“Medication is one tool we can use, but I'm a big proponent of also adding the right nonpharmacologic interventions to your wellness tool belt—verbal therapy, movement and body work, dietary modifications, and mindfulness-based practices.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I've had an interest in medicine, illness, and wellness since a young age, but it was a traumatic injury of my own that landed me in the emergency room and led me to nursing. The nurse who cared for me was an artist—not only did she attend to my practical, physical needs, but also to my emotional trauma. She shepherded me through a terrifying experience and helped me feel safe. I realized that was the work I wanted to do—I went straight into nursing school and quickly discovered that psychiatric nursing was my calling. I wanted to help people move through the pain of mental health challenges and on to recovery. I never left!
What should someone know about working with you?
It’s very important to me to meet my clients where they are. I’m not interested in being the expert in the room, but rather in collaborating with you to gather information and figure out what we need to do to improve your mental health. My therapeutic approach is eclectic and draws on principles of CBT and DBT. Medication is one tool we can use, but I'm a big proponent of also adding the right nonpharmacologic interventions to your wellness tool belt—verbal therapy, movement and body work, dietary modifications, and mindfulness-based practices. My ultimate goal is to ensure that what we do pharmacologically or otherwise is something you’re up for. I prioritize transparency and strive to ensure that our shared expectations for treatment are clear.
How does collaboration with other providers inform your work?
I am very happy to collaborate with other providers! As a nurse, I like to cover all of my bases. I always value getting input from nutritionists, internists, social workers, psychologists, and spiritual practitioners while developing a client’s care plan.
What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant to try therapy?
I’ve recently had quite a few new clients who’ve admitted to me that their ideas of therapy more or less involved having to lie down on a couch and recite their dreams so a bearded man could tell them what was wrong with them. I am thrilled to debunk that trope! In my view, the best therapy is a collaborative effort in a safe space where you can bring any issues and we can work on them together. Seeking therapy is a sign of strength—give yourself credit for considering it, and then give yourself the gift of making an effort to try it. It can be challenging at first, but for some, therapy is ultimately more important than medication—it helps your brain grow!
What advice would you give someone who is hesitant to try medication?
I have worked with many individuals who are apprehensive about the use of medication—I understand that completely. Misunderstandings about psychiatric medication abound! In my view, the most helpful way to think about psychiatric medication is as a tool. It is not a cure-all, and it is not something that changes who you are. Using it is not an indicator of weakness. If you couldn’t pound a nail into a wall with your bare hand, would you call yourself weak? Some people need medication for a little while to help them deal with an issue, and others need medication for their whole lives. My goal is to work with you to find the right chemical tool for the tasks at hand.
“Seeking therapy is a sign of strength—give yourself credit for considering it, and then give yourself the gift of making an effort to try it.”