I offer short and long term work with individuals, couples and families.
Talking through a painful problem can help you feel better. With time, our conversations will allow you to see yourself differently and to make more deliberate decisions. With this growth, you will see your relationships and activities improve. You will have less pain, shame and anger.
Psychotherapy typically starts with weekly one-hour sessions. The frequency of sessions can change over time to meet your needs. My style is direct, curious, non-judgemental, and grounded in both psychoanalytic and cognitive behavioral approaches.
Medication is a tool for people with moderate to severe symptoms. A psychiatrist is a doctor with specialized knowledge and experience using this tool. Medication can be effective on its own, and even more effective when combined with psychotherapy. I want you to understand what your medication options are and why I made these recommendations. We then decide on a treatment plan, with a conversation about likely risks and benefits. While I am your prescribing doctor, we will meet regularly to review and modify your treatment. If needed, I am happy to collaborate with your therapist and other doctors.
Solution Focused Brief Therapy
Some individuals seek treatment for a specific question or problem. While we might acknowledge that your specific problems tend to be grounded in larger problems and patterns, I will endeavor to keep the scope of our psychotherapy work focused and solution oriented. I am happy to continue with deeper work after the resolution of the problem, or to part ways.
Treatment for Addiction
I applaud and embrace anyone seeking treatment for addiction. My general approach is motivational, with a commitment to the role of psychosocial support programs. Addiction always occurs in a social and psychological context, and we will investigate how these factors influence your behavior. Given the medical risk of addiction, I have certain guidelines for treatment. For all patients, I will regularly check the state CURES report for use of controlled substances. I do not provide services for outpatient detoxification and, in certain cases, will require inpatient detoxification before starting or continuing treatment. I am experienced with all medications used for addiction.
Many high functioning people seek treatment when they have problems at work. Whether it is a specific conflict or a more generalized failure to advance, careful examination of your psychological functioning and interpersonal dynamics will give you insight about the problem. As your insight deepens over time, we will develop strategies that allow you to feel and function better.
Couples & Family Therapy
Long term relationships take work. Many couples and families get bogged down in poor communication and unclear expectations. I believe that therapy with two or more people is most successful when all parties have done some individual therapy to learn about their own patterns and values. Sometimes though, couples therapy is the best first approach to treatment when there is conflict. I have worked with many couples and families to identify the roles and patterns, develop strategies to change the dynamic, and offer referrals for individual treatment if needed.
Treatment for Women’s Issues
Many women experience problems that are linked to our identity as women — and you may prefer to talk with a doctor who is a woman. I can help you work through a wide range of women’s concerns, including the adolescent-adult transition, eating disorders, sexual identity questions, sexual dysfuntion, infertility and pregnancy loss,
Treatment for Educational Issues
Young adulthood is a time when many psychiatric and addiction disorders become unmanageable. New illnesses can appear, along with the expected challenges of newfound autonomy, loss of enforced daily structure, and intense academic demands. It can be particularly difficult to navigate these problems while attending college or professional school. I can help you understand your struggle and provide treatment. If needed, the plan to manage your academic life may utilize academic accommodations, medical leave and family education.
Sometimes people want a professional opinion. Or a second opinion. I am happy to meet with you to review your history and current circumstances, and to offer a diagnostic impression and recommendation about treatment options moving forward. I encourage you to provide me with any records you might have, or written observations from important people in your life. Given the limited nature of this relationship, medications will not be prescribed.
I believe in psychotherapy that is shaped to meet your unique needs. I listen. I guide. I do not judge you. I rely on honesty, humor, and trust. I recommend medications when appropriate, and always with extensive discussion. My focus in treatment is the clinical relationship between us and our ability to create positive change for you.
"Dr. Graff's care is the single largest factor in transforming my life from one spiraling into ever deeper anxiety and depression into the life I live now, in which problems seem solvable, plans seem worth making, and I can experience both large and small pleasures. She's perceptive, clear, compassionate and wise. Dr. Graff has mastered the ability to be entirely present in session, while simultaneously keeping in mind whole landscapes of our previous discussions. I'm grateful to the person who recommended her to me, and I wholeheartedly extend the same recommendation."
Ask a question or request an appointment. For emergencies call 911 or visit your nearest hospital
Fax: (949) 484-7078
Newport Beach, CA 92660