Areas of Expertise
When choosing a therapist, it's important to pick someone who has experience directly related to your needs. Most therapists obtain general counseling experience in graduate school, and then pursue specialties post-graduation in pre-licensed positions. Below is a list of specialties that I focus on within my practice.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), more than 40 million adults (19.1%) in the U.S. struggle with some form of anxiety. Additionally, roughly 7% of children ages 3-17 experience anxiety each year. Anxiety typically consists of excessive worry, spinning thoughts, irritability, difficulty concentrating, muscle tension, sleep disturbance, digestive issues, and restlessness. I tackle anxiety with a combination of cognitive behavior therapy and mindfulness training.
Ever wonder why it's hard to get along within a family unit? Are you confused about how your birth order impacts your relationships outside your family? Do you find that you repeat unhealthy patterns of behavior when you hang out with your family of origin? I utilize a family systems approach to untangle family dynamic behaviors so that spending time with family is enjoyable and less stressful. I also teach boundaries to ensure that you can function as an individual and not just an extension of your family.
One of my favorite quotes is, "What is grief, if not love persevering?" When we experience a loss of any kind (death, divorce, loss of health/mobility, job loss, estrangement, loss of a dream, infertility/miscarriage), it can feel very lonely and isolating. I utilize the Grief Recovery Method to help my clients complete their relationship to the person or situation that died. I work with both adults and children to process through their grief and grow beyond it, so that the experienced loss does not hinder functioning and enjoyment long-term.
Early Childhood (0-5)
Just because a child is young does not mean that they are automatically immune to life's stressors. Children are resilient, but they also need specialized support when experiencing distress. I'm trained in Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) to address trauma that occurs in early childhood (abuse, divorce, foster care, caregiver incapacity). When working with young children, all sessions are done conjointly, with the parent and child present, to help repair the bond and focus on regaining a secure attachment, so the child can feel safe to heal and grow.
Each stage of life presents with its own unique stressors, which is why I choose to see individuals of all ages in my practice. Common therapy issues, such as anxiety, depression, and trauma, do not discriminate based on age, therefore, I prefer to make myself available to anyone who is ready to begin their healing journey. As new stages of life are experienced, our brains can sometimes struggle to shift, which makes therapy an excellent solution to facilitating change effectively with proper support.
I understand the need that many people experience to have their faith incorporated into their therapy sessions. My faith is something I personally cherish and utilize as a source of strength and insight for navigating the world around me. I am able to utilize a Christian perspective when working with clients, if specifically requested. I also maintain a deep sense of respect for other faith practices and will never assume that a Christian perspective is what every client who walks into my office is seeking.
Depression is more than just feeling sad. It can include feelings of inappropriate guilt, hopelessness, sleep disturbance, a lack of interest in pleasurable activities, low motivation, difficulty concentrating, changes in appetite, lethargy/fatigue, and suicidal ideation. I explore the roots of depression and utilize a cognitive behavior therapy approach combined with solution-focused therapy to help my clients reclaim their lives from depression. My goal is to assist my clients with long-term coping using pattern identification/disruption.
Of all the jobs I've had, being a parent is the most challenging! As a mom myself, I know the unique joys and struggles that parenting presents. I empower parents to develop a secure attachment with their children using positive parenting strategies. My method is backed by neuroscience, so the interventions used are in alignment with your child's developmental stage. When focusing on parenting, I prefer to do sessions conjointly with parents and their children to practice interventions in session and problem-solve accordingly.
Trauma is any life event(s) that present with significant disruption in functioning. This means traumas can be devastating events, or positive events that dramatically interrupt life's course. I incorporate the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Quiz into my screening to determine the risk factors that significant trauma poses to a client's long-term functioning, and then work with the client to process through the trauma and gain clarity using Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT) and narrative therapy approaches.
Emerging adulthood is a unique time in life that brings its own set of challenges and stressors. From having the world view you differently the moment you turn 18, to navigating college, jobs, relationships, friendships, and changing dynamics with family, this stage of life can be both exciting and daunting. Therapy during emerging adulthood can be valuable in creating a foundation for independence and gaining perspective on what it means to conceptualize your childhood and individuate from your family of origin while stepping into adulthood.
Studies show that the top three stressors that drive couples to therapy are sex, finances, and children. If this sounds like your relationship, know that you are not alone! My work with couples incorporates Gottman and cognitive behavioral therapy, to help couples come to an understanding of their partner's needs and their own individual contributions to stressors in the relationship. I focus on repairing broken communication patterns and helping couples move beyond relational traumas, like infidelity.
Evidence-Based Practices (EBP)
I incorporate Evidence-Based Practices (EBPs) into my sessions because they are backed by science and have been proven to be effective in addressing most stressors and traumas. The EBPs that I utilize include: Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP), Motivational Interviewing (MI), and Managing and Adapting Practices (MAP).