Born and raised in the Redwoods of Northern California, Joseph is an Associate Family Therapist and proud father. He holds an MA in Marriage and Family Therapy from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology and a BA in Psychology from the University of California Berkeley.
His goal is to empower personal growth through the use of dynamic evidence-based theories and therapeutic rapport. Though he loves his work with individuals, he is particularly passionate about couples work. For better or worse, our earliest programming teaches us what we think marriage 'should' be. The truth is, marriage is what we make of it. We are the creators and, although painful at times, it can also inspire and empower. Joseph is a firm believer that people heal and grow in connection to others.
Some couples have yet to realize they are neurodiverse. When they finally do, a diagnosis can feel like a relief after years of pain and contention. One common complaint from a partner may be that they are being "gaslighted” by the neurodiverse partner; accused of being irrational and not having their feelings validated. The neurodiverse partner can feel overwhelmed and misunderstood. Common differences in communication are logical vs. emotional, concrete vs. abstract, absolute vs. relative, and avoidant vs. insistent. A neurodivergent partner can respond more with cognitive empathy than with affective or emotional empathy. They may have the desire to respond to their partner, yet inherently have limited ability to know what to do or how to do it. They feel lonely as well but may be unable to reach out for social support.
But where there is frustration, misunderstanding, and isolation, there are also strengths to these differences that can make their relationships rich and rewarding. Along with therapeutic rapport, Joseph begins by using an assessment specifically designed to identify neurodiverse traits and help couples identify just how those differences affect their interaction cycles. Next is to help partners learn to break the blame and shame patterns they have fallen into and find acceptance in their differences. He will guide couples through a process of exploring each partner's positive intentions as a way to unlock understanding and acceptance. Joseph works to help couples rediscover love and acceptance and start to leverage differences so they become strengths.
Joseph is a neurodiversity-affirming therapist who understands that autism, dyslexia, Tourette’s syndrome (TS), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), dyspraxia, and ADHD. These conditions are neurotypes, not flaws. Uncovering deeper unspoken truths by creating an environment of trust and acceptance is at the core of a couple's healing process. Through the identification of negative cycles, uncovering hidden emotions, and reframing contentious issues, we help create new more secure attachments.
Exploring and validating each partner's unique experience is part of connecting. He believes in the power of 'we' and helps clients work past blame and shame, especially if the blame and shame relates to the neurological differences. Major life changes like the loss of a job, the arrival of a child, or grief and loss, can be especially difficult if one partner struggles with change. His goal is to help couples face these challenges together instead of apart while retaining their own identity.
Joseph provides a structured, eclectic approach to neurodiverse couples therapy using elements of Emotional Focused Therapy, Gottman Method, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Psychodynamic, Attachment Theory, and Solution Focused Therapy.
OTHER AREAS OF FOCUS (IN ADDITION TO NEURODIVERSITY):
Trauma and PTSD
Couples, Men, Women, Teens, LGBTQ+
Attachment-based, Culturally Sensitive, Emotionally Focused, Existential, Family Systems, Gottman, Humanistic, Mindfulness, Motivational Interviewing, Multicultural, Psychodynamic, Solution Focused
Registered Associate Marriage & Family Therapist, AMFT #131573
Supervised by Dr. Harry Motro, LMFT #53452
Employed by New Path Couples Therapy Inc.
California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT)
Phone: (562) 689-3908