“I continually seek out the best therapy practices to assist clients in leading happier lives.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
When I was 12 years old, I decided to work in the field of psychology because I was fascinated by a psychologist on TV. I still feel that same enthusiasm and I continually seek out the best therapy practices to assist clients in leading happier lives. When I started to work as a therapist, I noticed that the effects of abuse were overlooked in my field, even though they were a significant source of my clients' symptoms. That led me to seek out additional training in eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), which research has shown to be highly effective in addressing trauma. I also completed training in mindfulness and resource development and installation, two modalities that help me prep clients to face their traumas.
What should someone know about working with you?
I use a comprehensive intake that allows me to understand various aspects of my clients’ history. I take special care to reduce the chance of triggering overwhelmingly negative emotions by asking them to refrain from providing extensive details at the beginning of treatment. From this intake, I formulate a direction to guide the therapeutic process, then work with the client to create a treatment plan that suits their personal goals. I meet clients where they are and start by stocking up their therapeutic toolbox with coping skills and inner resources. These prepare them for the therapeutic process of gaining self-awareness of their negative thinking patterns and allow them to replace these negative patterns with more balanced and positive ones.
How does collaboration with other providers inform your work?
Collaboration with other professionals, such as medical providers and psychiatrists, is very helpful. My clients don't always see psychiatrists but if they do, it’s helpful for me to collaborate with their clinician from time to time to maintain the best care practices. There is always the possibility that a person's mood, feelings of depression, and anxiety could be due to underlying physical health problems. This makes working with an integrated team of professionals vital to helping the client reach their personal goals. I also enjoy participating in group supervision where I can learn how to manage different cases and adopt different techniques.
What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant to try therapy?
Starting the therapy process can be daunting, but rest assured that I put the client in the driver's seat. They choose their own goals, the pace of therapy, and the duration of treatment. I join alongside them to provide insight and guidance with tools and techniques. Therapy work can be a catalyst to reaching personal goals. Think about the years of frustration and heartache that you’ll save by putting yourself on the right track! I assist clients in having a better understanding of the root causes of their problems and show them how to address these root problems instead of having to readdress the surface of their challenges over and over again. As a therapist, I provide a non-judgmental and safe place for the client to gain insight into possible solutions.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I am most excited about the effectiveness of EMDR treatment. The Department of Veterans Affairs strongly recommends EMDR for PTSD, and even beyond that. Now, it’s being used to address depression, anxiety, and panic disorder. This treatment has helped clients who, intellectually, know the right way to think but feel stuck in their negative or anxious thoughts and emotions. EMDR assists the client in processing past events to create a new association that helps them function from a healthier mindset. Another change that is exciting to see is an increase in the social consciousness toward systemic racism. As a result of this awareness, therapists can access more training and support from supervisors, which helps us hone our knowledge and better serve minority populations.
“I meet clients where they are and start by stocking up their therapeutic toolbox with coping skills and inner resources.”