“I like to keep sessions casual; my goal is for you to feel comfortable so we can have a discussion about concerns, current positives, and future goals.”
What was your path to becoming a licensed professional counselor?
This is my first career; I have worked in a variety of settings, including dependent living with people living with Alzheimer’s, hospital settings on multiple units (including dialysis and oncology), psychiatric inpatient, residential, day treatment, and outpatient clinics. I grew up in a household with my mom and close aunt both struggling with depression and severe anxiety, and I had difficulty making friends and a lot of medical anxiety from health issues. I wanted to help others who might feel alone, isolated, and misunderstood feel better. I attended a master’s education program and earned a dual degree in mental health counseling and art therapy to allow for a more creative way of healing than strictly traditional talk therapy provides. I was always told I was "poor at communicating" but, with my art, I was understood.
What should someone know about working with you?
I like to keep sessions casual; my goal is for you to feel comfortable so we can have a discussion about concerns, current positives, and future goals. I use a narrative approach; this is your story and you are your own author. While my specialty is art therapy and I have many creative materials, I also have cards, board games, coffee, and tea. We can have a chat, we can do art, we can mix and match, or we can play a game. Metaphors through the use of play can be just as helpful as visual arts. If necessary or requested, I will encourage you to reflect on worksheets or journal prompts in between sessions. I may also provide educational reading. If you are ready to work, I’m ready to walk with you.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
I continue to attend trauma and art therapy training. I have enjoyed learning about polyvagal theory as well as how the body remembers trauma and how it expresses itself with different stressors. I also try to stay updated on LGBTQIA+, ADHD, and autism training, although they are less frequently offered and difficult to find.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I enjoy telehealth because it opens doors to many people who may otherwise not seek treatment. Telehealth dissolves barriers, such as transportation or difficulty leaving the home or being around other people, and increases comfort by offering a safe space. The cons of telehealth are not having my art supplies or games available and needing to find alternative internet-related options for people who talk better with a distraction. The internet connection is not always working and can be a barrier in itself as well. I'm hoping telehealth continues to improve and am constantly looking for ways to improve how I work with clients through this platform.
“We can have a chat, we can do art, we can mix and match, or we can play a game.”