"You will begin to see how there is hope in any situation"
I have been working with couples, adults, and families on a variety of challenges for almost a decade, and my studies of Mindfulness and the Neurobiology of Attachment allow me to address a wide variety of topics and difficulties with confidence and skill. I was originally trained in a Solution Focused and Narrative approach, yet I have found that as my counseling experience evolves, my style is ever-evolving and deepening. I have recognized that my approach is more Relational and Neurobiologically based: I believe that what has happened to us within the relationships in our lives can only be healed in relationship, and that the therapeutic relationship is a powerful vehicle to overall growth and transformation.
I have practiced counseling in a variety of settings, such as an inpatient psychiatric unit, working with homeless teens on the streets, being an ally to the LGBTQ community, having a therapist position embedded within a job site, and working as a counselor within a Pacific NW Indian tribe. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts Dance degree from Naropa University (1996) and a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology from Our Lady of the Lake University (2006).
I enjoy continuous training on counseling therapies and techniques, and I am always learning how to deepen and expand my skills and practice so clients have better and more long-lasting changes as a result. I have a particular interest in Expressive Arts modalities, Somatic work, Attachment, and Relational work within counseling. My history in contemplative practices such as meditation greatly informs my perspective on emotional healing, and I often find that my clients are greatly benefited by developing a daily practice to complement their psychotherapy.
I find so many aspects of Psychology utterly fascinating! You will find that a lot of what I am reading will enter our conversations, and will hopefully become useful tools for your healing work.
While our work together will be focused totally on you, I find that clients want to know more about the person they are entrusting with their story. I am happy to answer any questions you might have so that you can feel comfortable and able to progress and grow with even more confidence.
Here is a smattering of sources of inspiration I like to offer clients:
Pema Chodron books
Tara Brach You Tube videos
Oliver Sachs books
Getting the Love You Want by Harville Hendrix
Wired for Love by Stan Tatkin
Attached by Aaron Levine, MD
Poems by Mary Oliver
The Telltale Brain by VS Ramachandran
The Feeling of What Happens by Antonio Damasio
I draw from an eclectic background of professional dance, choreography, meditation, and contemplative meditation studies. I utilize these diverse approaches as needed. I find that different issues and temperaments often call for flexibility in my approach. Some clients need a therapist who will listen and provide space for them to "just talk" while others prefer an "advice-giver" or "lots of conversation." I will support you, and also challenge you with humor and grace. I will often bring up articles I am reading, Ted talks, podcasts, or other tools to discuss as a way to help you with your therapy goals.
I believe you are the expert of yourself, and I am simply the expert of the change you want to achieve.
I work from an attachment-based perspective, and use my knowledge of neurobiology and mindful self-compassion to help you make sense of the patterns you may be unintentionally repeating in your life and maybe causing pain for you and the people you care about. I can help you if you are struggling with issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, relationship conflicts, troubling thoughts, or chronic pain. As a particular area of interest, I especially enjoy helping people recover from injuries of growing up with a Narcissistic or self-absorbed parent.
In our therapy and counseling work together, we will uncover your ideas of health and happiness and help you move toward them with confidence and ease. We will use the tools of mindfulness, recognizing unhelpful patterns driven by anxiety or depression, and revealing old hurts with kindness. You will be able to let go of unhelpful patterns and habits you may have developed to cope that are no longer helping you to manage difficult feelings or circumstances. You will learn to successfully address and diminish old coping skills or fears to regain your balance, hope, and energy again. You will learn to recognize your Inner Critic as separate from who you are, and how to resolve its negative influence for good.
I use the tools of Mindfulness, knowledge of Neurobiology, Attachment Theory, Solution Focused Brief Treatment and DBT, Expressive Arts techniques as well as a humanistic, collaborative therapy style to help move you closer to your goals. I have trained in EMDR, and somatic psychotherapy as well. I am very enthusiastic about training and deepening my skills by learning new approaches and techniques. I find that all of these perspectives hold a piece of the psychological puzzle, and learning a wide variety of tools helps me apply them even more precisely and effectively in our work together.
I will inquire about what works for each client and will accommodate their style of learning and growth. Early in the therapy, goals and intentions will be identified. I then help guide my clients in accessing new strengths and learning new skills to quiet anxieties and reduce stress and fears. Helping clients apply these skills and see the world open up to them is my passion and motivation for practicing psychotherapy.
In our work together, you will begin to see how there is hope in any difficult situation, as well as learn to create deeper connections and meaning in your everyday life. I hope that you will learn the skills and tools that will last a lifetime.