“Helping people who find parts of themselves shameful become more comfortable in their own skin is incredibly rewarding.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I took the long way to becoming a psychologist, but I have found my home in this field.
I have always been the proverbial “good listener” with friends and family, which is part of how I came to my first career as a school counselor. Leaving that job and returning to school was a risk, but one that came with the rewards of more in-depth knowledge and experience. Through my training, I uncovered a passion for working with clients struggling with anxiety and self-acceptance. Helping people who find parts of themselves shameful become more comfortable in their own skin is incredibly rewarding.
What should someone know about working with you?
During the first few sessions, we will talk about your reasons for seeking therapy, the issues you would like to focus on, and how our work together can be helpful. I will also get a sense of who you are by asking about your friends, family, work, and interests. We’ll work to connect the dots between the past and the present, as that’s a significant way that therapy can help you get unstuck. Whether you feel overwhelmed by anxiety, sadness, anger, fear, or are concerned about feeling numb, I provide a safe space to bring those feelings out into the open. I’ll work with you to process the meanings behind them—because there’s a lot of wisdom in your emotions.
How does collaboration with other providers inform your work?
Collaborating with other providers has always been an important part of how I support my clients. Cultivating relationships with psychiatrists, for example, is key for clients who make the choice to take medication. I am also a strong believer in the mind-body connection—there is significant overlap between mental health disorders and other health concerns (thyroid issues, chronic pain, vitamin deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, etc.), so it’s important to me to take a holistic, team approach to treatment.
What do you think is the biggest barrier today for people seeking care?
For many people, there can be stigma around seeking help. I have seen many clients who waited years before entering treatment—most who were from families where there was pressure to be self-sufficient and keep problems hidden. As long as they looked “okay” on the outside, that meant everything was “okay” on the inside—even if it wasn’t. Being vulnerable and talking about painful experiences and emotions is hard. Every therapist will tell you this, and I am no exception: Coming to therapy is an act of bravery.
In addition to working with adults, what other age groups do you have experience with?
I have extensive experience working with teens (high school) and early adults (college). I treat anxiety, depression, and academic stress—and I specialize in helping clients who have identity issues. These problems can include body-image concerns, difficulties navigating relationships with peers and family, acculturation stress, and sexual identity issues.
“Whether you feel overwhelmed by anxiety, sadness, anger, fear, or are concerned about feeling numb, I provide a safe space to bring those feelings out into the open.”