“My ongoing sessions include such ingredients as empathy, optimism, safety, insight, heartfelt intentionality, humor, and creativity—what's not included is unwanted fillers and other artificial flavors.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I began my own personal journey with individual and group therapy many years ago, while having some real palpable trepidation. I was initially scared, but I loved it. Over time, I was motivated to spread the healing that I received to others. I have had the opportunity to do a great deal of studying at professional institutes, training in trauma, anxiety, depression, and life adjustments for kids, teens, and adults. I can learn from everyone, and the more I study, the more I learn. I have pursued a broad and comprehensive range of therapies for my "toolbox"—because sometimes simply wielding a hammer lacks a certain finesse.
What should someone know about working with you?
I want the initial session to feel safe. That may be different for a six-year-old, a 16-year-old, a 30-year-old, or a 60-year-old. The intake is a good time to ask questions and try to get a sense of the fit between myself and the person seeking treatment. I will explain therapy as best I can from my experience and try to hear where the client is coming from. Therapy is very collaborative. I sometimes give homework, especially to couples. My ongoing sessions include such ingredients as empathy, optimism, safety, insight, heartfelt intentionality, humor, and creativity—what's not included is unwanted fillers and other artificial flavors.
How does collaboration with other providers inform your work?
I base all my work on the broad shoulders of my many supervisors in the training institutes that I have graduated from. I study and consult constantly because no one is an island unto themselves. For the best outcomes, I am always reaching out and consulting with other clinicians who have varied skills and complementary healing modalities for the betterment of my clients.
What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant to try therapy?
We all have to leave our comfort zones in order to stretch ourselves. It's not easy! I personally can attest to that. But there is nothing more stultifying than feeling stuck. Therapy is a rare gift and it’s worth the effort. It should feel respectful, affirming, and insightful. Try to find someone who you feel you can trust and feel safe with. When we click with our therapists, great things can be accomplished.
Have you done any research-based work that you found particularly exciting? How does it inform your practice today?
My research has been anecdotal. I have noticed in my practice that poor/tense breathing leads to many ills, including anxiety, poor decision-making, impulsivity, constriction of a person’s family and work life, and the inability to smile or be fully socially available and aware. I use my knowledge of the body to inform my awareness of how my client is faring. Then the art is having a gentle yet effective bridge to inform my client’s self-knowledge. My job as the "tool procureur" is to fill my clients’ "toolboxes" with a range of implements they need for the job at hand.
“When we click with our therapists, great things can be accomplished.”