“I prefer working with people who are curious about their lives and ready to dig in and do the work no matter what their issues may be.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I was in therapy myself and recognize its value. I was inspired to switch from my previous career as an early childhood teacher and become a psychologist. I thought I could use my empathy and insight to recognize connections between conditions in the outside world and our inner lives. Bringing my experience with early childhood development, I returned to school and saw the impact of early events on adult lives. I learned to recognize how early experience might create obstacles to someone's desired goals. This enables me to help others make connections, provide insight for change, and move forward.
What should someone know about working with you?
The process starts with a consultation and conversation focusing on what the client is looking to accomplish and the specific goals they want to work on. Throughout the work, progress happens when the client moves closer to their stated goals and explores other issues that may come up as we proceed. Sometimes, homework is suggested but not assigned. I prefer working with people who are curious about their lives and ready to dig in and do the work no matter what their issues may be.
How do your own core values shape your approach to therapy?
I believe that we live in a system that places stressors on us all, both as individuals and identified groups (such as race, gender, age, cultural background, marital status, economic status, etc.). Part of my work as a therapist is to help people understand the impact of societally assigned expectations that are influenced by each identified group's upbringing and/or current status. This process is essential to helping clients cope with and even overcome their obstacles.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
There is a lot of current work that explores the mind and body as a whole rather than relying on individual paths to treatment. I have done a lot of work with somatizing clients (those who express emotional concerns through physical symptoms). Learning to translate physical symptoms into emotional words and make the issues available for effective treatment is a challenge for psychologists but essential to helping clients. I'm excited by the prospect of advances in this work.
“Part of my work as a therapist is to help people understand the impact of societally assigned expectations that are influenced by each identified group's upbringing and/or current status.”