“I value building relationships with each of my clients, and in the trust and comfort that comes from that, we do great work together.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist? What inspired you to choose this profession?
My path to this field began somewhat typically: gravitating toward introductory psychology classes in school, curious about understanding humans, our relationships, and why we do the things we do. Through my training, particularly as I began working with people, I learned how much psychologists bring themselves into the therapeutic relationship and how important human connection and understanding is. I have found this work to be incredibly valuable for people of all ages and from all walks of life, freeing them up from confusing and painful patterns and feelings. It’s the value I find in my work that has motivated me to become a psychologist and work with people toward greater wellbeing.
What would you want someone to know about working with you?
My first priority is to make sure the person I’m working with feels comfortable enough to open up to someone who was initially a stranger. I’ve done a lot of my own work, not just in my training but in therapy myself. I believe it's something that all therapists should engage in during their training and beyond. It has helped me to be more clear about my own biases and ideas when working with clients, and has made me a more empathic practitioner and human. I value building relationships with each of my clients, and in the trust and comfort that comes from that, we do great work together. This trust opens up the opportunity for self-exploration and growth, essential pieces of improving mental health and relationships.
What do you think is the biggest barrier today for people seeking care?
The lack of coverage for mental health services by insurance carriers. It becomes frustrating to providers and clients because insurance companies often don’t make the process of seeing clients easy, and when they do, they underpay either the client or the therapist. This ultimately reflects a lack of perceived value in mental health care from insurance companies.
If there was one thing you wish people knew about the therapy experience who might be hesitant to try it, what would that be?
It’s part of the process to be hesitant. It makes sense — opening up our inner thoughts and feelings to a stranger is not something that comes easy. It's not normalized, unlike going to a general practitioner for an annual check-up, which many of us do without questioning. I wish there was a way for people to glimpse the improvement they will have after working in therapy. It’s the improvement in mood and in our relationships that I think keeps us all going through the process.
What excites you most about the evolving mental health landscape?
I like that care for the mind and our emotional wellbeing is becoming less stigmatized, though still not quickly enough. I like the merging of psychology and mental health care with bigger philosophical movements such as mindfulness and Eastern thought. There’s something satisfying about seeing various schools of thought blend together to create a greater understanding of wellbeing, and it makes the future of mental health seem hopeful.
“My general philosophy toward psychotherapy is that it provides you with the ability to experience greater happiness and fulfillment, while also strengthening you for the challenges life brings.”