“I have specialized training in acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT).”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I became interested in the field of psychology after working in residential homes and caring for people with severe mental illness. To turn my passion into a career, I completed training as a licensed mental health counselor and eventually earned my doctorate as a clinical psychologist. I have specialized training in acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT). While all these modalities are helpful, I find that acceptance and commitment therapy allows clients to better cope with their symptoms, lightning their loads as they travel the path towards change.
What should someone know about working with you?
During the intake session, I get to know you as a person and explore why you’re here. We may talk about your family, childhood, background, relationships, work, interests, and any other aspect that defines you. I encourage clients to maintain a journal of their thoughts and feelings so we can use their needs and desires to guide our sessions. I work with clients on goal-setting as well as we look for novel and creative ways to achieve success.
How does collaboration with other providers inform your work?
I work with other professionals involved with a client’s case as a matter of routine. I find it helpful to have an integrated approach to care so that all the client’s needs are met and all their expectations are exceeded. I work with other psychologists to discuss new treatment methods, often consulting them on ADHD, schizophrenia, and other mental illnesses. I work with medical professionals on chronic illnesses, such as fibromyalgia, heart disease, kidney disease, and I believe that physical health influences psychological wellbeing. The Coronavirus has opened the door to other areas of exploration as well as I’ve collaborated to study the pandemic’s impact. Many people have experienced feelings of uncertainty about the future and subsequent anxiety and depression. When working with clients who benefit from medicine, I consult psychiatrists about side effects and dosage. I also work with other professionals when my client requires access to low-income housing.
What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant to try therapy?
The most difficult part of beginning therapy is scheduling the first appointment! After that, your comfort grows, and talking about your feelings gets easier and easier. I suggest scheduling a call to gauge how well you and your potential clinician connect. Therapy is a difficult process, but psychologists are trained to help you navigate these difficulties; we know how to put you at ease and assist you in the process of change.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
Working online is an exciting new area! It provides clients with flexibility and new found access. Some people work long hours and find it difficult to attend therapy even in the evenings. Online sessions allow people to get help from the comfort of their homes and while traveling. It also bridges the gap between the therapist’s office and rural or remote areas. Another area where I’ve found renewed energy is the emerging cultural trends; we are openly discussing race, bias, and the impact this bias has on mental health. Many clients experience symptoms of depression and anxiety because of institutional bias, which can ultimately turn into anger and frustration. The client needs and deserves to be heard; people always have a right to have their feelings and experiences validated.
“Therapy is a difficult process, but psychologists are trained to help you navigate these difficulties; we know how to put you at ease and assist you in the process of change.”