“When someone invites me in to help navigate a difficult part of their journey, it doesn't feel like I’m listening to their problems.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
My path to becoming a psychologist was undoubtedly influenced by the opportunity I had to meet with Dr. B.F. Skinner as a high school student in the 80s. However, I spent several years working in the travel industry before returning to graduate school to complete my degree. My primary interest is in trauma, but due to the intensity of this work, I completed training in neuropsychology and assessment. My trauma background has informed my assessment work and vice versa. For me, understanding the neurophysiology of trauma helps reframe our response from problematic to productive.
What should someone know about working with you?
My intake process is streamlined and I send the paperwork in advance of the appointment. I often incorporate diagnostic screenings to clarify the diagnosis and guide treatment. I also offer a comprehensive cognitive assessment powered by Cambridge Brain Sciences to provide an objective check-up on the cognitive abilities we use to function in everyday life. The process of therapy itself can vary widely, from solution-oriented problem-solving and integrating symptoms of complex trauma to establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries in our lives. Very often, people manage several overlapping issues in their lives at any given time, and I find that flexibility in adapting to what life brings us is an empowering path to healing.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
Working in private practice can be isolating, so I participate in a consultation group in addition to the required continuing education. Maintaining these professional connections is helpful to having a referral network as well as collaboration. The continuing education courses I participate in are a combination of those designed to keep my skills fresh and the areas where I need to strengthen my skills. Equally important, in my opinion, is engagement with the non-mental health community, which I do through socializing with friends and family, volunteering, or engaging in community groups. This allows me to maintain balance and perspective outside of my professional bubble.
What else should someone know about working with you?
I’m frequently asked if it’s depressing to listen to people's problems all day. I am always surprised by the question, and it reflects one of the beliefs about therapy that I try to bear in mind. When someone invites me in to help navigate a difficult part of their journey, it doesn't feel like I’m listening to their problems. It feels more like I’m helping them discover and maximize their own strengths and increase awareness of blind spots or weaknesses in order to break unhelpful patterns.
“It feels more like I’m helping them discover and maximize their own strengths and increase awareness of blind spots or weaknesses in order to break unhelpful patterns.”