“I recognize that kindness, respect, and a nonjudgmental approach are the most important elements in a helping relationship.”
What was your path to becoming a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker?
My path to social work started at a young age when I completed volunteer work at local food pantries. In these experiences, I discovered how powerful it could be to help people with a smile and treat them with respect and kindness. After this, I began to deal with my own challenges and needed support. These experiences taught me the courage it takes to seek help and the level of vulnerability that one feels when receiving it. I recognize that kindness, respect, and a nonjudgmental approach are the most important elements in a helping relationship. I wanted to pursue a career that would enable me to help others. I obtained my master's degree in social work in 2007 and I have had incredibly fulfilling experiences as a psychotherapist since then. I feel grateful to have a career that I love and the opportunity to work with truly inspiring people.
What should someone know about working with you?
The process of requesting therapy can be intimidating. My first priority in treatment is to create a safe space where people feel heard and respected. I look for resilience and encourage clients to notice their strengths. I believe that people generally do the best they can to manage their challenges with the tools they have. Some people come to therapy wanting to acquire some new tools, some come to learn how to live with the challenges, and others come to peel back the layers of the challenges and target them at the roots. I start exactly where clients are and I support them in creating and moving toward meaningful goals. The mind, body, and spirit are interconnected; I have found that attending to all three of these can enhance the effects of treatment. If a client expresses interest, I may provide educational materials on the role of diet and physical activity in mental health, encourage the client to engage in gentle stretches, and engage the client's spiritual framework in support of therapeutic goals.
What are your thoughts on the rise of telehealth?
In 2020, I will admit that I was skeptical about telehealth; I was concerned that people would not achieve the same therapeutic connection over video as they did in person. Now, I am amazed by how quickly and successfully therapists and clients have adapted to the telehealth model; people are resilient and incredibly innovative when they are trying to meet a need. I am excited by many of the creative therapy activities and interventions that can be delivered through telehealth. I also appreciate that telehealth has made therapy more accessible for people who may not have been as likely to seek treatment in a traditional office setting.
“The mind, body, and spirit are interconnected; I have found that attending to all three of these can enhance the effects of treatment.”