“Using the creative process is important to me, and therapy is a very creative and collaborative process.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
My background is in art, and I pursued social work because I like to focus on advocacy and clients’ strengths. For over 10 years, I've worked in schools, outpatient programs, communities, and homes. I completed my master’s in social work at the University of Southern Maine in 2016. While providing play therapy to children and families, I learned about the importance of attachment and the mind-body connection. In the last few years, I've grown into telehealth. I've been supporting young adults who are in the process of shaping their identities. I've also worked with clients experiencing trauma, anxiety, and depression. Using the creative process is important to me, and therapy is a very creative and collaborative process. Deepening my meditation practice, especially in qigong and energy psychology, has taught me about the capacity for self-healing.
What should someone know about working with you?
It's brave when someone comes to therapy. I like to offer an accepting space based on mutual respect. The first 2-3 sessions are a time to see if I would be a good fit and talk about goals and what brings you to therapy. My intake process includes general information about how I practice and a conversation to get to know your main concerns and goals while gathering information on history and any past therapy experiences. I will also ask about strengths and supports while obtaining any other important information you would like me to know. Progress can involve an increase in self-awareness and self-esteem while better identifying and working through barriers to change. Based on preference, homework can often be helpful to make progress in between sessions. I enjoy working with clients who like to learn about themselves.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
I love growing as a therapist with continuing education courses and training. To stay within my scope of practice, I take training in the specific issues that my clients bring to our sessions. I seek training in mind-body approaches, like energy psychology, meditation, and polyvagal theory, which helps with a variety of issues. I also like to grow my skills in motivational interviewing and behavioral therapies with continued learning. I prioritize ethics training and cultural competency training so that I can support the unique needs of my diverse clients. I love consulting with other professionals and taking a collaborative approach.
How do your core values shape your approach to therapy?
As a social worker, I believe that the most vulnerable groups of people deserve dignity, respect, and empowerment. I was struck by the inequities students of color and students from working-class families faced in schools when I started my career. This led me to the social work field where the focus on client strengths and self-determination aligned with my values. Cultural sensitivity shows up in my practice by learning about the unique cultural and identity-related needs of my clients and participating in ongoing training so that my therapy is available to anyone who wants to work with me.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I'm excited about the contributions of interpersonal neurobiology to therapy because it validates the client’s experience while offering nuanced approaches to self-regulation and connection. I love that mind and body-based approaches have been integrated into this field. In my personal and professional experience, a world of wellbeing and transformation opens up when using those practices. Lastly, I'm excited that telehealth makes therapy accessible to those who need it but may not have taken that step for themselves otherwise.
“Deepening my meditation practice, especially in qigong and energy psychology, has taught me about the capacity for self-healing.”