“The strength and resilience of the human spirit has always fascinated me and, so, I suppose you could say it was a calling that therapy became my profession.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
It’s hard to remember a time in my life when I was not fascinated by the pursuit of understanding the human mind and experience; I can remember reading about psychology and testing out ways to help others with their struggles even as a child. The strength and resilience of the human spirit has always fascinated me and, so, I suppose you could say it was a calling that therapy became my profession. Now that I’ve been a helping professional for more than a decade, I have experience and training in many methodologies and I enjoy working with people to actualize the happiest, most confident versions of themselves.
What should someone know about working with you?
In an intake session, I begin with what has brought someone to see me; I seek to fully understand their goals, what they’ve already tried, their background, and what they may see as obstacles. When I think it can give us better knowledge of stresses or challenges, I may also encourage doing a personality assessment following the session. Together, we then craft what feels right in terms of the next steps along their path. I often give homework, because I think it is important for the therapy to extend beyond the time that we have together each week.
What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant to try therapy?
First of all, I would say that I can completely understand being hesitant! It is truly daunting to trust a stranger with some of our most vulnerable parts or our deeply held secrets. I also get how it can be challenging to admit that we haven’t been able to figure out something on our own. But I think it’s so important we keep in mind that we aren’t designed to do everything solo; human beings are a collaborative species by nature. We need each other to survive and thrive and we do so much better when we embrace this rather than work against it. While therapy can feel like a risk, it is probably a lesser risk than the one inherent to staying stuck in painful feelings.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I am always interested to learn about new therapeutic tools and methods; there is so much that we still don’t know about the mind and the physical structure of the brain. For example, eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR) is a method that I have found tremendously helpful to many people and it was only developed in the last 40 years or so. There must be so much more to come!
Have you done any research-based work that you found particularly exciting? How does it inform your practice today?
I did my doctoral research on American women becoming mothers while living in Shanghai, China. I was so fascinated by the combination of women going through such an important developmental transition while also coping with the continual change that is inherent to living abroad. I learned about the similarities that existed within their experiences but also the range of challenges they faced both practically and emotionally. I find this to be true for so many aspects of our lives: As human beings, we have a lot in common but we also often view things from such varying perspectives. It’s something that’s truly amazing about us!
“While therapy can feel like a risk, it is probably a lesser risk than the one inherent to staying stuck in painful feelings.”