“I truly love to help others see the connection between mental and physical wellness.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I became a therapist after going through the adoption process as a way of forming a family. I have always wanted to help others through the roller coaster ride of their own adoption paths. Once my children started school, I decided to go back to school myself to get my master’s in social work. In my journey, both personally and professionally, I have discovered the connection between mental health and movement and exercise. For so many people, taking control of their mental health incorporates some type of movement and some type of exercise. Recently, I became certified as a personal trainer. I truly love to help others see the connection between mental and physical wellness; I encourage them to grow emotionally by taking care of their mental health and gain strength by taking care of themselves physically.
What should someone know about working with you?
I am very client-centered. People come into therapy for a lot of different reasons and with a lot of different expectations. We are all unique and individual and I feel that my approach should be as customized as we are. Some people need a safe space and a neutral person to vent to; others require much more specific direction and homework. I am also very goal-oriented. No matter what brings you to counseling, I believe we must establish goals in the beginning in order to see and evaluate progress.
How does collaboration with other providers inform your work?
I think collaboration is vital to providing a holistic, well-rounded approach to therapy. We need to be able to collaborate on issues that may be outside of our scope of practice, such as medication management. We all have different specialties and expertise and we can’t expect ourselves to be experts in everything. Collaboration helps to give us, as therapists, a different perspective that we may be able to offer our clients — one we might not have seen otherwise.
What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant to try therapy?
Therapy can be very intimidating in the beginning. After all, you are going in and discussing your problems with a complete stranger and there is a natural fear that this person will judge you. What I would like to say to someone who is hesitant to try therapy is that very often, it is much more helpful to talk to someone who doesn’t know you and who is not a part of your everyday life. The job of a therapist is not to fix your problems, but rather to help you see them from a perspective that perhaps you haven’t considered before. Sometimes this can be difficult to do with a friend or a family member.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I am excited about the increased acceptance of therapy and the decreased stigma surrounding mental health care. I am also really excited by the ability for more people to access counseling remotely through teletherapy. Tools like phone, video, and text allow us to provide therapy to everyone. For so many years, counseling was not something that we openly discussed; now, people are seeing the value in caring for their mental health just as much as their physical health. I’m hopeful that this trend will continue and that people will eventually see no difference between seeking professional help for a mental health problem and a physical one.
“Some people need a safe space and a neutral person to vent to; others require much more specific direction and homework.”