“I welcome questions and feedback and I deeply recognize that clients are the experts on their own lives.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I have known I wanted to be a mental health professional since I was about 10 years old. I have always been someone with a strong sense of curiosity and a desire to understand people and their motivations. I also have a strong sense of compassion for people and have been able to sit with people in their place of pain and loss. I have always had a desire to be a healer and partner with people in their process of growth. Throughout my career, I have worked in a variety of settings, including in the foster care system, community mental health clinics, education, substance abuse treatment programs, and with families with children with developmental disabilities. We are all shaped by the experiences we have had in life and those experiences impact how we act and react. Having recognition of how this impacts us and how to make changes that we want to make allows us to be transformed. I am trained in TFCBT, STAIR, MI, BST, and sex therapy.
What should someone know about working with you?
I like working with clients who are motivated to engage in therapy and are committed to the process. I do ask some formalized questions as part of an intake in the first few sessions but intake is an ongoing process that unfolds throughout therapy. I do assign homework if that is helpful for the client and will help meet their needs. Measures of progress are subjective and I want to hear from my clients what progress looks like for them. I review with clients regularly what has been working for them in therapy and ask if there is anything that isn't working for them so that I know where to make changes and adjustments. I welcome questions and feedback and I deeply recognize that clients are the experts on their own lives. They bring with them the knowledge of their lived experiences and I am always in awe of their capacity for healing, growth, and survival.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
I am currently enrolled in an AASECT-certified sex therapy program and I take continuing education courses regularly. I am planning to obtain training in IFS and EMDR within the next year. In terms of collaboration, it is essential to effective treatment. Without it, we are missing important parts of the person's story and cannot engage in effective treatment.
How do your core values shape your approach to therapy?
My life experiences certainly shape my worldview and my understanding, as I know what it means to have challenges in life and to grow from those experiences. Our humanity means to be vulnerable, to hurt, and to feel loss, pain, sadness, and anger. It also means to heal and grow and experience joy and connection. Cultural sensitivity shows up in my practice in that I am aware of what I know and I am aware of what I don't know when it comes to other cultures and communities. To be a good therapist in this regard means to ask meaningful questions, to educate myself, and to never assume.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I am excited that mental health treatment and a greater understanding of how mental health challenges impact people are part of the cultural landscape in ways they haven't been before. The voices of celebrities and athletes sharing about their challenges and experiences have really increased the openness and awareness around mental health and I am looking forward to the decrease of stigma regarding mental health and the way these ongoing conversations will create more opportunities for more people to have access to mental health treatment. I also think that telehealth has transformed the mental health landscape and created an opportunity for people who might not otherwise have access by allowing them to receive the mental health treatment they are looking for. I am looking forward to the ways that this evolves.
“They bring with them the knowledge of their lived experiences and I am always in awe of their capacity for healing, growth, and survival.”