“Sessions are structured and include talk therapy with occasional homework, breathwork, meditation, or expressive modalities, such as writing, drawing, or journaling.”
What was your path to becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor?
My path to becoming a therapist began 30 years ago when I started working with individuals and groups in a variety of settings. A belief in something larger than myself has been a positive constant in my life, as has the practice of listening to people and helping them meet goals and embrace change. After several years of outreach work with vulnerable populations, training to become a therapist was a natural evolution for me. The journey to becoming a counselor has taken me to hospitals, addiction treatment, and psychiatric settings, working with adults and adolescents. I have found, no matter the setting, people are resilient when given the tools and space to grow into lives that express their true selves.
What should someone know about working with you?
I use a whole-person, strengths-based approach, including mind, body, and spirit, to help people learn coping skills, manage stress, and reduce anxiety. I will listen to what you are seeking in therapy, and we will create a treatment plan based on your goals. Sessions are structured and include talk therapy with occasional homework, breathwork, meditation, or expressive modalities, such as writing, drawing, or journaling. Progress in therapy includes an increased ability to manage life challenges and success in setting and meeting goals. I am trained to work with spiritual or religious issues if that is a concern of yours. I work best with motivated clients.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
I engage in ongoing clinical supervision and training in drama, art therapy, and spiritually integrated psychotherapy. This keeps me updated and fresh in my clinical skills. I enjoy being part of professional communities to learn and exchange with peers in my field. The thing I love the most about the field of counseling is that it is always growing and there are always new things to learn.
How do your core values shape your approach to therapy?
My core values guide my work and have also helped me successfully deal with life’s challenges. I work to create space for the client to find meaning, hope, and purpose in their life. My compassion for the human condition underpins my clinical perspective.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I am excited about the inclusion of telehealth for treatment, allowing easier access to counseling when needed. I’m also excited that research shows that meditation can be a tool in therapy for the treatment of anxiety and mood disorders. There are many forms of meditation; each person can choose which works best for them. The awareness in the medical community of the health benefits of meditation has allowed for its wider use and for the proper training in the therapeutic use of this practice.
Have you done any research-based work that you found particularly exciting? How does it inform your practice today?
I participated in a CBT pilot group for people who hear voices at my internship and found the most exciting thing was seeing how allowing for connection and letting people express themselves helped reduce stigma and normalize experiences that might have created a feeling of isolation otherwise. I believe one of the major blocks to adequate mental health treatment is the stigma some people may feel about their symptoms or diagnosis. Research that aids in the acceptance of the common denominator in humanity — vulnerability — is a step forward for the treatment field.
“My compassion for the human condition underpins my clinical perspective.”