“I am an interactive and energetic clinician who can be both blunt and imaginative.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
My anthropology graduate studies drew me to the study of people in their environments. I became a psychologist so that I could apply my understanding of the human narrative to the building of a better world one person at a time. I've worked in hospital, community, and private practice settings with a wide diversity of people. I trained in medical psychology as well as psychoanalysis, CBT, DBT, and child work. My working model includes recognizing your biological predispositions and temperament, understanding the relational systems that influenced you, and learning how to develop mastery of your own way of being in the world. My grandmother is one of my role models. She worked as a cashier at our family market until her late seventies and listened to everyone's stories with compassion.
What should someone know about working with you?
I am an interactive and energetic clinician who can be both blunt and imaginative. During the first session, I want to know who you are in the world before learning about why you are seeking therapy; I want all parts of you to be involved in the clinical relationship, not only your struggles. I measure progress by the achievement of self-regulation and wellbeing. I assign writing, drawing, and other tasks as necessary. Primarily, I engage you in the therapeutic process so we can determine together what approach will best help you with your mental health issues. I have psychology expertise but you are an expert in yourself. Therapy should be educational as well as inspirational; let's work hard on creating that together.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
My graduate psychology students are my greatest source of continuing education. Further, I garden and spend a good deal of time in rural and wild places, making sure my scientific and theoretical knowledge always exist in dialogue with the humbling reality of the natural world.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I am most excited about making high-quality mental health care available to anyone who needs it regardless of their socioeconomic status.
Have you done any research-based work that you found particularly exciting? How does it inform your practice today?
I've done qualitative research about the relationship between people and their ecosystems because I believe place is an under-appreciated component of psychological development. Climate change will highlight how important our physical environments are to our physical and mental wellbeing. The Earth is Faster Now is a wonderful book about the Inuit experience of their changing ecosystem. I'd like to help people discover their own unconscious responses to climate change and how they affect mental health.
“During the first session, I want to know who you are in the world before learning about why you are seeking therapy; I want all parts of you to be involved in the clinical relationship, not only your struggles.”