“I was empowered to work with people and always had a helping nature.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
Therapy really became my passion after the social work field chose me. I was battling my own internal struggles and trying to figure out my way through the world at a young age, straight out of high school. I was empowered to work with people and always had a helping nature—but when I met my mentor, who was a therapist, I knew I wanted to do something similar. Once I completed my social work degree, I went on to obtain my MSW and focus on behavioral health. This area blew my mind. I focused on a clinical perspective and was particularly interested in CBT and solution-focused therapy. I took extra training sessions in these areas to continue to grow and learn.
What should someone know about working with you?
Initially, we will conduct a consultation in order to see if we are a good therapy fit for each other. We will discuss what you are looking for in a therapist and my clinical approaches. In the initial session, we will complete a biopsychosocial assessment to gain some background information about your past and present. We will also explore your current presenting issues. I will ask follow-up questions and we’ll discuss the course of our therapy sessions. General sessions will have a CBT approach. They will typically end with an assignment or tools to utilize throughout the week and we will follow up on the assignment in the next session. Goal setting and action planning are also within my forte.
What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant to try therapy?
I would tell this individual to imagine a space that is all yours. You have free range to say what you want and explore what you want without judgment—and you can practice vulnerability and build trust with a complete stranger. You’re in a space where you have someone who will help guide you through your thoughts and help you figure out your internal struggles. That’s what therapy is—and I strongly suggest everyone try it at least once.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I am really excited about the shift in mental health and stigma demystifying. I make it my duty to talk about therapy as much as I can to as many people as I can because it’s something I truly believe everyone should engage in. We need to place more emphasis on mental health, just like we do with physical health.
Have you done any research-based work that you found particularly exciting? How does it inform your practice today?
I’ve done a lot of research on trauma and addiction. I engaged in a study-abroad program in graduate school to explore how children of parents with substance use disorders and alcohol addictions are affected by their parents’ substance use. Additionally, I have utilized a lot of my research to inform my practice by having the knowledge to implement psychoeducation as well as interventions to work with clients who have trauma history. Addictions and trauma are two areas of the field that I find most interesting and am most passionate about.
“You’re in a space where you have someone who will help guide you through your thoughts and help you figure out your internal struggles. That’s what therapy is—and I strongly suggest everyone try it at least once.”