My Approach to Helping
I strongly believe that the most important part of therapy is the relationship between the therapist and the client. To that end, my approach is empathic and non-judgmental, and my role is to help you explore and express feelings, identify solutions that work for you and your family, and support your growth and ability to form positive, authentic relationships. Helping individuals, couples, and children cope with challenges in their lives and not only recover but become stronger and more resilient is my priority as a therapist, using evidence-based practices such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. Supporting people who want to reduce or eliminate habits that are no longer beneficial for them, such as smoking or substance use, is an area in which I take a positive and non-judgmental approach. I'm experienced in the treatment of trauma for both children and adults, and as a musician and artist myself, I understand the value of creative, non-verbal methods for healing and integrating experiences based on the most current understanding of brain processes and functioning. Incorporating an individual’s spiritual or religious orientation into therapy can be a vital part of the healing process, so I work from a faith-based approach when clients desire.
More Info About My Practice
I received my B.A. in Psychology from UCLA, and my MA in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University. I've previously provided community- and school-based treatment for children and families, and worked in a non-profit agency with adults experiencing a wide variety of circumstances and needs. I was licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist in California in 2005 and in Texas in 2006. Throughout my time as a therapist, I have considered it the utmost privilege to be part of the journey of my clients, and to offer my expertise and guidance as they grow and thrive.
Specific Issue(s) I'm Skilled at Helping With
I've worked extensively with children who are experiencing school difficulties, anxiety, behavioral issues, and ADHD. My approach is to not only work with the children to help develop different ways of interacting with others, but also to help parents understand and cope with the impact on the family when children are struggling. I'm also passionate about helping those who have experienced trauma, whether physical, sexual, or emotional, find ways to cope and transcend the pain and hurt these experiences have caused, to live a vital and fulfilling life. Additionally, as a marriage and family therapist, I love working with couples who are hoping to build a supportive, rewarding marriage. I take an approach that focuses on building on what is positive in the relationship, and creating new healthy ways of communicating and empathizing with each other, rather than revisiting old painful experiences. Most couples find they look forward to therapy sessions with this approach.
How Psychotherapy Can Help
It can be daunting to consider starting psychotherapy, and wondering if it's worth the investment of time, energy, and money. I hope it is reassuring to know that research, more and more, verifies that psychotherapy actually does help heal the brain! Using modern technology, it is possible to see the impact of things like trauma, substance use, and ongoing stress on the brain, as well as to show how the brain is capable of healing itself when given the appropriate interventions. Talk therapy has actually been demonstrated to have a positive impact on brain functioning, and can help relieve depression, anxiety, and stress. For a great summary of evidence-based practices in treating mood disorders and trauma, visit the SAMHSA website at https:www.samhsa.govebp-resource-center.
Why Going to Therapy Does Not Mean You are Weak or Flawed
We are often taught from a very young age that we need to project an image of strength and competency in order to succeed in the world. And yet, when we face challenges such as marriage problems, kids having trouble in school, or work stress, we may feel anything but strong or competent. Going to therapy might feel like an admission of weakness, but in reality, it takes a huge amount of courage to start a process of self-examination and exploration, in which you are encouraged to be vulnerable and open. Ironically, it is openness to change, and exploration of new ways of coping, that defines resiliency--a trait that is linked to growth and overcoming obstacles. Taking that first step toward finding a supportive, encouraging therapist can be the most courageous, and helpful, thing you can do for yourself.