“I will help you slow down and focus on the emotions and physical feelings that come up as we speak.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
Since I was a child, I’ve loved stories. I loved thinking about why people do what they do and about the words they used to tell their tales. At first this love drew me to writing but, while working as a writer I was learning about psychology. I even experienced the transformative power of therapy as a client. Therapy helped me deal with pain and change my life. Through this process, I became passionate about what is possible for others and I realized that I wanted to spend my time doing something meaningful and helping people in a more direct way. So I gave up everything I was doing and became a therapist.
What should someone know about working with you?
Above all, therapy is about you. We’ll start with the concerns that brought you in. We’ll also talk about your physical health and daily routine, as they are linked to your psychological well-being. In our initial dialogues, we'll collaborate to identify goals. These can include short-term goals, like immediate ways to cope with anxiety, or long-term goals, like identifying core issues and what you want out of your life. I will help you slow down and focus on the emotions and physical feelings that come up as we speak. These responses reveal a lot about what you allow yourself to feel, hope, and express. We will explore, dig deep, and discover with compassion, insight, and even laughter. Although therapy isn't a joke, humor is no stranger to my practice.
How does collaboration with other providers inform your work?
The mind and emotions are not separate from the body. In recognition of this, I am mindful of your physical health and reactions (what your body is telling you about what is going on in your life) and I am happy to consult with your other health professionals, like psychiatrists, primary care doctors, nutritionists, and acupuncturists, to provide you with the most effective therapy possible. I am also in ongoing training, meeting regularly with a supervisor to discuss issues and techniques, and I participate in a peer-supervision group. All of these activities are part of my efforts to continue to hone my skills and provide you with the best care I can.
What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant to try therapy?
If you’re considering therapy, you’ve already taken the first step. You have ideas about how you want your life to change and how therapy might help. But maybe something stops you from committing fully. Some people avoid therapy because they think they should be able to do it by themselves, or that therapy is for people with real problems. They believe that seeking help means admitting failure. But nothing could be further from the truth! Seeking therapy is a sign of strength — you’re willing to be proactive in improving your life. Others may pass on therapy because they have preconceived notions about how the process works. They may imagine a therapist with an agenda or one who sits silently, judging in a corduroy jacket. Whatever questions you have about therapy, I'm always happy to answer them. Therapy with me is guided by a single agenda: your needs and goals.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I am excited by recent developments in affective neuroscience and their application to psychotherapy. Specifically, I’m fascinated by the concept of neuroplasticity: the brain’s capacity, at any age, to form new synaptic connections. This concept is central to both my practice of psychotherapy and to my ongoing training. Neuroplasticity suggests that change at a core level is always possible for us. We come to adulthood full of learned lessons about emotions and blueprints for relationships. Though these lessons have shaped our neural pathways, neuroplasticity means our brains can create new connections. Through therapy and novel experiences, we can do much more than merely understand our behavioral and emotional patterns; we can consciously create new ones, too.
“Therapy with me is guided by a single agenda: your needs and goals.”