think and Work

I have the perspective that the ways we think, feel, and ultimately act reflect what was our most adaptive way of being at one point in our lives. And for some people, that most adaptive way of being from their past may continue to be adaptive and fit well in their present lives and their current relationships.  

 

However, if you find yourself struggling with a particular behavior, cognitive perspective, or emotional or relational pattern that is problematic in your present, I have no doubt there is something about it that made sense at some point in your past, even if not at first glance. And perhaps most importantly, your current struggle can now serve to draw our attention to a part of you or your relationship that may need healing and repair.  

 

From a practical standpoint, our self-esteem, relationships, or work can suffer as old cognitive, emotional, and behavioral models are applied to our current situations, often outside of our awareness. In therapy, I will work collaboratively with you to explore these models and, if you wish, their origins, as well as what may make it hard to let them go and step more fully into a new way of being. Together, we can discover choices you may not have known you have. 

The Element of "Fit"

My training, my professional experience, and my way of thinking clinically, in part molded by my own personal experiences, combine to make me the therapist I am, and shape my ability to help you. In that way, because psychotherapy involves human beings entering into a relationship, the question of “fit” between client(s) and therapist always involves some element of uncertainty.  

 

And yet, research continues to show that therapeutic alliance, which could be seen as a measure of “fit,” is the most important and reliable factor in predicting the success of a treatment. So while I cannot guarantee that we will be a good fit before we meet, one of my particular strengths as a therapist is my ability to create an atmosphere of safety to facilitate exploration and growth, particularly in areas that may feel vulnerable, but may hold significant potential for your symptom improvement and healing.  

 

I will always be open to hearing your experience and your perspective. And even if that perspective is no longer working well for you and our intent is to change it, I will never question whether it has served a purpose or has made sense on some level, at some point. And knowing what purpose it has served can actually help you to let it go.    

Being Present

Ultimately, I recognize and appreciate the courage it takes to show up to therapy. While it may not always feel like strength, it is not an easy thing to push oneself to be open, honest, and vulnerable in the presence of another. But in those moments when you can, as well as in those you feel less able to, I will be there to meet you with warmth, respect, non-judgmental curiosity, genuine interest in and insight about your experience, and perhaps a little humor. 

To find out more about my approach and to see whether we might be a good fit, you can use the contact form, call me at 202-642-3975, or email me at avi@dravimargolies.com to set up a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation.