Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Interpersonal Psychotherapy, Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), Motivational Interviewing, Psychodynamic, Relational, Solution-focused, Strengths-based
I work with clients who have generally crafted an intentional life, often one marked by good judgment, predictably optimistic outcomes, and plenty of agency. A life that works… right up until it doesn’t.
I have a special place in my heart for clients who would rather be doing almost anything else with their time than go to therapy. If you are someone who has an aversion to dredging up slings and arrows, I can relate.
My clinical experience specifically includes working with the families of individuals with a severe mental illness diagnosis, bereavement counseling (including situations of violent or traumatic loss), and infertility. I also work with individuals who are anticipating or experiencing stress related to high-conflict divorce.
My clinical orientation is psychodynamic and eclectic; some clients might want to engage in psychotherapy, which can be a longer-term process, but many clients, especially those experiencing grief, are relieved to learn that short-term and solution-focused counseling are often highly effective.
MSW - Social Work, University of Southern California
Prior to becoming a LCSW, I had a long career in public health, which I loved and which continues to be an interest I follow closely. After my own experiences with parental loss, parenting, blended families (basically, a developmental trajectory), I developed a deep interest in this astounding degree of complexity and contradictions and resiliency (just to name a few attributes) that define the human condition.
Any and all great novels, trail running, pasta in any variation, books about butterflies and geology, and my family.
I take a brief inventory of my day, and try to ask myself if I have made the best decisions with the information I had at the time. Sometimes the trajectory of our days follows a narrative arc; there is a conclusion that reveals information that might have been a mystery just hours ago. For me, Monday morning quarterbacking is a recipe for anxiety and discontent. I avoid it at all costs.
Flaubert's Parrot by Julian Barnes: A novel that speaks for me to suicide and what comes after – an attempt to make sense something that remains incomprehensible. And not to be terribly melodramatic, but the persistence of love.
Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson: This is a stealth trauma narrative with an arc that almost simulates trauma itself. The points made in the novel are nuanced, and this is how I find trauma often saturates a life.
Any Amy Temple short story collection that contains the short story, In The Cemetery Where Al Jolson is Buried. I haven't found a work of fiction that more accurately depicts the complex and conflicted feelings of sitting with a loved one during the stages of a terminal illness. Oh goodness, Amy Hemple would probably dislike that description very much. I would amend, "among many other nuanced plot points…"
More recently, Atlas of the Heart by Brene Brown: Yes, I have already read it twice. I believe the ability to use language to discuss feelings and emotional states cannot be underscored. My therapeutic modalities are essentially reliant on talk therapy, and language is already so insufficient and imperfect. Brown's recent book helps tremendously to contribute to the fluency of language of emotions.
International Rescue Committee and CARE. Providing international assistance is hard, and these organizations show up and have shown up for decades.
Any organization that supports foster children (these vary by location). In 2020, there were approximately 424,00 foster children in America. I believe most foster parents are angels, and yet we miss so many opportunities to help these kiddos when they turn eighteen.
Any organization that supports veterans, especially the grassroots ones (again, varying by location). I have a special place in my heart and work for veterans, especially combat veterans and their families. I believe most of us would be shocked at the challenges that those who serve and their families encounter in obtaining healthcare, mental health, and the most basic of re-entry resources.
I find equal renewal in the deserts, and in the busiest of cities. I have all the coping skills you are probably familiar with already. And everything mentioned earlier in this section. I would say though, remaining curious about people as I go through my days, even outside of the therapeutic environment, has been the most important factor in my ability as a therapist to be present with my clients, and to be present with my family, friends, and avocational interests. Maintaining a curiosity about people, actually listening to people, makes it almost impossible to become judgmental, or to lose clinical neutrality.
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