“I highly value client feedback—in executing any type of change in your life, there is definitely some trial and error.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
Throughout my life, I have been surrounded by helpers. With a family full of nurses, social workers, and teachers, the value of serving others was always modeled for me. I decided to pursue a career in social work to gain the clinical skills to alleviate human suffering. Since completing my training and working in different areas of mental health, I have been privileged to have had the opportunity to help others during crisis, heartbreak, and grief. I have been particularly drawn to the treatment of those living with trauma and anxiety, and therapy with women and children.
What should someone know about working with you?
While I am a therapist by profession, in sessions, I am 100% myself. I like to start off by getting to know you a little better through identifying things that are going well and things that are not going so well. From there, I like to explain what ideas I have for treatment. I highly value client feedback—in executing any type of change in your life, there is definitely some trial and error. We will collaborate to find out what works through homework assignments, measuring goal progress, and open communication. I find it very important for sessions to feel comfortable, warm, and inviting.
What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant to try therapy?
I describe therapy as being similar to going to the gym. It is one of those things you hope will make you feel better and help you see results. However, getting there is sometimes the hardest part. Like finding the right gym, finding the right therapist may take some time. You may want to shop around a bit. No therapy is an immediate fix, so don't be too hard on yourself if you don’t feel much progress right away. Focus on how you feel when you leave your first session and go with your gut.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I am inspired to see a shift toward normalizing mental health. This includes seeing a therapist, taking psychiatric medications, and a general increased sensitivity surrounding emotional and mental health struggles. I believe that the advocates who are pushing for reform within larger systems, such as health insurance companies, are vital in helping our society view mental health as just as important as physical health. I’m also thankful for those who do struggle with mental health for sharing their experiences, challenges, and triumphs, as this educates and gives hope to those who are seeking help and relief from their symptoms.
Where did you work before going into private practice?
I worked in a variety of practice fields before going into private practice. In fact, I still work in the nonprofit world in addition to seeing clients at my practice. I have worked in schools, foster care prevention programs, dual diagnosis treatment, and within the young adult HIV/AIDS community. All of these experiences have exposed me to unique treatment models, clients of all age groups, and training by leading mental health professionals.
“No therapy is an immediate fix, so don't be too hard on yourself if you don’t feel much progress right away.”