“Since becoming a psychologist, I have strived to honor my clients with a practice that emphasizes empathy, strong therapeutic relationships, and practical skills for growth.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I had many jobs prior to college that reflected a strong interest in direct and personal care for others while fostering an understanding of human behavior. From a volunteer ambulance corps to working at a lab studying decision-making, I felt most fulfilled in positions of service that challenged me to understand and connect with people. But I still wasn’t sure which direction to take after college. Confused and anxious about transitions and my career, I sought help from a therapist. This experience proved profound and transformative. From the cushions of my therapist’s couch, I saw a career that merged my passion for helping others with my fascination of the human mind. Since becoming a psychologist, I have strived to honor my clients with a practice that emphasizes empathy, strong therapeutic relationships, and practical skills for growth.
What should someone know about working with you?
While my approach to therapy is grounded in evidence-based techniques shown to be helpful for most people, you can expect our sessions to be highly collaborative and personalized. I intend to create an environment where you can safely process difficult experiences and emotions and develop a greater awareness of self. In a typical session, I will ask questions that help you build insight, teach you practical skills, and provide honest feedback. You will learn how to identify and change unhelpful thoughts and behaviors as well as long-standing patterns that may be keeping you stuck. I believe a strong client/therapist relationship is crucial for growth. As a result, I regularly incorporate your feedback into my practice; in order for therapy to work, it must work for you.
How does collaboration with other providers inform your work?
There are many ways to approach a client’s concerns and I highly value the perspective of providers who offer different theories and use modalities separate from my own. If we find ourselves stuck, I welcome the opportunity to consult and integrate different perspectives from my network of colleagues. I may also collaborate when care calls for an interdisciplinary approach to wellness; I’m willing to work with providers in different specialties to help you meet your goals. When indicated and with your permission, I will connect with your psychiatrist, previous therapists, physicians, or other specialists to make sure your care is as thorough as possible.
What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant to try therapy?
Experiencing emotions, especially hesitation, fear, or anxiety, is completely normal when considering therapy for the first time. Opening up and being vulnerable with a new person is challenging! So give yourself credit for taking the first steps and looking for a therapist! Make sure you take the time to find one with whom you feel welcomed, heard, and understood. While it may feel daunting, frustrating, or exhausting, it can be very helpful to meet with a few therapists before deciding on the right fit for your situation. Your therapist is your partner, so it’s imperative that you trust them. A strong therapeutic relationship, one where you feel supported, safe, and compassionately challenged to grow, makes the biggest difference in the healing process.
How do mindfulness and acceptance factor into your therapeutic approach?
Mindfulness is the practice of being intentionally present in the moment, aware, and non-judgmental of your internal experiences (thoughts, feelings, and sensations). I consider mindfulness to be a necessary building block of growth; before you can make a change, you must become aware of what needs to be changed. That being said, you may discover through your mindfulness practice that some things cannot be changed, such as past experiences, other people, painful emotions, or intrusive thoughts. When change is not possible, accepting reality becomes a worthy alternative to explore. In our work together, we may practice skills that promote mindfulness through brief exercises or longer, guided meditations. The end result is often better relationships with our experiences, other people, and - importantly - ourselves.
“While my approach to therapy is grounded in evidence-based techniques shown to be helpful for most people, you can expect our sessions to be highly collaborative and personalized.”