My Practice Approach


The Basics

My work is informed by years of practice and research in evidence-based methods and interventions aimed at helping people change. I create strong collaborative relationships with a goal of helping to improve personal and interpersonal effectiveness, and to bringing about one's best, most authentic self. By working on problematic relationship patterns, changing patterns of thought and behavior, and by learning to become more flexible and integrated, my aim is to increase my patients' overall effectiveness and help them to lead happier and more fulfilling lives. I expect changes made in therapy will lead to systemic improvements in the quality and functioning of my patients' relationships—and ultimately, to others in their lives.

My Orientation

My education and training has been primarily psychodynamic/psychoanalytic, and my approach reflects the application of this evidence-base. Specifically, I believe in the power and importance of attachment relationships, early experience, and the ways our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors lead us to make particular conscious or unconscious choices and meanings in our lives. By focusing on these things, and by gaining an understanding of your unique beliefs and expectations about how relationships work, my goal is to provide you with an opportunity to make different meanings, more healthy and adaptive choices, and overall improvements in your functioning. Ultimately, the aim is to incorporate new insights and experiences that result from our work and to generalize them into all aspects of your life.

In the context of a safe and authentic relationship, I pay particular attention to the impact of cultural and developmental factors, and bring these perspectives into our work. My interventions are typical of those used by most trained therapists. I encourage the exploration of thoughts, feelings, behaviors, expectations, aspirations, conflicts, and past experiences, while seeking clarification, considering strategic questions, providing interpretations, and drawing connections. I make use of these interventions and the therapist-patient relationship itself to improve insight and clarity, and to further the progress of therapy.

To address specific and problematic patterns of thinking and behavior, I also incorporate aspects of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), solution-focused therapy, and other approaches in my work. I have training and experience in a number of theoretical approaches, and make use of them as the need arises. My goal is always to provide the most effective treatment possible to address your particular problem. If I believe I am unable to do that, I may refer you to another clinician or recommend other strategies.

Many things can be therapeutic—but good therapy can be most the effective way to address a number of common problems and make lasting improvements in your life.

How I Work

My therapy practice is fairly traditional, and is further described on my information page and in my office policies. I generally meet with my patients individually, on a weekly basis, for confidential 50-minute sessions in my Downtown Berkeley office. While I may make exceptions to this format in some circumstances, I have usually found this arrangement most conducive to helping those who seek out my services. My work is generally open-ended and continues until the presenting problem has been resolved, or you feel you are no longer experiencing a benefit from therapy. I also offer planned brief or time-limited therapies for those who cannot commit to longer-term work, or for those who simply prefer to meet on a limited basis.

My consultation practice varies depending on the scope of the work and what is required. I encourage you to contact me or visit the Dilan Consulting Group website for more information. A summary of the services I provide is posted here, and additional information about my training and approach can be found in the FAQ.