“Clients have provided feedback over the years that I am very personable and care very much about their needs.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
My primary interest in becoming a therapist was trauma-focused, as I’ve seen firsthand how trauma is the central thread that leads to many other disorders, such as depression and anxiety and in many cases, relationship issues. I have worked in multiple settings, including an outpatient mental health clinic and on an ACT team that treated clients with severe mental health issues (including bipolar disorder, psychosis, and schizophrenia). My experience has given me firsthand knowledge of many of the struggles people are facing today. Clients have provided feedback over the years that I am very personable and care very much about their needs. I consider myself down-to-earth and try hard to get to the core of what’s going on for you with the goal of getting you to your best self.
What should someone know about working with you?
For the first session, I conduct a very thorough intake, gathering as much information as I can about your history, what led to the struggles you are facing today, and what resources work for you today. Following the intake, my sessions are very client-focused and I ask you to look into your mind and see what comes up for you for that day. When the problem is more trauma-focused and we decide to do a series of EMDR sessions, we will focus the session on that. I am easy to get a hold of during the week and respond promptly to any scheduling or billing concerns. I do provide homework (it’s never mandatory) and highly encourage clients to get into reading, journaling, and practicing what they learn in therapy to help integrate their treatment into their lives.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
I continue to engage in postmaster’s training in many areas and I have specific interests in learning and engaging in Eastern practices, such as mindfulness, meditation, and deep breathing work. I collaborate with a wide range of therapists and have a strong referral source in case we decide you need a different clinician for whatever focus is needed.
How do your core values shape your approach to therapy?
I am a gay man and work with many clients from the LGBTQ community. Cultural sensitivity is extremely important in clinical practice and I continue my education, awareness, and insight on this topic as much as I can. Cultural sensitivity comes up in many areas, not just race and ethnicity. Clinicians need to continuously understand the struggles and needs of all people in the areas of divorce, orientation, gender, poverty, religious upbringing, parenting, medical illness, etc.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I find that telehealth and in-person sessions can each have their own advantages and disadvantages. It is important to note that any effort made toward your mental health is already a major step in the growth process. I strongly recommend that any client using telehealth invest in good technology. They need wifi and a quiet space (similar to an office) where they can engage in therapy as if they were in person. Most clients report the same level of satisfaction when compared to in-person sessions and sometimes, they have even better experiences via telehealth.
Have you done any research-based work that you found particularly exciting? How does it inform your practice today?
Particular focus has been given to the LGBTQ community's needs, which include addressing the impact of religious upbringings on sexual orientation. I have recently been working with many clients who are survivors of the unethical practice of conversion therapy and its impact on their acceptance of their sexual orientation. Currently, I’m writing a book on this very under-focused topic and hope to have it out in the near future.
“I consider myself down-to-earth and try hard to get to the core of what’s going on for you with the goal of getting you to your best self.”