“I believe that we all want to be seen and accepted for who we are—and therapy can be a powerful source of that experience.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist? What inspired you to choose this profession?
What drew me to psychology, and what keeps me here, is the way in which it is an equally personal and professional endeavor. What started as a desire to help others has turned into a deeper appreciation for the commonalities between us all. Throughout my career trajectory, I have worked with individuals with a wide range of concerns, ranging from day-to-day stress to severe mood and psychotic experiences. What has struck me the most is that, regardless of diagnosis or what brings people to therapy, they all strive to be connected, valued, and purposeful in their lives. I consider it a responsibility and a privilege to be in a position to support people in this process—and it is what continues to drive me.
What would you want someone to know about working with you?
My clients frequently describe having feelings of self-doubt, inadequacy, or resentment that negatively impact their relationships and peace of mind. They come to therapy because they feel “stuck” and unable to make meaningful change. My approach is deeply rooted in the belief that the patterns that keep us stuck have almost always been helpful or protective in another way. These are often blind spots—and we all have them. As your therapist, I will never push or force you to make change because I understand that these patterns are in place for a reason. However, I will not lose sight of what’s possible for you. I will work with you to identify how these patterns play out and to create new options for responding.
If there was one thing you wish people knew about the therapy experience who might be hesitant to try it, what would that be?
We understand! As someone who has been in therapy myself, I acknowledge how vulnerable and scary it can feel to share the thoughts and feelings that we prefer to keep hidden. I also understand how liberating it can be. Although people are inherently complex and therapeutic change takes time, there can be immediate relief from sharing what was seemingly taboo and seeing that it’s okay. In the end, I believe that we all want to be seen and accepted for who we are—and therapy can be a powerful source of that experience. It is from this place that lasting change occurs.
What excites you most about the evolving mental health landscape?
The increased awareness and acceptance of mental health treatment has been encouraging to me. But we still have a long way to go—particularly in the way in which we talk about mental illness as separate from mental health, rather than on the same continuum. Even so, I have seen important shifts in this area. Some of my younger clients tell their friends that therapy is “cool,” and that inspires me.
If you could pick one or two books that influenced your approach to therapy, what would they be and why?
There are too many to list, so I picked three: “The Heart & Soul of Change,” “The Gift of Therapy,” and “Daring Greatly.” As the first title suggests quite literally, I found that these books capture the “heart and soul” of therapy and change. Though there are different skills and techniques that I may use, I find that what really matters is the trusting relationship between the client and the therapist, the freedom to explore without judgment, and the willingness to struggle and strive together.
“Though there are different skills and techniques that I may use, I find that what really matters is the trusting relationship between the client and the therapist, the freedom to explore without judgment, and the willingness to struggle and strive together.”