Therapy starts with simply having a conversation. I will seek to learn your unique perspective, needs, and goals and you will have the opportunity to decide whether you appreciate my approach. You may know exactly why you are coming to therapy or you may not. You might feel anything from complete comfort, to terror, in taking this step. I am great with helping people feel comfortable with talking. I am also skilled in asking the right questions to move us toward shared understanding of what is needed. This type of conversation will happen throughout the treatment process, so that we are always creating deeper awareness and increased achievement. This does not happen at once; it happens in stages. Such is often the case with trauma, or other emotional and psychological difficulties that can be too much to “tackle” all at once. Therefore, I will support you to make sure that you are moving at a pace that is best suited to your needs and comfort level.
This therapeutic foundation (understanding you as an individual) also means that the way I “intervene” or support you, will differ. Overall, my usual way of doing treatment brings together three compatible approaches: existential, humanistic, and mindfulness therapies. I also find that many people coming for therapy, especially if it is their first time, benefit by learning some concrete skills regarding their emotions, communication, thinking processes and so forth. Others gain a lot from simply clarifying their goals and stumbling blocks, identifying steps and solutions, and receiving support to put these into practice in daily life.
I have over 25 years of experience in social service work with families, adults, adolescents with mental illness and intellectual & developmental disabilities. As a psychotherapist I have been practicing for twelve years. I have worked in community mental health with clients with a broad range of needs/goals as noted on my page. My academic focus has been on issues of diversity; I received an award for a student-led diversity project as well as another for distinguished doctoral research on the experiences of transgender and gender variant recipients of psychotherapy. Since undertaking that work, I have given several professional presentations to mental health professionals on improving services for gender-diverse clients. I achieved my dream of opening my own practice in 2015.