“I am also expanding my practice to encourage participation in counseling as an essential wellness and self-care preventative measure rather than a reactive measure once symptoms have progressed to "clinical" significance.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I have always worked in a service or helping capacity and officially launched my career as a therapist in 2006. My own life experiences and my own healing drove me to become a therapist. Early in my career, I was exposed to trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, and trauma-informed movement has been the basis of my advocacy efforts on behalf of the populations I have worked with. Most of my clinical experience centers around treating trauma. I have worked extensively in therapeutic foster care, in school systems, with families, and I am currently enjoying my work at a local jail supporting incarcerated individuals. I'm working to integrate equine-assisted psychotherapy into the healing process in my face-to-face sessions where appropriate. I am also expanding my practice to encourage participation in counseling as an essential wellness and self-care preventative measure rather than a reactive measure once symptoms have progressed to "clinical" significance.
What should someone know about working with you?
Therapy starts with a gentle getting-to-know you process and is grounded in respect for your boundaries. The pace of treatment depends upon your comfort level, and you always have the option to say, "I don't want to talk about that." My approach is experiential in nature and throughout the process, I may invite you to feel the emotions we are talking about so that you can learn to cope with them with support. I enjoy working with clients who are looking to increase their sense of self-worth, deepen their relationships, and feel a sense of control over their lives. I explain interventions and suggest homework assignments in-depth and ground my techniques in research and clinical experience. I strongly believe in authenticity and the power of a truly connected therapeutic relationship. Progress in therapy is made of tiny moments of awareness and small steps toward healing.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
I'm currently enrolled in a trauma-focused equine-assisted psychotherapy course to increase my competence in equine therapy. I am also engaged in continuing education to specifically support transgender individuals through transition. I enjoy engaging with other professionals on the topics of racial injustice, spirituality, and therapeutic approaches focused on personal growth and self-healing.
How do your own core values shape your approach to therapy?
I have felt a deep compassion for and connection with others since I was very young; this has shaped my clinical approach by enabling me to create authentic professional relationships and approach clients without judgement. My personal experiences of living through childhood and relational trauma and the experience of becoming a parent have further shaped my compassionate approach to the complex emotional and situational realities of being human. I value and appreciate many forms of expression, and I am affirming of all gender and sexual orientations.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I am excited about the increased awareness of the role of social determinants on health and the availability of mental health treatment in relationship to overall health outcomes. The physical, mental, and spiritual parts of self have been treated separately. Research and outcomes repeatedly show that they are not separate but they impact each other. I enjoy learning how I can bring more physical and spiritual elements into mental health treatment in an evidence-based way, especially as this relates to trauma.
“I enjoy working with clients who are looking to increase their sense of self-worth, deepen their relationships, and feel a sense of control over their lives.”