“Although I do not believe in too much self-disclosure (as it can take away from the therapeutic process of others), I have personally struggled through some of the same women’s issues in which I specialize.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
In 2004, I was pregnant with a four-year-old and had a husband in the fire academy. Both of us were working full-time, and I decided to pursue my dream of going into behavioral health and obtaining my master’s degree to practice. Like many others in this field, I was on a personal journey of self-discovery, trying to make sense of why I am the way I am. For 15 years, I dedicated myself to working with teenagers, families involved in child welfare, clients involved in criminal justice, those with addictions, women and veterans with PTSD, first responders, and crisis response teams. I worked in withdrawal management and designed programs to meet community needs. In 2021, I decided to take my future into my own hands and open IRIS Wellness Consultants to meet the needs of women in the community (like myself) who need a professional with the expertise to help them through life’s tough challenges.
What should someone know about working with you?
I offer a free consultation: We’ll chat, you’ll answer some questions, and we can decide if we are a good match for each other. Our time together will be just for you. During this beginning phase, we will discuss and create a personalized plan. We’ll start off discussing whatever brought you in for therapy, build our therapeutic relationship, and set goals for this process. Therapy can be time-limited or an ongoing process where deeper, more personal work can take place. A typical session is 45-50 minutes but longer sessions are available. Our goals and plan for therapy will determine my recommendation for session length and frequency.
How do your core values shape your approach to therapy?
Although I do not believe in too much self-disclosure (as it can take away from the therapeutic process of others), I have personally struggled through some of the same women’s issues in which I specialize. I have always said, “You can’t be a good tour guide unless you’ve been there yourself!”
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
Online therapy services offer individuals more accessibility to their therapist, allow for more flexible scheduling, and allow you to do it all in the comfort of your own home or wherever you choose! Teletherapy is especially great for those who live in areas without very many local resources. Now, you don’t need to drop everything to make it to your in-person appointment. Imagine receiving therapy in your comfortable clothes rather than dressing up and driving to the therapist’s office. There are no more excuses to avoid seeking the help you need. You set the time and place.
Have you done any research-based work that you found particularly exciting? How does it inform your practice today?
I have always been interested in resiliency and why some people have a natural ability to be resilient while others must work harder at it. Let’s be honest: We are often in little control of the setbacks we deal with in life. Yes, sometimes it is the bad choices we make but oftentimes, we are just given a certain deck of cards and we don’t know the outcome of the cards we play day-to-day until something bad happens. That’s when most people start feeling like failures. My belief is that this is what sets resilient people apart. Resilient people don’t immediately come to the conclusion that they are failures or that they are flawed. Instead, they look to learn from opportunities and improve. Resilient people view failure as just another step toward success. Resilient people realize they need to focus on their goals for the future and they do not wallow in the past. It isn’t enough to just accept failure; you must learn and change from those failures.
“I have always said, “You can’t be a good tour guide unless you’ve been there yourself!””