“Every year, working with the human condition reveals more lessons but what I am certain of is that healing occurs when people feel safe.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
As a survivor myself, I became a therapist because I wanted to provide a safe space for trauma survivors to process what they have lived through and reintegrate back into the present moment. The suffering I've borne witness to in my career has nearly always derived from internal bleeding as a result of living in an oppressive society that doesn’t meet the basic needs of its people, living in a painful immediate environment, or experiencing a psychological beating sustained years ago (perhaps in the formative years). As a cis, neurodivergent, White, queer woman, I’m no stranger to internal bleeding and I also know there were blows I never had to sustain. Every year, working with the human condition reveals more lessons but what I am certain of is that healing occurs when people feel safe. This is what paves the path before me: Holding space where people can find safety within themselves again and deconstruct the messaging they should have never received.
What should someone know about working with you?
I am human first; I reject the idea that therapists must be blank slates or that healing has to be self-serious in order to maintain boundaries and accountability. Warmth, compassion, connection, and humor are integral elements to safety and what I offer to people who work with me. Complimenting this is naming thought/behavior patterns that are hurting you or no longer serving you and transforming them together. This could involve the following: Learning techniques to challenge or disengage from certain thought patterns; increasing your ability to tolerate discomfort or distress; transforming how you communicate and connect; and modifying your environment or behavior to best cater to your brain and soul. My goal is for you to build a toolkit for yourself that you feel mastery over. I want you to be able to turn inward as an 80-year-old person and know how to care for your inner emotional life.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
American mental health care has long been suffocated by capitalism, white supremacy, and colonialism. For starters, it’s only affordable through insurance for most, making a basic need a luxury for many. The foundations of many of our diagnostic tools and theories were built using cis, straight, White men, and their experiences as the default, making them dated on their best day and a tool to pathologize and stigmatize on their worst day. The presumptions of colonialism have long discarded paths to healing outside of the Eurocentric perspective. Mental health providers have often been used as a weapon in the pipeline to prison. I am hopeful that the push of anti-racism theory, decarceration, legalization of certain drugs (allowing their potential psychological benefits to be researched), and universal healthcare will breathe life back into American mental health care.
“This is what paves the path before me: Holding space where people can find safety within themselves again and deconstruct the messaging they should have never received.”