“I believe in a good assessment; when we first meet, be prepared to answer a lot of questions about your history, experiences, current struggles, and the difficult experiences in your past.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I have worked in the field of human services since graduating from high school. When I enrolled in grad school for social work, I developed a passion for community work. I still have it! I coordinated a program for LGBTQ youth, worked briefly in community disaster relief after a bad flood, and worked in a trauma center at an emergency department. These were amazing experiences, but I also knew that I had a knack for listening to and understanding individuals on a very deep level, something that wasn't really appropriate or possible in the settings I was working in. When I made the change from community work to clinical work, I felt that I had really found my purpose in life. Since then, I have had the opportunity to study EMDR, which is such a powerful tool to help people move through the painful experiences in their lives.
What should someone know about working with you?
I believe in a good assessment; when we first meet, be prepared to answer a lot of questions about your history, experiences, current struggles, and the difficult experiences in your past. I also want to know about who and what is important to you, the positive or powerful experiences that have shaped you, and the reservoirs of strength that help you through hard times. My ideal client is insightful, curious, motivated, and finds it as interesting as I do to jump in and figure out what's going on.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
I love to learn and I am always committed to becoming a better therapist. I'm working toward my certification in EMDR, which involves advanced trainings and regular consultation with a mentor. I have a strong network of colleagues who provide me with resources or help to figure something out if I need it. In the future, I'd like to formalize my experience and passion for working with trans and gender non-conforming folks by obtaining a WPATH certification.
How do your own core values shape your approach to therapy?
I was raised and still live in rural upstate New York, nestled in the Western Catskill Mountains. However, I have often felt more connected to larger areas or on campuses where there are people with more varied backgrounds and experiences. My online practice allows me to enjoy the quiet rural life I love while working with diverse and beautiful people from all over the state. It also allows me to bring mental health to people who would struggle to find the kind of help they need in the small communities where they live. Throughout my life, I’ve been guided by my values of honesty, curiosity, humor, justice, compassion, and perseverance. Like you, I am a work in progress and I draw on the lessons and insights from my own journey in my work with others.
“I also want to know about who and what is important to you, the positive or powerful experiences that have shaped you, and the reservoirs of strength that help you through hard times.”