My approach is wellness-oriented with a foundation in behavioral science. I view my clients as bright, capable people who just need some information and support. That's why I place value in building a productive and compassionate therapeutic relationship. I strive to bring a balance of patience, positivity, and professionalism to our work together.
I am especially committed to respecting your beliefs, identity, culture, religion, and personal history. I will do my best to develop an accurate understanding of you, your life experiences, and what you hope to achieve. We will tie our work to a goal that is meaningful to you. I will collaborate with you to find workable solutions based on your values and your willingness to modify unhelpful thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. I will recommend credible tools and strategies based on what you are willing and able to do.
When you're done with therapy, you'll understand yourself better. You'll have new strategies and solutions at your disposal. My past clients have reported gains like feeling better, having more hope, and achieving personal and professional goals.
I specialize in psychotherapy for adults with:
ANXIETY: It's normal to experience some anxiety. Too much anxiety, for too long, can leave you feeling stuck and dissatisfied. Anxiety can lead to wear-and-tear on your physical and mental health. When anxiety becomes a problem, you'll notice symptoms like worry, negative thoughts, anger, muscle tension, exhaustion, difficulty focusing, and even physical issues. Life doesn't stop for anxiety. You can't escape it, but you can learn to manage it. You can stop reinforcing it and getting tangled up in it. A fresh perspective, new strategies, and positive momentum can make a big difference.
STRESS OVERLOAD AND TRAUMA: Any experience can be stressful. Any situation, from daily hassles to emotional trauma, can trigger a stress reaction. Some of the most stressed-out people are parents, caregivers, high achievers, and people who think they're underachieving. Work/finances, relationships, health issues, and persistent adversity are common sources of stress. Ironically, stress can get really bad when you're doing something meaningful or ambitious--like being in school, changing careers, overcoming trauma, fulfilling a lifelong dream, or taking care of others. If you have lots of responsibilities, judge yourself harshly, and struggle with balance or fulfillment, then you're probably stressed. I can help you reconnect with your passion and purpose, while learning new ways to be skillful.
SENSITIVITY AND CREATIVITY: If you feel like your brain works differently than everyone else's, it's hard to feel competent and confident. Maybe you feel judgmental and critical toward yourself. Conditions like high sensitivity (as described by Dr. Elaine Aron), ADHD, sensory processing issues, creativity, giftedness, and intensity can be strengths and challenges. If you suspect that you fit one or more of these categories, therapy is a great way to understand yourself and gain momentum. If you're a parent of a child who's like this, therapy can provide crucial support and insight.
Regardless of what you're going through, you're not deeply flawed. Therefore, you don't have to be fixed in order to live a good life. My approach is to help you live in alignment with your values, goals, and strengths. I believe it's possible to explore your struggles and focus on personal growth at the same time.
It's easy to get caught up our pain and struggles. We start to lose connection with what matters--like who we are, our sense of purpose and drive, positivity, confidence, and fulfillment. We can get stuck in negative thoughts, uncomfortable emotions, and bad habits. Enlisting my services can help you untangle from your struggle and change things for the better.
My style of psychotherapy is mostly talk therapy. Talk therapy is a specialized dialogue with a professional who listens very deeply to you, asks exploratory questions, and guides you to find ways to think and act differently. I may use experiential exercises like deep breathing and prompting you to notice your emotions. I develop customized homework assignments to make sure you have opportunities to apply the benefits of therapy to your day-to-day life.
The primary therapy I use is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). It’s based on the idea that you can take action in a flexible way toward the life that you want, based on your values and beliefs. In therapy, we focus mainly on you and your life right now. This allows us to look at the past, present, and future with a clear focus and perspective.
I also use concepts and techniques from Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). DBT is a therapy that is well-known for building four types of skills: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. The term mindfulness has grown in popularity. I use the term mindfulness in a clinical way, as a set of skills and behaviors. A good way to describe mindfulness is that it's the opposite of mindlessness. Being mindful helps you observe what's happening in the present moment, without getting tangled up in unwanted thoughts, feelings, emotions, urges, and sensations. Being mindful helps you see things as they are, not as you wish they were, or wish they weren't. I take great care to explore whether using mindfulness techniques aligns with your personal and spiritual beliefs.
At times, I use a technique called Brainspotting to support functional change. Brainspotting can be used two ways: to promote posttraumatic growth and reduce performance blocks. If you tend to get stuck in frustrating psychological or behavioral patterns, a combination of talk therapy and Brainspotting may be effective for you.
Since I combine multiple types of therapy, I am an integrative therapist. Integrative Therapy means that I use a variety of clinical techniques and theories, based on my training, education, and experience. I am also trauma-informed, which means that I am sensitive to the impact of psychological trauma and adverse childhood experiences. I would be happy to explain more about each therapy and how I integrate them as appropriate. All humans, and most problems, are complex, so I tailor my work with each client.
SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS and COLLABORATIONS
I value cultural humility and social progress. Currently, I participate in three causes: mental health among historically marginalized and underserved persons; promoting awareness about neurodiversity; and family social-emotional wellness.
I've presented at local, state, and national events on a variety of topics related to psychosocial wellbeing. I've presented to general and professional audiences. I customize all of my presentations, based on the audience and venue. Please contact me to inquire about booking me for a speaking event.