“The way I work is open-ended and unstructured; I don’t assign homework and you won’t find worksheets in my repertoire.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
My favorite aunt and uncle growing up were both psychologists, which set a certain favorable impression for me regarding the field of psychotherapy. As a teenager, I read the book, I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, and found a calling. But when I went to grad school for social work, I imagined myself someday running a nonprofit rather than working one-on-one as a therapist. My first internship through grad school affirmed for me how much I enjoyed working individually with people pursuing their growth and since then, I haven’t looked back. Working in the realm of the vulnerable and the symbolic is an honor and a privilege I’ve never gotten over and I hope I never do.
What should someone know about working with you?
At baseline, therapy can be a really important aspect of self-care; at its best, therapy can be absolutely transformative. I see clients on at least a weekly basis, and some I see more often than that if time allows. The way I work is open-ended and unstructured; I don’t assign homework and you won’t find worksheets in my repertoire. What you hopefully will find is someone who asks the good questions, who notices patterns, who reads between the lines, and who helps you find meaning to gain a sense of empowerment in your life. I am happy to work with you on the things that you want to talk about, but I also think that the most important work happens when we can go deep enough into the areas that you really don’t want to talk about. Getting to that kind of material takes time and trust, of course. But it tends to be where the real conflict, shame, guilt, and desires lay and where once liberated, you can experience the most profound growth.
If there was one thing you wish people knew about the therapy experience who might be hesitant to try it, what would that be?
Your hesitation is understandable; being in therapy is vulnerable, and your therapist needs to earn your trust. But once you are able to develop that trust with someone who cares and who is interested in who you are as a full and complicated person, you start taking a similar approach to yourself. Life can open up for you in ways that are impossible to imagine until you experience them; self-compassion can push out shame, acceptance can calm anxiety, and agency can overturn paralysis. This doesn’t necessarily change what happens in life; it will still be full of surprises and pain. But it changes who you are at your core.
“What you hopefully will find is someone who asks the good questions, who notices patterns, who reads between the lines, and who helps you find meaning to gain a sense of empowerment in your life.”