My Approach to Helping
Change happens through our recognition of how we are restricted by certain beliefs or behaviors and the encounter with this recognition allows us the opportunity to choose another path and try out other perspectives. As a therapist, my role is to help you see if the lens you view the world through is the one you want to be looking through. Trauma, abuse, societal/familial expectations, etc. can alter how we see ourselves, others, and the world. We may sever parts of ourselves to fit in. With this severing, we may lose contact with what is meaningful, what makes life rich and vibrant. I bring somatic (body focused) practices and interpersonal neurobiology together to reintegrate the body and mind and bring awareness to the ways in which your environment has shaped your nervous system. I practice from an Existential-Humanistic perspective, which means that I see our relationships as a partnership. As fellow humans, we will explore your beliefs about yourself and the world to see what serves you and what doesn’t. Together, we will work to discover the unique path to your wholeness and fulfillment.
More Info About My Practice
I am a Clinical Social Work Associate. I completed my BA in psychology at Lewis and Clark College and my Master’s in social work at Portland State University. I am in the process of completing my certification for Sensorimotor Psychotherapy. My practice is based primarily in Sensorimotor and Existential-Humanistic Psychotherapy, but I pull from several modalities to meet the needs of those I work with. Therapy is not one-size-fits-all and I am more interested in finding out what works for you than coming to our work together with a preconceived plan. I have spent several years working in community mental health as an addictions counselor and over five years working as an advocate for survivors of sexual assault. I worked with Dr. Philip Zimbardo on his Heroic Imagination Project, educating students, teachers, and counselors on developing a growth mindset. I currently serve on the Board of Directors of Existential-Humanistic NorthWest (EHNW), a professional organization that promotes the existential-humanistic perspective and philosophy.
My Therapy Focus
My work as a therapist has generally been focused around trauma. Trauma exists in many
forms. Sometimes trauma is buried. Often I have people tell me, "I don't know why it affects me, it really wasn't that bad" when reflecting on painful memories from the past. The latest neuroscience shows missed chances for connection, support, and love, no matter how big or small, shape the nervous system. The nervous system is intimately tied to our mood and sense of safety and trust with others. Whether it is neglect as a small child or surviving a terrible car accident, trauma leaves a mark on the nervous system and can separate the mind from the body as a survival defense. If this separation is prolonged, you might feel disconnected, foggy, and down, or you may feel anxious and unable to relax. Maybe you bounce between the two. On one level, you may know you are safe now. On another, your body is trapped as if the trauma is still happening. I bring somatic techniques into our work together to help the body feel present, safe, and connected to the mind.