“As a Gestalt therapist, I am interested in helping you improve your experiential awareness.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
My path to becoming a therapist started in my own therapist's office. I struggled with feelings of anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem as a young adult, and this prevented me from experiencing the joy and satisfaction of living life to my fullest potential. In my relationship with my therapist, I found acknowledgement and acceptance of my whole self. I gradually discovered the resources within myself and learned to take greater risks towards change. During this process, a desire emerged within me to have that same kind of impact on others. I went back to school to get my masters in social work and, most recently, completed four years of post-graduate training in Gestalt psychotherapy.
What should someone know about working with you?
My work with my clients is grounded in compassion and curiosity; I am down-to-earth, welcoming, and engaged. As a Gestalt therapist, I am interested in helping you improve your experiential awareness. This means that we’ll pay close attention to the content of what you are bringing into therapy each week as well as the thoughts, feelings, and sensations that emerge during each session and in the course of our relationship. This increased awareness of what lies beneath the surface of your challenges creates the foundation from which you can then make more conscious and informed choices. In turn, you’ll feel a greater sense of freedom and ownership over your life.
How does collaboration with other providers inform your work?
I am currently in supervision with a clinical social worker and faculty member from my post-graduate program. I find that all therapists benefit from seeking consultation with other experienced therapists in their field as a means of ensuring that we are providing the best possible care for our clients. Therapists are human and are not without blind spots. Another professional perspective only enhances the work we are doing with our clients. I encourage clients to collaborate as well as seek out various means of support, depending on their particular needs. I am happy to offer referrals to other providers, such as psychiatrists or nutritionists. I have experience working on an interdisciplinary team and recognize the importance of communication and coordination of care.
What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant to try therapy?
Seeking out therapy for the first time can be anxiety-provoking. My advice is to pay attention to the thoughts and feelings that come up for you as you consider reaching out for support. By making space for your reservations without judgment, you can also make space for the possibility of what could be if you take that next step. If you do make an appointment, share with your potential therapist any reservations that you have. Then notice how they respond and how you feel in their presence. It's important to find the right fit, and it's okay to take the time to ask the questions you need in order to feel comfortable.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I find that I am most excited about the increased attention and focus now placed on the particular mental health needs of marginalized communities within our country. The Affordable Care Act and mental health parity laws of the last decade increased access to mental health treatment in these communities, which was an important step. However, even more important is the work that has illuminated the correlation between systemic social inequities and mental health issues. By centering the perspectives of advocates, activists, and mental health professionals within these communities, we are moving closer to positioning our profession to better meet the true needs of the individuals we are trying to serve.
“Increased awareness of what lies beneath the surface of your challenges creates the foundation from which you can then make more conscious and informed choices.”