“In my mind, a truly positive therapy experience fosters a sense of safety and acceptance while also encouraging growth and change.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist? What inspired you to choose this profession?
My first love growing up was theater and performance. Theater is, essentially, the study of human experience. To paint a nuanced and convincing portrait onstage, I had to consider the multitude of factors that led that character to that current moment in time. In this way, I was able to explore the inner worlds of characters whose lived experiences were both similar to and different from my own. The process of constructing that narrative fascinated me, and it was this interest in exploring the complexity of the human mind that led me to study psychology. With my innate openness and desire to connect deeply with others, psychology has been a natural fit. I feel so fortunate to be able to do what I love everyday by helping others reflect and build on their own personal narrative.
What would you want someone to know about working with you?
In my mind, a truly positive therapy experience fosters a sense of safety and acceptance while also encouraging change and transformation. From the first session, I aim to help my clients feel heard and understood in a way they may not experience in their everyday lives. My approach is warm, interactive, and collaborative, adapting to the unique needs and goals of each person. I actively integrate techniques from cognitive behavioral, trauma-focused, and psychodynamic therapies to best help my clients deepen their understanding of themselves and discover ways to create a full and meaningful life.
How does collaboration with other providers play into your work?
Psychotherapy is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to improving our wellbeing. As a psychologist, I am mindful of the link between our mental and physical health and am committed to helping my clients address their needs across each of these realms. With the client’s permission, I actively coordinate with other mental health and medical providers to develop a holistic treatment approach that effectively treats the whole person rather than just specific symptoms.
If there was one thing you wish people knew about the therapy experience who might be hesitant try it, what would that be?
The idea of opening up and being vulnerable with someone you’ve just met can feel overwhelming, and it’s completely normal to feel ambivalent about starting therapy. Building trust with a therapist can take time, but if you’re not feeling a connection or have questions about how treatment is going– speak up! Feedback is welcome, as we want to make sure that your needs are being met and that we’re making progress towards your goals. Therapy is a team effort, so it’s essential both the therapist and client feel comfortable being open and taking an active role in treatment.
If you could pick one or two books that influenced your approach to therapy what would they be and why?
A book that I love and often recommend for my clients is “The Happiness Trap” by Russ Harris. This book examines the dilemma so many of us struggle with: no matter how hard we try to be happy, we still end up feeling frustrated and dissatisfied in our lives. Based on the tenets of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), “The Happiness Trap” suggests that our effort to avoid or push away painful emotions is the very thing that keeps us stuck. This revelation shifted not only my approach, but also my understanding of the goals of therapy. In my practice, I focus on helping clients embrace – rather than avoid – their emotions in service of living their lives more fully and authentically.
“Therapy is a team effort, so it’s essential both the therapist and client feel comfortable being open and taking an active role in treatment.”