“Clients often use our sessions to process conversations they want to have with their partner, friend, or children.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I've always been interested in understanding things deeper. When I was 15 years old, a family friend told me I should be a therapist because I ask "why" so much. When I researched the profession, the study of people and socialization piqued my interest. I became a licensed clinical social worker because I believe I have a gift for helping people to communicate better. Studying at the Ackerman Institute allowed me to hone my skills and taught me a relational model for therapy, which I use often with couples and families.
What should someone know about working with you?
Our first three sessions will be an intake phase. I'll work to understand your background, including past relationships with parents, siblings, friends, and romantic relationships. This information helps me understand your presenting problems and helps us create an individualized treatment plan. I like to give homework to further the thinking about what we discussed in a session. This could be taking notes about feelings of anxiety and recognizing what caused them, what you did to move through the feeling, and how you felt after. This helps clients take active steps toward achieving their goals. Together, we'll review your notes in our next session.
How does collaboration with other providers inform your work?
Through group supervisions and consultations, I'm often in communication with providers from other disciplines. This helps me better help my clients; I can collaborate with practitioners with trainings different than my own to better understand how they might be of use to my clients. For example, I may refer a client to a nutritionist or acupuncturist based on their symptoms and needs.
What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant to try therapy?
Therapy is like emptying a trash can. We would not let years of garbage just sit in our house — we take it out before it begins to pile up, smell bad, and overflow. I have many clients who use therapy as a preventive tool. Clients often use our sessions to process conversations they want to have with their partner, friend, or children about an issue to ensure they are effectively communicating the message they want to convey.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I'm excited by the belief that mental, physical, and spiritual health are all connected and can be worked on in tandem. We know that physical and spiritual health affect mental health as well, so I like to make sure those factor into our conversation and action steps. I like to incorporate mind-body tools that increase mood and mental strength, like planking while saying positive affirmations about strength. Strengthening one element can strengthen another.
“We know that physical and spiritual health affect mental health as well, so I like to make sure those factor into our conversation and action steps.”