“My empathetic, caring, and personable disposition has served me well over the years.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I was raised by a social worker mother so I have always wanted to help others. My empathetic, caring, and personable disposition has served me well over the years. For 13 years, I traveled to the client's home to counsel and teach children and families the skills to restore family relationships. I was able to roleplay positive ways for the family to engage in different situations. By utilizing telehealth, I am "almost" there in the home and continue using roleplaying to foster better communication skills for everyone.
What should someone know about working with you?
I gather as much background information in as short a time as possible so we can start working on therapy skills from the first session. The majority of therapy is what happens between appointments as you utilize therapy skills. Gradually practicing therapy skills and reporting back on possible adjustments is an integral part of the process. I enjoy working with everyone in therapy since engaging in therapy is a huge indicator of how much a person wants to learn new ways of living.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
The majority of training I have attended was focused on in-depth learning about trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy. After the first few years of implementing this therapy, the clients were all making great progress so I have enthusiastically embraced it. I also have utilized and gained proficiency in regular CBT, dialectical behavior therapy, positive psychology, and psychoanalytic therapy as appropriate. Some of the best personally-modified interventions have been discovered by utilizing confidential peer support consultations. We are all unique so therapy skills must be tailored differently for each person.
How do your core values shape your approach to therapy?
I come from a traditional southern upbringing that is focused on respect, dignity, honor, and the importance of family. We all must learn how to be more flexible and accepting of change in order to adjust these values as the world changes around us. Over my lifetime, I have lived in six different states, visited five European countries, and studied abroad in Ghana, Africa. I have studied many different cultures and am sensitive to many of the differences that affect human behavior and different social environments.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I was challenged to use telehealth with children during the COVID-19 pandemic. I learned different techniques to help them stay focused and attentive while sitting still at a computer. Luckily, many of these techniques can be used to help adults enjoy and make the best of this new type of therapy. Once people become accustomed to telehealth therapy, it can seem as effective as traditional office therapy (and maybe even more so).
“I enjoy working with everyone in therapy since engaging in therapy is a huge indicator of how much a person wants to learn new ways of living.”