What made you decide to become a counselor?
I think a lot of things went into me becoming a counselor. I went into college planning to be a veterinarian. When I started, I realized very quickly that being a veterinarian was not going to be the career for me but I was still unsure of where to go. I took freshman seminar and fell upon psychology. It seemed interesting but I didn’t decide to switch my major to psychology until I took my first undergraduate psychology class. Looking back, I’ve always been the person friends come to for advice or just to vent. I was a “counselor” long before I went to school to become a counselor.
How would you describe what therapy looks like in your office?
Therapy looks very different depending on the patient in my office. I want the atmosphere in my office to be calm and relaxed so that people feel comfortable coming in and sharing with me. I realize that people are going to share things with me that they have never shared with anyone else and I feel like I’m responsible for creating a space so that people can do that freely.
Do you have a particular theory or type of treatment that you use?
I utilize Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy in my everyday practice. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a fancy term for this: Thoughts + Feelings = Behavior. The way we think about a particular event will inevitably lead to an action, whether positive or negative. If there are certain events in your life that lead to negative thoughts, then we can try to work on ways to change the thoughts surrounding that event to occur in a more positive way.
Tell us a little about your life away from work.
My husband and I spend a lot of time with our children (Julian and Aurelia) and with our dog Bellamy (who is named after the greatest rock musician of all time, Matt Bellamy of Muse). I enjoy reading psychological thrillers and attending concerts (rock/metal) as often as possible. I am passionate about advocating for further research into chronic pain and participate in multiple groups that advocate for further research and awareness.
If you weren’t a counselor, what would you be?
If I weren’t a counselor, I’d probably go back to my first career choice and be a veterinarian. I love being around animals and I’m passionate about their welfare.