“The most important aspect of my work with my clients is the therapeutic relationship.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
After graduating college with a degree in psychology and cognitive science, I planned to go to school for neuropsychological research to further explore my passion for neuroscience and conditioning principles. Instead, I took a few years off and got a job working with the elderly and other vulnerable populations. It didn’t take long for me to realize that working directly with people was what I was meant to do. I completed graduate school and then spent three years at the reputable Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. There, I relied on my empathy and my knowledge of neuropsychology, human behavior, and mental illness to help those with addiction and other mental health disorders.
What should someone know about working with you?
The most important aspect of my work with my clients is the therapeutic relationship. I believe strongly that the therapy room needs to feel safe, and that it acts as a microcosm of the outside world. I prioritize trust, empathy, genuineness, and honest communication, and I frequently ask clients for feedback. I'm happy to listen but I'm also an active therapist and I want my clients to feel as though I'm on this journey with them: a partner on their path to wholeness. I'm very integrative in my approach and often combine aspects of talk therapy with practical tools and skills when appropriate. My work with each client is different and depends on each person's goals, needs, and expectations.
How does collaboration with other providers inform your work?
As a therapist, I find it important to include other professionals in treatment as needed. I’ve collaborated with psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, medical professionals, nutritionists, and past providers. If medications are needed, I can make referrals and work with the prescriber, so long as I have my client’s signed consent. I work directly with an experienced psychologist, relying on their supervision and feedback. I believe this to be essential for any therapist at any stage in their career. I will refer my clients to other providers whenever it feels necessary.
What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant to try therapy?
Therapy is an emotional journey of growth and discovery. Once you find the right therapist, there is nothing else like it. Many people have unsuccessful experiences and they give up prematurely. But therapy is about the chemistry and therapeutic connection. One bad experience doesn’t mean the others will be sour, too. It may take more effort than you initially expected to find someone who feels right. It’s worth it, though.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
We have historically stigmatized therapy, which has made it difficult for many people to feel comfortable seeking help. This ostracization has also contributed to the many harmful societal views and misconceptions about mental health. Fortunately, these unhelpful views are changing and therapy is becoming more accepted, respected, and encouraged. Just as a massage, yoga, and other services are beneficial to overall wellness, so too is therapy. We are now recognizing that it’s beneficial for the wider public and not only in times of trauma.
“I prioritize trust, empathy, genuineness, and honest communication, and I frequently ask clients for feedback.”