Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Couples [The Gottman Method]
Sharing a life with someone is hard. Having an expectation that this life will somehow match what we see in movies or read in books can make anyone feel like a failure. In my practice, I do my best to help couples find ways to connect, build trust, and learn how to turn toward each other regardless of past experiences and hurts.
My focus in individual therapy uses Attachment Theory as a springboard to better understand the underlying messages that shape how people see themselves as individuals and in relationships. From there, I use Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) to help determine the values and principles that help people live their best lives. And I turn to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) tools when thoughts get sticky.
MSW - Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago
My first professional job out of college in 2003 had nothing to do with working in the social work or counseling field. What started as an interest in volunteering led to me accepting a position as a child protective investigator in Florida. After realizing that a degree would open other opportunities, I moved to Chicago and went back to school for a master's in social work. In each of the jobs I have held since graduating in 2006, I have found evidence to back the idea that a person’s past informs their present. It feels like I have instinctively followed a path that has led me to work with people to help them find patterns and meaning behind current problems and difficulties. Even though I did not set out with an idea of where I wanted to take my degree, providing therapy has turned into the best fit for me professionally.
It's important that I balance my desire to do good work with ensuring I am rested, eating enough protein, and taking time to give myself compassion and validation. At the end of each day, I write down all the things I accomplished, rather than focusing on the things I didn't get done. It helps me feel more positive about myself and helps decrease tendencies to focus on the negative.
I have read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn more times than I can count. It's a story of a girl growing up in the early 1900s with a family that loves her despite their problems. She figures out how to get past roadblocks by asking questions and staying curious. The main character takes risks and makes mistakes, but always stays true to herself and her values.
When not social working, I love playing with my adorable but not that intelligent Goldendoodles, Olive and Obie. Despite their pampered existences, they look for any opportunity they can to escape our backyard. One time, they got picked up by the local dog warden and ended up spending the night in the county dog shelter. We hoped the experience might help them see that life is harder on the other side of the fence. And while Obie seems to have learned his lesson, Olive still looks for ways to escape.
Sign up to receive Octave updates and information about mental health topics.
If you or someone you know is experiencing an emergency or crisis and needs immediate help, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. Here are some additional crisis resources.