“I'm a naturally curious and relationally-oriented person, which is why I'm looking forward to getting to know you.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
Growing up, my mom was a therapist. Our dinner table would come alive with conversations about feelings, people, relationships, conflict, connection, and mental health (all the important stuff!). Of course, I got interested and decided to pursue a career as a therapist myself. I love meeting new people and connecting beneath the surface. I'm a naturally curious and relationally-oriented person, which is why I'm looking forward to getting to know you. With years of formal training and experience, combined with my informal training around the kitchen table, I feel confident I can help you.
What should someone know about working with you?
My approach is warm, collaborative, relaxed, and conversational; I don't lecture you or "teach" you and instead we work together. I create a safe environment where you'll feel validated and be productively challenged to face the struggles that brought you into therapy. I identify as gay and that experience of otherness has always informed my therapy practice and my stance as a clinician. An anti-oppressive lens is central to my work and I enjoy seeing clients of all backgrounds, clients in LGBTQIA+ communities, and clients in poly communities. We'll acknowledge the impact of power and privilege in our work together. I love to use humor in my work, I love house plants (you'll see a few in my virtual office), and, of course, I love working with my clients.
Why are relationships so hard?
If this is your question, you’re in the right place! We all crave connection because it’s a basic human need. Yes, it’s like food, clothing, and shelter. The brain and the nervous system are wired for connection to others. Your desire for closeness isn’t just frivolous fun; it’s actually crucial to the human species and an ancient part of your brain circuitry, inherited from generations and generations before you.
For years, therapists had difficulty understanding relationships. Their nature seemed mysterious and elusive until the advent of attachment theory. Attachment theory was pioneered by British psychologist John Bowlby (1907-1990) and has been enriched by the scholarship of countless other psychologists, scientists, and researchers. The theory gives us the first comprehensive, robust understanding of human relationships and shows us how to build the most important aspects of secure bonds. Using attachment theory, we see clear, definable patterns that make relationships either secure or insecure. This knowledge is a revolution for mental health.
Relationships may be complicated but they are no longer incomprehensible or unexplainable. So, breathe a sigh of relief because we get it now.
You may be wondering why you’re not familiar with attachment theory yet. Here’s the thing: We live in a toxic culture that promotes individualism at all costs. Our cultural norms deny our interconnectedness, which is unfortunately at great expense to all of us. I’m continually shocked that I didn’t become familiar with attachment research — something vital for mental health and truly at the core of the human experience —- until I was pursuing a master’s degree. But, here we are. In an individualistic society, this stuff sadly gets pushed to the side. Let’s change that in our therapy together! We’re going to value your relationships because we both know how important they are.
Using attachment theory as our base, we’ll gain a better understanding of your relational patterns. You’ll start to see what needs to change so you can form secure connections with others. If you want more information, I also have some attachment-related book recommendations that’ll really jump start your process. We’re going to use the science of attachment and the process of our therapy to help you feel more comfortable, confident, and secure in your relationships.
What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant to try therapy?
I'd recommend you give it a try. Therapy doesn't have to be super intense. I'll move at your pace and I'm happy to hang out with you in the shallow end for a while. We'll move to deeper waters when you're ready. You might feel nervous before the first session and that's okay. I'm just going to ask you some questions about yourself and your relational style and the conversation will get flowing.
“My approach is warm, collaborative, relaxed, and conversational; I don't lecture you or "teach" you and instead we work together.”