“My therapeutic style is collaborative, open, nurturing, and focused on providing you with a safe space to work through the discomfort, pain, or ambivalence that led you to decide to seek help in the first place (which is an achievement in itself!).”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
When I was younger, I traveled the world and learned that many people lived in oppressive environments, which made me feel sad. I knew from there that I wanted to make the world a better place and became a social worker. To date, I have worked in various settings, including outpatient behavioral health clinics, outpatient substance use centers, and care management agencies. I give anyone I work with the space to express their emotions while receiving patience and empathy. I believe that experiencing and acknowledging a range of feelings are the keys to developing emotional intelligence. I obtained my certified anger management specialist certification (CAMS-II) because I wanted to remove the stigmas attached to people who are angry. I believe that anger needs to be validated in order to use it for constructive purposes rather than self-destruction. Anyone who feels angry deserves to be seen and to have an improved quality of life while self-preserving and establishing healthy boundaries.
What should someone know about working with you?
I convey a pragmatic yet down-to-earth and genuine approach to therapy. My therapeutic style is collaborative, open, nurturing, and focused on providing you with a safe space to work through the discomfort, pain, or ambivalence that led you to decide to seek help in the first place (which is an achievement in itself!). Therapy isn't cookie-cutter, meaning that everyone's needs are unique; I pull from an eclectic toolkit of wellness strategies and modalities to meet your unique needs with respect to who you are as a person and what your expectations may be. I illustrate accurate empathy and unconditional positive regard in a safe environment to build trust and safety. My hope is to establish a space for you to be comfortable with who you are, helping you find ways to better understand, manage, or move forward from the challenges that brought you here. My hope is to build upon your strengths to empower you to shine from within!
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
Lifelong learning is a practice that I preach! As I encourage my clients to practice self and professional development to unlock their greatest potential, I take the time to apply this to my practice as well. I regularly attend training and seminars in my specialty areas of anger management, intimate partner violence, addictions, and behavioral health.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I am most excited that the gaps of accessing therapy are getting closer to being closed. Therapy is becoming more affordable thanks to insurance companies and organizations like Alma that make it easier for clients and therapists to connect. Teletherapy also makes it more possible for all people to access treatment, including underserved populations. Finally, I am elated that society is normalizing that it is okay not to be okay; this creates acceptance and normalizes seeking help.
What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant to try therapy?
Acknowledge the ambivalence you have about seeking therapy. It is certainly understandable since seeking mental health treatment was historically attached to many negative stigmas and barriers. Another piece of advice would be to trust your gut feeling; if a provider is not a right fit for you, acknowledge this and keep on searching for a therapist who is a better fit! If you decide to try therapy and have any concerns, discuss them with your therapist. From a therapist's perspective, we will welcome the conversation about your hesitation to seek therapy and will not only acknowledge your concerns but tell you that you are very brave and heading in the right direction. Being able to identify how you are feeling whether it’s good or bad is a step toward self-awareness, which helps you flourish. The therapeutic space enables you to confront and discuss some difficult content but will be met with strategies to empower yourself and rise above. Therapy will allow you to recognize that moving one foot over another is still moving forward and something to acknowledge. Therapy will give you the space to celebrate victories no matter how small or large they are. You deserve to recognize and rejoice in the growth you have made! Another vital piece of advice is to remember that growth is not linear and your therapist will be with you to remind you that even recognizing this is significant growth. Therapy gives you the coping strategies and the mindset that you deserve to thrive rather than just survive.
“My hope is to build upon your strengths to empower you to shine from within!”