“I have always been able to empathize with others and understand that you never really know where a person has been, or what they are going through. I am deeply moved by the healing power of human connection.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
Therapy has been a normal part of my life for as long as I can remember. My dad passed away from cancer when I was very young, and my mom arranged for my family to see a therapist once he was diagnosed. I always found that having an objective yet caring person to talk to was incredibly helpful, and as I got older, I realized that my experience with human hardship and resiliency could be used to help others move through the challenges that life will inevitably bring. I have always been able to empathize with others and understand that you never really know where a person has been, or what they are going through. I am deeply moved by the healing power of human connection.
What inspired you to choose this profession?
I am very passionate about holistic health and wellness so I chose to focus on mental health as my profession because I believe that understanding how to navigate our emotions is essential to maintaining a joyful and healthy life. As I’ve grown as a clinician, I can see how this is an area that often gets less focus and attention, but once it is addressed, can transform a person’s life. I have also experienced firsthand the power that creative flow, movement, mindfulness, nature and other alternative healing methods can have on a person’s wellbeing. I want to inspire others to integrate these elements into their lives, in a way that works best for them.
What would you want someone to know about working with you?
My goal for our first session is that you will leave feeling a little lighter and more hopeful than when you first came in. Once you have an idea in your mind of what you’d like to accomplish in therapy, we can then start to map out how to get you there, while also helping you find peace along the way. And who knows! Your original goals for therapy may end up changing, and that’s okay too.
My practice is based on the mind-body-spirit connection, and I am always amazed when I witness the mental and emotional changes that occur when a person is able to recognize and control their physiological response to stress. It’s almost like magic, but in fact, it’s science!
What do you think is the biggest barrier today for people seeking care?
I think one of the biggest barriers today for people seeking care is cost. Money, just like mental health, is one of those taboo subjects that is rarely discussed, but is a huge part of our everyday experience and can have a major impact on our levels of distress and sense of self-worth. Paying for therapy is an investment in your wellbeing, but for many, it is considered a luxury. I do believe that when we invest in our mental health, whether collectively as a society or in our personal lives, it can end up saving us time, money, and energy in the long run. I also believe that more effective policies need to be created that make mental healthcare more accessible for all, while also compensating providers fairly so the quality of services can be maintained.
What excites you most about the evolving mental health landscape?
Over the past few years, conversations about mental health have become a much bigger topic of conversation, and individuals who typically wouldn’t seek help are opening up to the idea of therapy. I’m really excited that the field of therapy, which was originally created by white men to help women, is evolving to include more open, progressive, and diverse orientations that are ultimately more effective when treating people of different races, ethnicities, gender identities, and sexual orientations. There have also been shifts in our culture that impact the way we view gender, and challenge what it means to be masculine/feminine. Disrupting these narratives around gendered norms is encouraging more men to acknowledge their emotions and seek help, instead of suffering silently due to the long-held ideas of what it means to “be a man.”
If you could pick one or two books that influenced your approach to therapy what would they be and why?
Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach taught me that we may not like something in our lives, or something about ourselves, but if it cannot be changed, can we instead work towards accepting it? I also love Brene Brown’s concept of “wholehearted living” from The Gifts of Imperfection, which is all about owning our stories and embracing vulnerability and that’s what therapy is all about! Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now discusses how most of our suffering comes from thoughts of our past or thoughts about our future, but when we direct our thoughts to the present moment, we can simply “be,” and start to experience life more freely. I love any book that provides eye-opening reflections on very common human experiences.
“I have experienced firsthand the power that creative flow, movement, mindfulness, nature and other alternative healing methods can have on a person’s wellbeing and want to inspire others to integrate these elements into their lives, in a way that works for them.”