“I was gifted the unique abilities to remain calm in crisis, to maintain patience and composure despite distress, to offer compassion to those lashing out in pain, and to see my surroundings as opportunities for growth.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
My path to becoming a therapist was extremely organic and a given from an early age. I was always drawn to psychology, seeking to better understand others and myself, feel my emotions, be as authentic as possible, and support those around me in the best way I knew how while offering them a place to be vulnerable without judgment. Growing up, my family faced so many traumas that living without chaos became unsettling. From these traumas, I was gifted the unique abilities to remain calm in crisis, to maintain patience and composure despite distress, to offer compassion to those lashing out in pain, and to see my surroundings as opportunities for growth. I wish to share these gifts with others and to be a support in times when they may feel alone.
What should someone know about working with you?
My approach is light and celebratory. I approach each client with the firm belief that they're the expert and I'm a supporting player. My hope is to instill a sense of control and empowerment in each client so that they will feel confident in whichever direction they choose to move. I take an integrative (or person-centered) approach, as I believe that therapy is not and cannot be a one-size-fits-all experience. However, I do incorporate many narrative techniques. Having goals and direction are important, but it's also important to understand that goals, wants, and desires can change and that's okay. Depending on the needs brought to the session, I may utilize homework assignments to bridge time between sessions. I bring my authentic self into the therapy space in hopes that clients feel they can as well without fear of judgment.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
There are a lot of uncertainties in life, but one thing I've continuously been certain of is that I can always learn, improve, and grow. I approach every situation with the knowledge that I can learn something. Education comes in many forms (and not just degrees and certificates) and I love to learn. I make sure to maintain discussions with providers around the country, and I ask questions when I need help. I'm always looking for trainings, conferences, and networking opportunities I can attend to help shape and sharpen my tools and to learn what tools need to be thrown out, as not everything we learn is eternal.
How do your own core values shape your approach to therapy?
I grew up with an unconventional childhood; my family was involved in a car accident when I was very young that shaped my entire life. While myself and our mother left the wreck relatively okay, my older brother suffered a spinal cord break and a traumatic brain injury that left him paralyzed from the neck down and ventilator-dependent for life. My childhood and early adulthood were spent advocating for someone who couldn't advocate for themselves, ensuring that his dreams came true, and making certain he was always treated with dignity and respect. My brother taught me compassion, bravery, and humility. I take those lessons with me everywhere and strongly believe that everyone is deserving of compassion, dignity, and respect. I also know what it can feel like to care for someone completely dependent on you or to feel like you're often overlooked, and I recognize the tolls that living in constant crisis can have on our physical and mental wellbeing.
What would you say to someone hesitant to engage in therapy?
I get it; I've been in that seat, too. Everyone is deserving of their own space to rant, rave, curse, sing, and celebrate free from fear. The therapy space can be that place for you! There isn't a minimum qualification or check box you need to tick in order to be deserving of your space and time. I recognize that being willfully vulnerable with a stranger is hard and scary! I hope I can help make it a less scary experience. Finding a provider you click with can be difficult, but man oh man, when you do, magic happens!
“I bring my authentic self into the therapy space in hopes that clients feel they can as well without fear of judgment.”