“My goal is for you to learn deeply about yourself and to gain the tools needed to effect lasting change.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist? What inspired you to choose this profession?
I’ve always loved learning about the human mind and condition. While studying psychology in a high-pressure college environment, I realized that many of us were struggling emotionally—no matter how much we achieved. Despite all the resources and knowledge, there was a lack of understanding and literacy about mental health. It was just accepted as the norm that everyone was depressed, anxious, and drinking too much. At that time, I also worked and volunteered on projects with vulnerable populations that gave me exposure to the field. I saw the impact of many different systemic barriers and traumas, as well as how powerful and meaningful it can be to help just one person in a dark place. I chose clinical social work as a career path to help people from all walks of life rise above the infinite challenges and stressors around us.
What would you want someone to know about working with you?
My goal is for you to learn deeply about yourself and to gain the tools needed to effect lasting change. The process is going to be challenging, but with genuine compassion and warmth, I’ll create a safe and affirming environment for you to do this work. In the first few sessions, I’ll be gathering a lot of information—not just about your current problems and history, but also about your unique strengths, values, and vision. We’ll work together to identify goals and create your personalized treatment plan. Especially in these early sessions, I use “psychoeducation”: the practice of sharing helpful information about the clinical issues that affect you. Clients are often relieved to learn more because it demystifies what they’re experiencing and provides context and transparency around the therapeutic work.
How does collaboration with other providers play into your work?
I’ve regularly participated in interdisciplinary teamwork since I first started in the field and I’ve learned a lot from these conversations. Working with other service providers helps us all to tailor our services to best meet your needs. With your permission, I am happy to collaborate with your psychiatrist, medical doctor, nutritionist, or anyone else who may be working with you. At any point, I can also refer you to additional providers or resources if we agree they would support your therapeutic goals.
If there was one thing you wish people knew about the therapy experience who might be hesitant to try it, what would that be?
That it’s normal to be hesitant or ambivalent! A lot of people think their concerns need to reach a certain level of severity to warrant seeking help. For others, it may be hard to fit in another weekly commitment. The truth is that the people who are the busiest often have a lot to gain from therapy. It involves setting aside a very small amount of time each week when you get to prioritize yourself, your needs, and your growth. People come to therapy for all kinds of reasons and at all different stages in life. You don’t need to wait until you feel you’ve hit rock bottom to start.
What therapeutic techniques do you use?
I may use a combination of different methods in treatment. I enjoy working with cognitive behavioral therapy, which is known to be effective with different clinical issues. CBT provides a toolkit of different techniques to help you understand and change the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that have been running on autopilot. I may also integrate mindfulness-based practices, which heighten your awareness and provide a more balanced experience of the present moment. I also draw from motivational interviewing, solution-focused counseling, and trauma-informed practice. What these all have in common is that they’re collaborative approaches that seek to capitalize on your strengths. People take for granted the talents and resources that they use on a daily basis—especially during hard times. Let’s draw on those skills to build resilience in other areas of your life.
“You don’t need to wait until you feel you’ve hit rock bottom to start.”