“I rely on up-to-date research when treating clients and I understand that most clients do much better when medication is combined with psychotherapy.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I’m trained as a psychiatric nurse practitioner and have studied various aspects of psychotherapy. I often use supportive therapy when performing psychiatric evaluations and during management of new or existing clients. I rely on up-to-date research when treating clients and I understand that most clients do much better when medication is combined with psychotherapy. I have previous experience working in a hospital setting, an OBGYN clinic, behavioral health centers, and multiple treatment centers where I helped counsel women on menstruation, fertility, conception, pregnancy, and menopause. I have expertise on psychotropic medication, nursing principles, and clinical therapeutic models as well.
What should someone know about working with you?
I understand the importance of working with people and families struggling with mental illness. I get the ignominy involved with psychiatric disorders and the disease of addiction and the strength it takes to ask for help. As a psychiatric nurse practitioner and a family nurse practitioner, I utilize an eclectic approach that is focused on meeting each individual’s needs. I have learned not only from working in the fields of medicine, mental health, and substance abuse disorders, but from my own life experience as well. All of this led to a passion for helping others.
How does collaboration with other providers inform your work?
My experience and my education have shown me that collaboration is the best way to care for patients and enhance their outcomes. Working as a nurse for over 17 years, I have seen what is appropriate and what is not appropriate when taking care of patients. When in doubt, it’s appropriate to consult with your colleagues. When other expertise is needed, it’s appropriate to consult with your supervisor or peers. As a clinician, I believe one of the best ways to care for my patients is to know and understand my limitations.
What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant to try therapy?
The advice that I always give my clients is this: First do what is best for you, your health, your family, and your loved ones; that decision will dictate what happens next. Most people are hesitant to try therapy because they do not understand what it entails. Although I focus more on evaluation and medication management, I also take time to explain to clients the benefits of psychotherapy. Research shows us that it can enhance the recovering process and help maintain a normal level of functioning.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I love the field of psychiatry because there are so many things one can choose to do. I think the most important part of the evolving health care landscape is changing the utilization patterns. People with mental illness have long been viewed as “not being normal” and the stigmatization associated with this and experienced by the patients is enormous. Some of my clients have verbalized the discomfort that they go through just trying to see a psychiatrist or even picking up their medication at the pharmacy. Changing utilization patterns and allowing clients to be seen from the comfort of their own homes without judgement from others is what I am most excited about.
“The advice that I always give my clients is this: First do what is best for you, your health, your family, and your loved ones; that decision will dictate what happens next.”