“My style differs from many clinicians in that I focus more on directly transforming your emotional experience and patterns, rather than concentrating primarily on changing your thought patterns.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
Ironically, my path began with me trying not to become a therapist. My mother is a psychiatrist, so as a rebellious youth, I hated the idea of choosing a similar career. However, psychology was what I grew up learning, so my first career path was in psychological research. While I do enjoy research, I found that it alone didn’t fulfill me. After a slight existential crisis, a misguided career detour, and a good deal of self-reflection, I realized my fear was keeping me from my true passion. I faced my fear head-on and in doing so was rewarded with the most amazing and fulfilling career I could imagine!
What should someone know about working with you?
I know starting therapy or meeting a new therapist can be a truly intimidating process. That’s why my first objective is always to create a warm and welcoming space to help you share what’s really going on for you. To me, this means hearing you from a place of nonjudgement, acceptance, and genuine curiosity. While my first priority is for you to feel welcomed and safe, my style is not a passive one; whatever you are facing, I want to help give you skills and insights to overcome it. I provide evidence-based therapy that integrates different theories and techniques matched to you and your presenting concerns. However, my style differs from many clinicians in that I focus more on directly transforming your emotional experience and patterns, rather than concentrating primarily on changing your thought patterns. Finally, I really do love feedback and I will likely ask you (the expert on you!) for it!
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I’m excited about telehealth! You’ve probably realized the more obvious advantages (e.g., the lack of traffic, increased accessibility, increased safety, etc.), but I also find that telehealth has some more overlooked advantages as well. For many clients, it can be easier to open up and talk vulnerably when they’re in their own space and physically apart from another person. For others, talking with someone virtually is a much less intimidating process to start therapy than being in person. While I know the opposite can be true for many therapists, I find that telehealth is less taxing for me as a therapist and often allows for greater flexibility in sharing resources or performing different techniques.
Have you done any research-based work that you found particularly exciting? How does it inform your practice today?
My first introduction to psychological research was at the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction at Indiana University. From this foundation, I have always been an advocate and sought out training and education for greater sex positivity, sexual wellness, and awareness of sexual functioning issues. In line with this interest, my dissertation focused on consensual/ethical non-monogamy. While I’m not sure anyone can honestly claim they loved writing their dissertation, I did truly enjoy getting to learn so much about this population. I have found that being able to recognize and question the biases and taboos in our society, especially around sex and relationships, is so valuable in helping all clients find the relationships with themselves and others that work best for them. In reflecting, the key underlying theme in my research that really energizes me is fighting against unjust societal shame.
“Finally, I really do love feedback and I will likely ask you (the expert on you!) for it!”