“I try to embody the Rogerian principles of unconditional positive regard, accurate empathy, and genuineness as I listen with full attention.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I have always been interested in motivation and why we act, think, and feel the way we do. That led me to work with emotionally disturbed children as an assistant teacher while in my early 20s. I then went to college to learn more. After college, I wanted to make money so I veered off into outside sales for some years, but my heart just wasn’t in it. I returned to school to get my master’s in counseling psychology and eventually settled into working as the director of the Renaissance Club, a community of adults striving to recover from severe and persistent mental illness. It was listening to those clients and my yearning to enable their recovery (and not the administrative aspects) that engaged my interest. After I retired, I finally started a private practice so as to put to use what I’ve learned in the service of others.
What should someone know about working with you?
Initially, I meet with a client in order to understand what is keeping them from enjoying their life and to determine if I will be able to influence that to their benefit. I try to embody the Rogerian principles of unconditional positive regard, accurate empathy, and genuineness as I listen with full attention. Clients gradually begin to trust that they will be heard, and we work together as partners to help them change what needs to be changed. I often ask clients to put into practice what they have learned between our meetings. I work with adults of any age.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
I have been teaching diverse psychology courses part-time for the past 15 years. To be an effective teacher, one has to be very well-grounded in the subject, so that has pushed me to delve very deeply into certain modalities. In order to stay ahead of my students, particularly the graduate students, it is necessary to keep current with new findings in the field. I learn continually from students as well, as they are sometimes quite passionate about areas of practice I am unfamiliar with.
“Clients gradually begin to trust that they will be heard, and we work together as partners to help them change what needs to be changed.”