“Anything that’s important to you can be a part of our work—whether that means delving into your childhood, processing difficult encounters in relationships, or discussing the art, TV shows, and books that inspire you.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
Psychology is my second career—I actually started off as a biomaterials engineer. During that time in my life, I found myself feeling deeply unhappy and frightened at the prospect of either making a significant career change and starting from scratch or continuing on with work that didn’t feel satisfying. This was also the first time in my own life that I sought out therapy, and it made a world of difference. It gave me the support I needed to pursue work that truly excites me and a lifestyle wherein I feel more like myself.
What should someone know about working with you?
In our first few sessions, we will spend time getting to know each other, as well as establishing what feels safe for you and how I can be the most useful. We will mutually agree upon goals for our work together. Over time, I’ll listen for any obstacles you’ve encountered in making changes, finding fulfillment, setting healthy boundaries, and avoiding deprivation and/or overindulgence in your life. We may identify thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that feel frightening, distressing, or difficult to control. Together, we can come up with coping strategies. Anything that’s important to you can be a part of our work—whether that means delving into your childhood, processing difficult encounters in relationships, or discussing the art, TV shows, and books that inspire you.
How does collaboration with other providers inform your work?
Psychologists like myself often work closely with psychiatrists to help clients who are interested in supporting their therapy by managing their more distressing symptoms with medication. Sometimes clients know that they want to try medication—and sometimes I am the one to offer it as a potential option if I recognize that they may not have to be suffering from their symptoms as much as they are. I like to collaborate with psychiatrists who are interested in working as a team because I find that clients improve the most when they have an informed and communicative team of professionals on their side.
What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant to try therapy?
Therapy is a process of deepening our understanding of ourselves—particularly how we tend to respond to events in our lives, both emotionally and through our behaviors. Sometimes it can be painful, confusing, or frightening to truly face ourselves, and that can be a big obstacle to change and growth. In fact, it often keeps people from trying therapy in the first place. As a psychologist, I am here so my clients are not alone on this journey—and so they feel accepted for all of the many facets of their personalities and inner lives.
If you could pick one or two books that influenced your approach to therapy, what would they be and why?
“The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog” by Bruce Perry is a book that explains trauma and dissociation in clear terms. I use approaches from this book when helping clients to understand what happens in the body during trauma exposure and post-traumatic stress responses. Another book that really informs how I practice is “Like a Mother” by Angela Garbes. I especially love how this book approaches understanding and grieving pregnancy loss, which is an experience that causes so many women to feel shame, isolation, and a lack of control over their bodies.
“Therapy is a process of deepening our understanding of ourselves—particularly how we tend to respond to events in our lives, both emotionally and through our behaviors.”
Interested in speaking with Andrea?