I tend to approach therapy mostly from a cognitive-behavioral perspective focused on helping people learn the connections among their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and how to alter various aspects of these for changes they want in life, as well as how that relates to their deeper perspectives of themselves, others, and the world. However, overall I’d say I have an integrative lens. Each person is unique in terms of history, what they are currently going through, strengths and weaknesses, motivation for change, etc. Depending on a variety of factors, I may also bring in techniques such as motivational interviewing, elements of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, elements of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Exposure-Response Prevention Therapy, Parent Management Training, interpersonal approaches, behavioral approaches, psychoeducation, or mindfulness, as some examples.
I am open to seeing individuals across the lifespan, anywhere from age 6 and on into older adulthood and with a variety of presenting problems. I enjoy working with children, adolescents, young adults, adults, older adults, parents, individuals, couples, and families.
I want people in my therapy room to feel fully accepted, comfortable, and open in order to be able to discuss deeply challenging and human issues in honest and forthcoming ways. I try to be person-centered, genuine, collaborative, accepting, and strengths-based. I think of the person as the expert on their life and the psychologist as the mental health expert, with both working as a team to figure out what fits for that person. I aim to push people in loving and knowledgeable ways towards both acceptance and change, insight and growth, goal development and follow through, along with skill building and enhancement so that they don’t need me for the long-term and are able to work towards being their own therapist aiming to continually move in the directions of the lives they desire.
Growing up, I tended to be the friend that people would talk to when they were going through something and needed someone to listen. I didn’t know at first what I wanted to be “when I was older,” but tended to be drawn towards helping kinds of activities. As a young teen, I was able to volunteer with a patient in hospice care who had been a horse trainer. Since I rode horses at that time in my life, we’d swap training stories. He’d smile and give me training advice while chowing down on his favorite three musketeers bars that we'd bring. It was sad to see him pass, but I was thankful that his family let me be a part of his last days. Before college, I was able to volunteer to help with equine therapy for those with special needs. That was a wonderful mix of my love of horses and helping. During college, I was undecided at first regarding what I wanted to major in, but that changed after taking my first psychology class that first year. From then on, I knew that was the perfect fit for who I naturally was and my desire to make a positive impact in people’s lives. This then led to my continuing with a psychology major, being able to work with individuals with autism in a job I loved, and later going on to graduate school for a doctorate in clinical psychology. This focus of experiences and education was both out of a love of learning and a desire to be able to hopefully be able to devote my life to helping people in knowledgeable and useful ways. In graduate school, I learned to work in a variety of settings, including an internal psychology clinic seeing individuals from the local community, a university counseling center seeing students, staff, and faculty, and a community mental health center. My internship year consisted of experience in an additional community mental health center and an outpatient behavioral sciences clinic, while my postdoctorate year included experience in the group private practice setting. I’m so thankful to have entered into this field and feel it is the perfect fit for me.
I love spending time with my loved ones, including my family, friends, and dog. I also enjoy things such as traveling, photography, animals, hiking, kayaking, learning, reading, and being outdoors in general.
My favorite movie is Pay It Forward. I love the idea of the ripple effect that can occur from one person to the next and so forth and so on when we strive to improve the lives of others in some way.
If I were not a Psychologist, I would probably be a Photographer. I feel that there is a lot of hidden beauty in the world, and we often don’t slow down enough to take it all in. Photography helps keep me present, mindful, and appreciative of the world around me.