“My favorite part of being a therapist is challenging those invalidating messages and bringing out the inner strength of my clients so they can begin to heal and thrive.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I knew from an early age that I wanted to be in a helping field but I didn't see myself being a therapist until I took a job at a shelter for homeless and runaway teens. I noticed through building relationships with the residents that what they needed most was the same thing we all need from the time we are born: To know that we matter to someone. I realized that therapy has the power to send that message. So, I decided to become a therapist with a special focus on treating trauma, especially the kind that happens in childhood. I have found that our early experiences and memories stick with us and can sometimes keep us in the rut of being too hard on ourselves. My favorite part of being a therapist is challenging those invalidating messages and bringing out the inner strength of my clients so they can begin to heal and thrive.
What should someone know about working with you?
I know deciding to start therapy is a big step and choosing to be vulnerable with a new therapist for the first time can be nerve-wracking. My goal is to create a welcoming space using a mix of genuine compassion, humor, and listening without judgment. We will work together in this space to understand how therapy can help and if my approach is a good fit for you.
How do your own core values shape your approach to therapy?
I believe that the simple moments and interactions we have with other people are meaningful. When I ask a friend if they want to meet for lunch, I'm not just telling them I want to eat; I'm telling them I want to spend time with them. We are always asking to feel seen and heard by others in these small and simple moments (whether we realize it or not). As a therapist, I try to notice these moments with my clients and use them to understand the bigger picture of what brought them to therapy.
Have you done any research-based work that you found particularly exciting? How does it inform your practice today?
The most challenging and exciting work I have done was at a trauma assessment center. I worked with a whole team of professionals to understand the impact of trauma on children of all ages based on research on their development and early attachment relationships. I learned so much about how our early experiences and attachments with caregivers shape how we see ourselves, other people, and the world.
“My goal is to create a welcoming space using a mix of genuine compassion, humor, and listening without judgment.”