My Approach to Helping
I tailor my appraoch to each client because I find that problems are the result of an interaction between multiple factors in an individual's life. I help my clients understand the patterns behind their problems and learn practical tools to start feeling better quickly. It is important to take a holistic approach look at the whole person and the context rather than just focusing on what is wrong. I help people find their strengths and learn strategies to support long-term emotional wellness.
Through both my professional and personal experiences, I have a realistic understanding of life, people, and problems. Sometimes things seem to not make sense until you look at them from a different angle. Whatever your problem is, you will not shock me and you will not incur my judgment. I've worked with many complex situations and I can help you as well.
I am a National Board Certified Counselor with over 12 years' experience working with adults, children, and adolescents. My experience spans working in child welfare, providing individual and group therapy for people with chronic mental illness, and serving as a mental health counselor at a college. Additionally, I teach psychology and counseling at the college and graduate level, and have published multiple texts on counseling, child assessment, and cognitive-behavioral interventions.
I am trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Gottman Method Couples Therapy.
More Info About My Practice
Some frequently asked questions:
"Do you take insurance." - Insurance is a tricky one because though it can help people save some money in the short term, it is not helpful overall. Insurance requires me to give you an official mental health diagnosis, limits how often you can attend, as well as how long your sessions are and requires me to send detailed notes about your life. I do not work with insurance because then I can better protect my clients' privacy and interests. Therapy isn't always cheap but it is a worthy investment that you deserve to make in yourself and will have lasting benefits for years to come. I also offer a sliding scale with flexible rates so I can accommodate people. I understand times can be tough and I will work with my clients to get the care they need.
"Tell me more about yourself" - I am both a serious person and I love to laugh. I care about finding both the deeper meaning and the humor in life. I enjoy arts and culture, the outdoors, travel, and literature. I'm also a big animal-lover. I'm a creative person who cares about people and society.
Specific Issue(s) I'm Skilled at Helping With
Anxiety, depression, complex trauma, family crisis, divorce, children and adolescents, stress, anger, relationship issues, helping families cope with severe mental illness, managing chronic pain, feeling burnt out, codependency, men's issues.
Had a Negative Therapy Experience?
This is something I never thought I would hear as I entered this profession. We think of therapists as being stable, kind, thoughtful people who would never hurt us. Sometimes, even the best therapists can say things that are unhelpful or even hurtful. But, unfortunately, I have heard too many stories of therapists being extremely unhelpful. Some people have told me their therapist wasted their time, tried to get them to stay in therapy longer than they wanted to, suggested things that were unhelpful, said things that were offensive, or even crossed appropriate boundaries. If you have experienced anything like this, I hope it does not tarnish your view of therapy. There are many good helpers out there. It can be hard to choose a therapist, but your best bet is someone who is understanding, smart, and thoughtful. We are out here and can help you.
Important Factors for Choosing a Therapist
Three things to look for in a therapist:
1. Do you like the person? Is this someone you want to have a conversation with? You should feel comfortable in the same room with this person. When you walk into the therapy office, you feel a little relieved. You feel as though you can tell this person things you were not sure you could ever tell anyone. They seem genuine and honest.
2. Do you feel understood? You should feel this person understands not only your problem but also you as a person. They should understand what you are saying and how you feel and think about a situation. You feel accepted and not judged. You feel heard and validated.
3. Does this person know what they are doing? This can be a harder question to answer. Everyone makes mistakes sometimes, but you should get the sense that the therapist is skilled. They don't just say things just to say them. They think about you and your problem and choose their approach accordingly. They draw on their vast knowledge to address complex situations. They know when to speak, how to speak, and when to be quiet. When they offer homework or an exercise, you can trust that they know what they're doing.