“When talk therapy isn’t enough, I use high-tech advances like biofeedback, neurofeedback, and virtual reality to help clients face their fears and learn to better regulate their minds and bodies.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I’ve always been a worrier. Early on, that drove me to keep trying harder and harder—but that eventually became exhausting. Studying psychology offered a way to make sense of it all and share that knowledge with others. My own personal exercise and meditation practice helped me gain awareness of the mind-body relationship, which connects eastern and western theories. The concept of being able to sit with discomfort and see a variety of challenges and possibilities at once drew me to explore both ACT and DBT. An innovative mentor and a knack for computers has helped me to blend tech with these more established therapeutic methods.
What should someone know about working with you?
I like to get to know a client by figuring out what’s going on with them. In treatment, each week is a combination of challenges and successes that we make sense of and use to move forward. Rather than reinventing the wheel, I try to get a sense of what has been working and what we can improve upon. Sometimes a reading or assignment helps nail a concept down or start a habit, and sometimes a chat is all that’s needed. When talk therapy isn’t enough, I use high-tech advances like biofeedback, neurofeedback, and virtual reality to help clients face their fears and learn to better regulate their minds and bodies. Treatment is complete when the client feels ready for whatever comes their way.
How does collaboration with other providers inform your work?
I come from a health psychology background which tries to see how medicine and our behavior interact. My training can only take me so far, so I’m always excited to see how other disciplines can add to a greater understanding of a client’s issues and better support a positive outcome. I like to tell folks that being smart means having the humility to recognize what you don’t know. In therapy and in life, there are no prizes for doing things the hard way or for being alone in the wilderness.
What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant to try therapy?
I love my parents and feel like I had a pretty good education, but neither could prepare me for all of the challenges of being an adult. If you're already a perfect communicator, friend, employee, boss, partner, or citizen, then maybe we could write a book together and help others. However, if you’re still a work in progress, why not give yourself the gift of self-discovery and the knowledge of how to live a happier and healthier life?
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I think the field of telehealth is really inspiring. It has been great to be able to reach a whole new group of people that scheduling and physical distance once kept out of therapy. The tech and wellness space is also really exciting—especially as we try to balance convenience and innovation without making things more complicated and losing sight of our values.
“If you’re still a work in progress, why not give yourself the gift of self-discovery and the knowledge of how to live a happier and healthier life?”