“It's not the facts that determine whether an event is traumatic but your emotional experience of the event.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I have always been interested in understanding what makes people tick and how our unique experiences shape and influence us, often without us even realizing it. This led me to pursue degrees in psychology and social work from Arizona State University. Before going into private practice, I worked in a variety of community mental health settings. My experiences and education helped me understand that the challenges many of us face stem from underlying trauma, which may involve a threat to life or safety but can also include situations leading to feeling overwhelmed and helpless. It's not the facts that determine whether an event is traumatic but your emotional experience of the event. This understanding led me to become trained in EMDR, a psychotherapy method proven to help people recover from trauma and other distressing life events, and has shaped both my practice and the lens through which I view the human experience.
What should someone know about working with you?
As mentioned above, underlying traumatic experiences are often at the root of a client’s presenting concern. These often include unmet emotional needs in childhood. Therefore, I weave an understanding of attachment and childhood wounds into my work, which helps bring awareness to patterns that perpetuate unhelpful cycles and leads to more lasting change. I utilize a variety of integrative approaches to allow for healing of the whole person (mind, body, and spirit).
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
Over the past few years, I have become passionate about learning and integrating structural dissociation theory into my practice. This involves taking a closer look at the different aspects (or “parts”) of our personality that were created as a result of overwhelming childhood experiences or trauma, which leads to the ability to better self-regulate during stressful situations. I attend a monthly consultation group with a mentor and several other therapists and have found this greatly benefits the work I do with my clients.
“This understanding led me to become trained in EMDR, a psychotherapy method proven to help people recover from trauma and other distressing life events, and has shaped both my practice and the lens through which I view the human experience.”