“My aim is to connect with clients on a personal level before building the therapeutic relationship.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
My journey to becoming a therapist has been a bit nonlinear. I originally wanted to work as an editor in the publishing world, staying up late reading manuscripts and armed with a red pen and a cup of coffee. After being in the field for several years and feeling chronically unfulfilled, it became obvious (after much soul-searching) that my actual path was to become a mental health clinician. I went back to school for my master’s in social work and have been happily working as a therapist for several years. My work has brought me to inpatient psychiatric units, outpatient clinics, and college campuses. It brings me great joy to connect with others and help my clients recognize patterns they want to change or the steps necessary to reach their goals.
What should someone know about working with you?
First and foremost, it is essential that our therapeutic relationship matches with your needs and my scope of expertise. I offer all potential clients a 15-minute complimentary phone call, which is your opportunity to ask questions, verbalize concerns, and express what you hope to achieve in therapy. The first several sessions involve us getting to know each other, establishing goals, and determining what style of therapy would benefit you most. Some clients thrive with a structured format; others prefer a more flexible and free-flowing style. Between sessions, I might suggest tasks, such as journaling prompts, writing down certain thoughts, or practicing moments of mindfulness. These are your sessions and your needs and comfort level are my main priorities. One point to note is that many people find the first few weeks of therapy awkward and sometimes uncomfortable. This is a normal reaction and together we can work to ensure you progress at a pace that suits you.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
Continuing education is part of a social worker's code of ethics and it is something I emphasize in my own professional growth. We are still learning so much about the brain and its abilities, and it is necessary to be informed about new developments. I am fascinated by the emerging discoveries on how to treat conditions like anxiety and depression on a more physiological level. With a growing number of treatment options, we are able to create more interventions that work for different people. Collaboration with other clinicians is also a priority of mine, because that ensures my approaches remain current, effective, and high-quality.
How do your own core values shape your approach to therapy?
My practice is guided by the belief that we are all human beings navigating life's challenges the best we can in that moment. No one is immune to feeling depressed, overwhelmed, or lost. My aim is to connect with clients on a personal level before building the therapeutic relationship. I also believe that you are the expert of your own life; all of your emotions, thoughts, and reactions are valid and based on experiences that only you have had. I am here to listen to you, to help you create a cohesive narrative, and to help you identify what steps are needed to achieve your goals.
“I am here to listen to you, to help you create a cohesive narrative, and to help you identify what steps are needed to achieve your goals.”