Lucy Bichsel, PhD

Individual & Couple

Therapies

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For Individuals


 

Facing Perfectionism

Do you feel like you’re barely keeping it together? And that if people knew what was actually going on in your mind and body you’d be exposed as a pretty depressed and/or anxious person? If you are functioning at a high level most of the time, it doesn’t mean you’re actually doing well; in fact, many people cope with their depression and anxiety through perfectionism and workaholism. You’re not alone and you don’t need to fall apart in order to remedy these problems.

Getting Yourself Ready for Relationship

You probably learned how to love from the people who took care of you as a child. If your childhood family was a confusing or painful place, you might be stuck trying to figure things out on your own, often feeling like you missing something important you assume other people have. And unfortunately, piecing it together by trial and error or carefully observing your friends’ relationships isn’t that helpful. What you really need is to know what kind of partner you want to be, what kind of partner you want to have, and how to bring that clarity to your dating life.

Figuring Yourself Out

Are you robotically following someone else’s plan or frantically completing a never-ending checklist that you believe, if it ever gets finished, will bring you happiness? Are you trading enjoyment of your life now for the promise of something better later? If you want out of this life-postponement, you’ll need to make better choices about how you spend your time, who you spend it with, and how you focus your academic/professional energy. You can have joy, pleasure and a felt presence in your own life now, as it is, while you grow.

Developing Amazing Boundaries

Do you find yourself longing for, fearing, or getting confused by closeness? Wondering what is “too much” to give or receive? Or do you feel distanced and “above the fray” in way that leaves you lonely? Creating relationships that are satisfying, safe and deeply connected requires boundaries. Boundaries protect and contain us, and make sharing ourselves with others possible. And -- *news flash* -- just as important as your “self-other” boundary, you also need a great “self-self” boundary, which ensures that you treat yourself with respect, consistency, and loving intention. All of this is harder when you have a history of trauma, and I am passionate about helping people with trauma histories create healthy selves with amazing boundaries.

Body Acceptance and Disordered Eating/Cyclical Dieting

Are you looking for a safe, evidence-informed space to explore and heal from disordered eating and/or a conflicted relationship with your body? I specialize in treating people who are suffering from the insidious emotional, mental, and physiological harms of diet culture from an Intuitive Eating (IE) and Health at Every Size (HAES) approach. I espouse a weight-, size- and food- neutral position (no foods are bad, all body sizes are good) and compassionately support all of my clients wherever they are in their recovery. Learn more about IE and HAES. Disclaimer: I am not an Eating Disorder specialist, but have great connections in ED diagnosis and treatment if you might have an eating disorder and want to be evaluated.  

 

 

For Couples


 

Emotional Intimacy

Do you feel angry, needy and neglected in your relationship? Do you find yourself nagging, criticizing and even blaming your partner when you feel this way? This is a lonely, painful place to be. And the irony is that even as you try to get closer, your partner moves further and further away from you. Stopping this cycle is possible with therapy, and can bring the two of you back into a state of trust, closeness and connection.

Giving, Receiving, Negotiating

Are you feeling resentful about all you do for your relationship? Do you wish your partner recognized how much you give and how much more you need? Do you find yourself complaining, withholding or just giving up in resignation because you don’t know what else to do? Therapy can help you learn to confidently take credit for your hard work while making specific and understandable requests to your partner that set the stage for meaningful negotiation. Get more of what you need, less of what you don’t, and be grateful for what you have.    

Boundaries

Sometimes it feels like there’s a high stone wall between you and your partner, and at other times it’s as if everything you do/say is pushing each others’ buttons. You wish you could find a middle ground where you and your partner could communicate, coexist and even disagree without so much conflict and loneliness. Developing more flexible boundaries with each other is the key to making this happen, and couples therapy is a great place to start.

Accountability without Shame

It can be really hard to look at yourself and admit that you have been doing things that cause your partner pain. It can be even harder to admit this to your partner for fear of an avalanche of “I told you sos” or recrimination. One of my favorite things to do is help people hold themselves accountable without going to a shameful place that they feel they can’t get out of. In fact, being accountable and knowing how to truly apologize for the way we have hurt others is the antidote to shame and self-blame.

Recovery from Affairs and other Relationship Traumas

When your partner violates your trust, it can feel as if you’ve lost everything. As if the rug’s been swept out from under you and the story of your past, present and future is completely unreliable. Couples often break up when affairs or other relationship traumas occur, but sometimes couples want to do the very hard work of healing and there’s no better place do to this than in couples therapy.