“It is my belief that without a trusting relationship with your therapist, the good stuff does not happen!”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I was initially drawn to working with children and adolescents due to a desire to support little people in expressing big emotions. However, I soon realized that big people have little people inside, longing to be heard, seen, and accepted, which led me to also enjoy my work with adults. My specialties include supporting children, adolescents, and adults with managing anxiety and mood disorders, addiction, and difficult life transitions. I tend to conceptualize everything through a trauma lens, as it is my belief that our struggles stem from some kind of unmet needs or life-altering experiences at a younger age. My most career-shaping training has been in trauma and its relationship with the body and brain. I also find great success in utilizing CBT, all of its “cousin” approaches, and yoga and mindfulness practices. I emphasize working with clients within their systems – we do not live in a vacuum and therapy should reflect this.
What should someone know about working with you?
Even with my training in a variety of evidence-based approaches, my most valued intervention in eliciting change is the process of building and fostering the therapeutic relationship. It is my belief that without a trusting relationship with your therapist, the good stuff does not happen! From our initial encounter, I do everything I can to help people feel safe and accepted. To start, I tend to ask as many questions as feels comfortable in order to gather information that can help me guide our work together. As a team, we then develop treatment goals to ensure our work surrounds what YOU wish to achieve from therapy. I will never ask clients to do anything that is not realistic or does not feel “right” for them (and if I unintentionally do, I fully welcome people to tell me so). Throughout treatment, we check in with our therapy goals to ensure we are moving in a direction that feels comfortable, making adjustments as needed. I want my clients to know we are in this together!
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
When a person becomes a therapist, they commit themselves to being a lifetime student and as a self-proclaimed nerd, that is fine by me! I am constantly reading books and articles, listening to podcasts, and consulting with other mental health and/or wellness providers. Oftentimes, the information I consume comes from recommendations from my clients. Otherwise, I further my knowledge and practice based on the needs of my clients, identifying and pursuing training and information that can help guide our work together. I also collaborate regularly with others, including nutritionists/dietitians, exercise/movement practitioners, medical providers, sponsors/peer supports, and other mental health practitioners who have specialty training in areas I do not. Currently, I am working toward building my understanding of how society impacts perceptions of body image, gender identity, sexual identity, culture, and race and how all this impacts mental health.
How do your core values shape your approach to therapy?
I view all humans as complex, multi-faceted beings who deserve to be seen and nurtured. I value connection. I value the ability to be perfectly imperfect. I value accessibility. I value voice and representation. I value equity. I value the importance of acknowledging privilege and its impact. I value silliness. I value safe spaces. I value openness and honesty. I do my best to ensure these values inform everything I do, personally and professionally.
“From our initial encounter, I do everything I can to help people feel safe and accepted.”