I am so glad that you are here! It can take an incredible amount of strength to invest in your mental health. Whether you are here to heal from past or present pain, to find ways to work through difficult times in healthier ways, or to work towards your own goals or dreams, you are in the right place. I encourage you to read through this page which explores my style of counseling and my specializations. I would love to support you on your journey and want to make sure that my counseling style is a good fit for your needs. Having a strong therapeutic relationship is an important part of beginning your healing journey.
As a counselor, I focus on identifying strengths and values as guides to healing and change, building individuals’ self-compassion and self-worth, acknowledging how past pain and trauma can impact our present lives, and learning effective ways to process and cope with these experiences. I use a strengths-based and person-centered approach while also integrating evidence-based practices into each session. Past clients have shared that my sense of humor, genuineness, compassion, trauma-informed approach, patience, and understanding have all helped them feel safe in our therapeutic relationship. In addition to this, my clinical experience allows me to adjust to be direct, to create structure, and to provide non-judgmental feedback or recommendations when needed. Below is more information on some of the key components of my counseling style. So make yourself a cup of tea or coffee, take a deep mindful breath, and dive in.
Strengths and Values Based: I truly believe in the innate goodness in people. I believe that each individual has a unique set of strengths and skills that can be utilized to guide healing, growth, and change. When working with clients, I aim to help individuals identify their strengths and values, identify present and future goals while breaking them down into more attainable steps, and learn and practice the tools and coping skills that may be needed to achieve their goals. Maybe you are feeling “stuck” or want to explore ways to live a life that feels purposeful for you. Using therapy to identify obstacles to reaching your goals or dreams can be incredibly helpful. Sometimes it may be our own fears, anxiety, or shame that get in our way. Learning how to move through these feelings in individual sessions or group therapy can be freeing.
Compassion-Based and Trauma-Informed: Do you find yourself thinking, “I’m not enough,” “I should be doing more,” “I have to be more productive or change myself,” “I’m a bad person or bad things always happen to me,” or “I don’t like who I am”? Oftentimes these thoughts stem from past trauma. This trauma may include complex family dynamics or unhealthy attachments; experiences around systemic discrimination or oppression; past pain or loss; past verbal, physical, or emotional abuse; sexual trauma or any other type of trauma. These experiences can impact how we are functioning today, especially if we have suppressed, minimized, or avoided processing them out of fear or shame. Sometimes individuals may develop a disordered relationship with substances, food, or their body in an attempt to cope. In counseling, I help to explore, in a non-judgmental way, how these symptoms may have been used to survive, but may now no longer serve us. I combine learning adaptive coping skills with creating space to process trauma to help individuals heal. Trained in cognitive processing therapy (CPT), an evidence-based form of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) that has shown to be effective in reducing PTSD symptoms, I aim to help individuals gently unpack past trauma and explore how it has impacted their thoughts or beliefs about their sense of self, others, and the world. In doing so, many are able to quiet that shaming voice in their head that leads to more pain. It can help some find peace and begin to live a life of acceptance and compassion for themselves. Even if you don’t struggle with PTSD symptoms, I utilize a compassionate and strengths-based approach to help individuals better understand their past and live more aligned with their values and what is important to them.
Evidence-Based: I am experienced in incorporating dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), cognitive processing therapy (CPT), and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) among other counseling modalities into counseling work. I utilize exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy and ACT skills when working with individuals with OCD. As a Marriage and Family Therapist, I have been trained to use Bowen Family Systems Theory, which aims to help couples and families to gain insight into their patterns of functioning, increase the accountability of each individual as they all develop a greater sense of self, and improve communication as ways to ultimately reduce anxiety and improve adaptability within the family system. I utilize techniques and skills from the Gottman Method for Healthy Relationships and ePREP Program, evidence-based techniques, to help improve the ability of couples and families to communicate and ultimately improve the quality of their relationship. I am committed to researching the most up-to-date evidence-based practices to treat symptoms that individuals are seeking to improve.
Multiculturally-Informed and Curious: I aim to be a multiculturally-competent counselor. I have taken several courses on multicultural competency, have completed numerous trainings, and have worked with diverse populations. I share that I am also curious in that I want to clearly acknowledge that being multiculturally competent is a lifelong journey. Every individual’s experience of how cultural and identity factors, and the intersectionality of these factors, impact them are unique. I am LGBTQIA+ affirming in my work with individuals, couples, and families. If something is outside of my scope of practice, I will gladly help you in finding additional referrals and community supports. Additionally, I function from a social justice oriented lens as a counselor and am committed to advocacy work with and on behalf of clients I work with. I find igniting a little passion from this lens can also help individuals heal, externalize some of their pain and anger, and find purpose and self-confidence.
Mental Health Symptoms and Trauma: As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, I have the ability to work with individuals, couples, and families. I have experience in working with adults, teenagers, and adolescents over the age of 11. I have worked with individuals struggling with adjustment disorders, anxiety, depression, mood disorders, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder symptoms, PTSD, sexual and complex trauma, borderline personality disorder, other personality disorders, grief and loss, and co-occurring substance use issues.
Eating Disorders, Chronic Dieting, and Body Image Struggles: Over the past five years, I have worked in a residential and day treatment facility for individuals with eating disorders and other co-occurring issues. I specialize in helping individuals and their families to better understand the complexities of eating disorders and work to heal their relationship with food and body image. I take a Health at Every Size (R) approach when working with clients. This is a compassionate and social justice oriented approach that believes in respecting and celebrating body diversity and all identities; being critically aware of messages that promote diet culture and instead challenges assumptions while valuing the lived experiences of individuals; and practicing compassionate self-care by finding joy and mindfulness in movement and food. I have provided several trainings to eating disorder professionals across the nation around the importance of social justice and advocacy issues as they relate to body image. Whether you have struggled with an eating disorder or if you have been entrapped in diet culture and want a healthier relationship with food and your body, I would love to walk with you on this journey to deeper insight and healing. This is one area that I am MOST passionate about. Working towards acceptance and bringing in self-compassion can be incredibly liberating.
Learning Skills, Self-Empowerment, and Goal Setting: Not all individuals that seek counseling meet criteria for a mental health diagnosis. Therapy is for ANYONE that wants to reconnect with themselves, invest in healing their mind, learn effective coping skills to live a life aligned with their goals and values, gain deeper insight into their past to break cycles, and build their confidence and sense of self-worth.
Couples and Families: As a Marriage and Family Therapist, I have a strong foundation in family systems theory, which means that in my work, I see individuals and family members as a part of their environment or a larger family system. This insight and understanding also reduces pathologizing or blaming individuals, and allows clients to find greater peace and acceptance. I work with couples in all stages of relationships. This may include couples that are seeking to create a solid foundation for their future, struggling with stressors and life changes, contemplating marriage or another form of commitment, working through infidelity or other relationship pain, or navigating separation or divorce. In my work with families, I aim to help strengthen the whole family system which in turn may lead to changes in individuals that are struggling. I have found it to be beneficial for individual clients to also have family sessions with their support system to improve communication, strengthen their support network, create safety and relapse prevention plans, and to share insight, education, and resources to help the family navigate specific mental health disorders.
Whew, that was a lot. Now you can exhale. I’m so glad you made it this far. If you have further questions or want to find if I would be a good fit for you, give us a call!
A special note to any past clients who have stumbled upon this page:
Thank you. I am so very grateful to you for allowing me to walk with you on a part of your journey. Thank you for your patience and vulnerability that helped me see the world from new perspectives. I hold a space for each client I have had the joy of working with, even if it was only for a brief time. I continue to wish you all the best and am sending you healing vibes as you read this.