My Approach to Helping
I believe that each of us has the power to become the person we have always wanted to be.
Because you are reading this, I already know a few things about you. First, I know that you are seeking something different. I suspect that you’re also experiencing pain – whether from stress, loss, disappointment, betrayal, or regret – or perhaps you’re unsure as to exactly why you feel the way you do. But you need to change something. And I know that you’re ready to begin. I would like to assist you in achieving what you seek.
I have more than 20 years of experience, knowledge, and wisdom as a licensed mental health provider, educator, and researcher. I have worked with a wide range of adult and adolescent clients and have expertise in many client issues and therapy models. This benefits my clients because it is the therapist’s responsibility to understand and adapt to the needs of the patient—not the other way around.
Research consistently demonstrates that the most important factor in the success of psychotherapy is the strength of the relationship between the patient and the therapist. I will work to support an environment of mutual respect, trust, and honesty. It is my belief that therapy works best when there is openness, sincerity, and compassion. I work from a trauma-informed care model that avoids exploitation or revictimization.
Much of my career has been working alongside other medical professionals, such as psychiatrists and primary care providers. I believe in a holistic approach—mental health IS health—and can guide you in seeking, understanding, and communicating with your health care providers. While I do not prescribe medications, I am well-educated in pharmacotherapy (using medications to assist with psychiatric concerns) and can assist you in navigating the intersection between physical health and mental health.
I look forward to meeting with you and exploring ways in which we can work together to achieve the change you seek!
I welcome all adults and adolescents aged 13 and above. Some common issues I help with include: depression, anxiety, abuse/trauma, stress (including posttraumatic stress or PTSD), grief/loss, relationship issues, chronic illness, and crisis management.
I have a special connection with the following populations:
Healthcare professionals or first responders— I have worked in and around law enforcement for 30 years. I began a career as a peace officer after completing my undergraduate degree. Despite leaving full-time law enforcement to pursue graduate studies, I stayed involved by volunteering in reserve work and special projects. I continue to work within the 911 system in Harris County, TX, riding with a peace officer partner and responding to 911 calls with mental health components. I regularly team with law enforcement, psychiatrists, emergency physicians, trauma nurses, paramedics, and EMTs to provide emergent care to patients in psychiatric crises. I have firsthand knowledge of the unique stressors that come with working as a first responder, as well as the toll it takes on me personally and professionally. I especially invite first responders and members of their families to contact me to see if I can help.
Victims of spiritual abuse, religious trauma, and "ex-vangelicals" – Spirituality is at the core of the human experience. I was raised in a fundamentalist evangelical religion, and like many people today, I experienced a spiritual crisis that led me to deconstruct my faith. Having degrees in theology and psychology, I had many tools that most do not. The education did not, of course, spare me the full weight of the emotional turmoil that followed, as I struggled with sometimes overwhelming feelings of fear, loss, anger, resentment, guilt, and despondency. For years, I felt completely lost. I believe my knowledge did allow me to reconstruct a spirituality that rejected religious extremism in favor of a reasoned, compassionate, and informed theology. I discovered that I could have a healthy faith that looked different on the surface from my upbringing, but that brought back the deep and meaningful spirituality that I’d lost during my crisis. It is vital to note, however, that I do not "evangelize" or seek to "convert" consumers—which is exploitative and a violation of ethical codes of conduct. Rather, I seek to support each person through the crisis of faith and the powerful emotions that follow, into their own process of deconstruction and into a reconstruction that supports mental and emotional wellness. I approach this as a fellow traveler on a spiritual journey, knowledgeable of both the healthy and unhealthy aspects of the Judeo-Christian religious tradition. As I myself have not arrived at any destination that signifies completion, I cannot lead someone except as an experienced partner who has begun the journey and continues to learn and grow. Not many psychotherapists are truly experienced in this specialized area, and I wanted to offer my assistance to you.