“Above all, people need to hear that their feelings about these areas are real.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
After 10 years in social work, I transitioned to providing individual therapy. This shift was all about empathy, authenticity, and empowerment. Outside of large institutions, I'm able to provide trans and queer-competent mental healthcare in a way that's much more beneficial for my clients. My experience in social work intimately acquainted me with how people relate to the world and how tenuous this relationship can be. It's been very important to me in my career to always recognize my clients as individuals with their own unique experiences, regardless of the role they find themselves in.
What should someone know about working with you?
My sessions are conversational and consist of me collaborating with my clients to better understand their experience and translate this into insights about the purpose, function, and impact their feelings and behaviors have on their lives and their relationships. Another important part of my practice is a focus on early childhood experiences and how these influence bonds in adult relationships. I tend to combine aspects of dialectical behavior therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and insight-oriented therapy. Depending on the context, I may occasionally provide simple tasks to complete outside of the session. This could be as simple as a breathing exercise and a worksheet.
How would you describe your approach to therapy?
I believe that the client is the expert on their own life and it's my job to find them the right tools. In my practice, the most important task I undertake is to empower my clients. Work, relationships, mental health issues, and life, in general, are extremely difficult to cope with. Above all, people need to hear that their feelings about these areas are real. After all, this is what guides people to what's most important in life. In order to do this, I facilitate a trusting, non-judgmental, and empathetic therapeutic relationship.
What’s important for your clients to know about your practice before contacting you?
Being trans, queer, kinky, or having trauma or mental health issues often means being told by society that you're unlovable or inconvenient. In response, I recognize my clients' strengths and humanity. While I cannot radically change my clients' lives, I teach skills to manage symptoms and navigate identity, oppression, and recovery.
What specialized training or population-specific expertise do you have?
I have specialized training and expertise in working with trans, non-binary, genderqueer, gender fluid, and LGBTQ+ youth, adults, and parents. I also work with people who engage in kink or BDSM, poly- and non-monogamy, family and relationship conflicts, trauma, anxiety, depression, substance use issues, problems with sexual functioning, and HIV/AIDS.
“While I cannot radically change my clients' lives, I teach skills to manage symptoms and navigate identity, oppression, and recovery.”