“I am a very active therapist who provides praise and positive feedback often, but I also hold clients accountable in an effort to assist them in reaching their goals.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I found myself gravitating toward helping roles from an early age. Prior to beginning my career in counseling, I provided early intervention and applied behavior analysis services to children with developmental disabilities and children on the autism spectrum. I received my degree in marriage and family therapy, which led me to work with the incarcerated population as well as with community and crisis management cases during my training. Following the completion of my degree, I gravitated toward working with individuals and families struggling with eating disorders in all levels of care as well as toward clients struggling with anxiety, mood disorders, and self-injurious behaviors. I am grateful to realize that I found my true passion and calling as a therapist; it’s a career I truly enjoy each and every day.
What should someone know about working with you?
I often hear from clients that they appreciate how radically nonjudgmental I am in our work. I believe that everyone does the best that they are able to with what they know. I am a very active therapist who provides praise and positive feedback often, but I also hold clients accountable in an effort to assist them in reaching their goals. Clients report that they feel as if they make progress in each session due to our focus on creating and attaining small and realistic goals. I take an individualized approach to each case and attempt to tailor each client's treatment to meet their needs most successfully. My goal is for every client to leave each session feeling heard, understood, and as if they have a plan and know what they are working toward.
How do your own core values shape your approach to therapy?
Working with eating disorders helped me to see the necessity in working as a team with other health professionals. I work actively with psychiatrists, dietitians, and primary care physicians as needed. Regardless of an individual's diagnosis, having a therapist who is willing to consistently stay connected with all members of your treatment team is critical for holistic and well-rounded care. In a more specific sense, I feel my approach is very nonjudgmental, non-blaming, and empowering for clients and family members. I often hear how clients or family members are hesitant to enter therapy due to fear of blame or shame. It is of primary importance that every client feels respected and valued in each session regardless of presenting problem, diagnosis, or background.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
Acceptance! Instead of waiting for a crisis or being ashamed or afraid to seek help, there is an increasing sense of acceptance in seeking treatment for mental health. I feel mental health is equivalent to physical health in terms of validity and the need for ongoing support for most individuals. I believe therapy can be an invaluable resource for individuals who have an acute issue they are currently experiencing as well as for individuals who simply want to better understand themselves or gain insight into their current situation.
“Clients report that they feel as if they make progress in each session due to our focus on creating and attaining small and realistic goals.”