“I was born with a highly sensitive nervous system, so throughout my life I've understood things through a different lens and have been drawn to the invisible qualities of life.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist? What inspired you to choose this profession?
I was born with a highly sensitive nervous system, so throughout my life I've understood things through a different lens and have been drawn to the invisible qualities of life. Due to my natural tendencies, I already played therapist to so many people in my life. After studying family therapy, I became curious about the subconscious and the ways that the systems we are not aware of directly control and impact our daily choices. This led me to become a certified clinical hypnotherapist. At that time, I came upon Dr. Elaine Aron’s research about genetic sensory sensitivity and so much of my own work came together. I clearly saw how I had always been interested in supporting those who experienced life with greater sensitivity in being able to be more present in the world and bringing their sensitivity to light through their creativity.
What would you want someone to know about working with you?
I tend to be experiential and direct in nature. I like to meet clients where they are in a supportive container and expand together in the mutually agreed upon directions. My experience allows me to be skilled in navigating aspects of sensitivity that can feel overwhelming to address, and my sensitivity allows me to be intuitively present with all that is in the room. Initial sessions involve information gathering, and later sessions tend to be more directive in moving toward the desired practical experiences. I intend for some shift to be felt in each session and to move toward agreed-upon goals quickly and supportively. I work with all levels of functioning, including relationships, vocation, physical symptoms and strategies, spirituality, emotions, and mental experiences.
If there was one thing you wish people knew about the therapy experience who might be hesitant to try it, what would that be?
I wish that people knew that there is no wrong way to do therapy. Sometimes when you have not had the experience of totally being met and held and supported as you are, you may not really understand the need for that or the possibilities that come with that. Therapy is that space. It is a space to show up and be honest with yourself, with a witness present solely to support you in being you. That alone changes the way you experience yourself and the world around you, and it further allows you to make decisions and take action.
What excites you most about the evolving mental health landscape?
I am excited that people are more informed, more open to and aware of the challenges, and more open to what actually works in practical ways that were once seen as taboo or stigmatized. I have seen many benefits from the use of plant medicine and psychedelics and I am happy that there is more awareness, research, and practice developing around that. The same goes for people understanding how nutrition and mental habits affect well being, and social challenges being called out and witnessed publicly as real issues. The burden of well-being is not just falling on the sick to struggle with alone. We all seem to be seeing that we are all connected and that we all have a responsibility to pay attention to being well individually as well as collectively.
Is there any research-based work you’ve done that you found particularly exciting and how has that informed your practice today?
Dr. Elaine Aron's research on sensory sensitivity and research on The Orchid Child Hypothesis have greatly informed my practice. The Orchid Theory states that some of the population, usually about 20 percent, is naturally born more sensitive and adaptive to their environment. This theory alone validates so much about so many who seek therapy. In the past, these individuals were seen as broken or wrong, needing to be like those who were hardier, like dandelions. Orchids will never be dandelions. They need to know how to be orchids. Better understanding unique genetic differences and how that impacts our functioning is a particular interest of mine and I love helping highly sensitive orchids learn how to bloom, and showing them that even when they are not in bloom they are still valid — how to live the whole lifecycle and be who they are in this world.
“We all seem to be seeing that we are all connected and that we all have a responsibility to pay attention to being well individually as well as collectively.”