“Progress happens when you are more content with your quality of life and are experiencing fewer symptoms of anxiety, depression, or other mental health concerns.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
Since I was in high school, I have always wanted to be a therapist and work closely with individuals while learning about and understanding their personal journeys. After graduating from college with my BA in psychology, I found myself at a crossroads in how to continue my education. I remember researching various schools of thought and talking to a dear friend who had similar values to me. I decided to pursue my master's degree in social work. I have worked with many different populations and in many settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, schools, nonprofits, and small agencies. I have worked with adults, people with AIDS, the elderly, school-aged children, and adults with autism. These past experiences have shaped the therapist I am today as I continue as an integrative therapist working with clients with various needs and backgrounds. I have specialty training in trauma-focused therapy. Since becoming a therapist, I have never looked back; I am doing exactly what I love to do!
What should someone know about working with you?
My intake process includes asking you to fill out two forms, a consent from and a history form. Together, we deepen the assessment process by discussing, defining, and prioritizing what you are looking for from therapy. Part of the intake process includes a discussion of how therapy works and what I can offer to you. Progress happens when you are more content with your quality of life and are experiencing fewer symptoms of anxiety, depression, or other mental health concerns. You will begin to feel more confident in yourself and take away enhanced coping and improved self-esteem. I do assign homework for those individuals who would like to continue the work of self-improvement in between sessions. These assignments have a varied focus, including self-compassion and communication, but the specifics depend on your individual needs. I love working with all clients and have significant experience working with elderly, adult, anxious, depressed, and LGBTQ+ clients.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
I participate in at least 36 CEU credits every three years as I renew my license. What drives me to take these courses is a commitment toward my continuous growth. I have recently participated in a number of courses, including those focused on trauma, suicidality, chronic pain, and even superhero therapy. I also teach CEU courses on topics that have included communication strategies and documentation compliance. I am excited by new learning along with expanding what I currently know. I also supplement my learning with books, workbooks, and online materials related to various topics so that I can improve my skills and share resources with clients. Additionally, I find it invaluable to work in collaboration with other providers and learn from their expertise. I learn from my clients too; by putting our heads together (whether client and therapist or therapist and colleague), we can reap the best benefits for all.
How do your own core values shape your approach to therapy?
My life experiences have brought me into the field of social work and beyond. I have had personal experience over the years with autism, anxiety, depression, ADHD, schizophrenia, religion, divorce, sexual orientation, dementia, learning disabilities, fibromyalgia, self-harm, and loss. I come from a loving and supportive home where commitment and compassion were deeply valued. I have worked closely with clients from various backgrounds, including Asian Americans, African Americans, older Americans, Russian Americans, and LGBTQ+ Americans. I have also worked directly with clients from other countries who are in the United States on visas. The most important ideas that I have learned are that we all suffer in some way and we all need support and compassion at some point in our lives. Taking into account someone's cultural background aids us in the ability to better understand what may have shaped them along the way. It is important to listen.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I am so excited about the development of teletherapy in our mental health landscape. I have been providing teletherapy since March 2020 and I have found that it benefits greatly those clients who are not able to drive, unable to wait in a waiting room, or who have caregiving constraints. Sometimes, a client needs a therapist with a certain expertise but resides in an area where no such therapist exists. Online therapy can solve that problem! Teletherapy provides the same quality treatment and support as in-person therapy. It takes the stress out of travel and waiting, allowing clients to reach out more comfortably. Clients who wouldn't be able to reach out for support now have means for getting the help they need. I am also excited about research. Across different modalities, including meditation and trauma-focused therapy, the science behind treatment strategies has been emerging. This is most exciting in the therapy field because there is brain-based evidence that therapy works.
“I love working with all clients and have significant experience working with elderly, adult, anxious, depressed, and LGBTQ+ clients.”