After three beautiful years of working as a therapist at Northwest Counsel, I moved to Chicago to pursue my Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (PsyD) at Adler University. I am currently in the second year of my PsyD program and am part of the Traumatic Stress Emphasis. As part of my clinical training, I work as a diagnostic extern at a psychiatric hospital in the Chicagoland area. Additionally, I teach as an adjunct professor in the psychology department of a local college and currently hold the position of Student Co-Chair in the ISTSS Complex Trauma SIG. I also regularly present at conferences across the United States on issues of complex trauma and dissociation.
“Be their blank canvas. Let them paint their thoughts on you; Until they can see the whole picture. That, is your part as a Listener.”
Every individual is unique in their needs and the time it takes to address them. I strive to create a strong, therapeutic relationship that is built on trust, respect, responsibility, empathy, attentiveness, and open-mindedness through communication. My goal is to offer you a safe and supportive space, to walk with you in your journey, explore aspects of the ‘self’ that you would like to build on, and discover strengths that can be used in your present and future to have the life that you desire. My belief is that counseling is most effective when taking a collaborative and holistic approach. Life can be stressful, but you don’t have to do it alone. “My job is not to heal my clients; it is to help my clients heal themselves.”
I have years of experience working directly with adults, children, and families in a therapeutic setting and in their homes. I have had the honor of working with adults in intensive mental health services, facilitating life skills groups, in-school therapy at a high school and middle school, assessing patients in the emergency room at a hospital, and intensive in-home services with children and families. To say the least, I feel that it is important to meet clients where they are at.
I graduated from University of Washington in Seattle with my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Gender Studies. I then decided to go to graduate school at Saint Martin’s University, where I got my Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology. I was raised in Tacoma, Washington and appreciate the community that has shaped me into the person that I am today. I am in love with nature and the outdoors, writing, and learning. My soul is particularly energized by my relationships with a hint of daily “me-time.
“I want you to get excited about who you are, what you are, what you have, and what can still be for you. I want to inspire you to see that you can go far beyond where you are right now.” Virginia Satir
I believe that the messages we receive over time become deeply entrenched beliefs about ourselves and the world around us. It can feel like our problems are a part of our identity. This can quickly lead to guilt, shame, and hopelessness because changing ourselves at the core can seem impossible. By expressing these feelings and looking into where these beliefs come from, we can begin to see that we get to choose what kind of person we want to be. I want to be there to guide people as they search for and create a life they want.
“As a therapist, I am a companion. I try to help people tune into their own wisdom.” Virginia Satir
My degree is in Marriage and Family therapy, but the title of my field is misleading. I don’t just work with couples and their kids, I work with all sorts of individuals and I offer the opportunity for those clients to bring other people into sessions with them if/when it feels helpful. These people can be romantic partners, family members, or anyone else that is relevant to a client’s wellness. I’m trained to think about how people are impacted by their relationships (friends, family, romantic partners), the larger social context, and vice versa.
The theories I primarily work from are Narrative Therapy and Experiential Therapy. Both are humanistic approaches that emphasize that people are naturally good and that who people are is separate from the problems they deal with. I make adjustments in my approach to fit the individual needs of my clients. I have experience with a wide variety of diagnoses and life experiences, and I regularly read books on new subjects that are relevant to my clients.
As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community I have a special interest in helping others from the community as well as those who are struggling with their relationships to members of the community. I also enjoy working with teens because adolescence is a time of finding one’s identity and constant changes in social roles and family dynamics. I remember wishing I had a user manual to tell me how to handle things, but I only had friends who were just as lost as I was. There was so much pain and confusion and “drama”. I love being there to answer questions and guide people through this time, helping them to stay connected with family while gaining independence, and searching for the kind of person they want to be.
I have always been fascinated by why people do the things they do. This lead me to a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a Minor in Philosophy from the University of Washington Tacoma. From there I followed my passion for helping people and my fascination with people’s thoughts, feelings, and relationships to pursue a career in therapy. I chose a degree in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) over one in Mental Health Counseling (MHC) when I learned that MFT’s focus on Systems Theory, which means that we focus on how people are impacted by their relationships and their social context. I earned my degree through Pacific Lutheran University and loved the entire journey.
On a more personal note, I love spending my free time doing crafts and playing video games or board games with friends. I love cats, dogs, and really all animals. I’ve even been a vegetarian since 2014. You’ll see artwork of animals in my office because they make me so happy.
Engaging in therapy is a courageous act of hope.
Some part of you, no matter how small, believes that life can be better. The confusion or pain has just become too much. You’re making the decision to reach out for help, with the hope that life can be different. I believe this hope is a powerful force for transformation. Together we can discover a life filled with more joy, clarity, meaning, and resilience.
Maybe you’re feeling uneasy with life, which shows up as a vague feeling of dissatisfaction or confusion. Perhaps you are experiencing deep sadness, stressful life transitions, or loss. You may find yourself caught up in the waves of an emotional storm. Or, you feel shut down and unable to express or even identify your emotions, creating distance and tension in your relationships. In the midst of it all, you want to know that you can break free from the grip of anxiety, sadness, or past trauma. You want to feel seen and understood. You could really use some hope.
My approach to psychotherapy follows a Psychodynamic, Relational model. Relational therapy emphasizes that the driving force in our lives is toward relationships and the source of much of our grief and shame are feelings of isolation and loneliness. The way we function in the world is often shaped by past experiences of relationship, which at times have been destructive, painful, or negligent. Understanding your story and the ways in which it impacts your life today serves as an avenue of healing and wholeness.
I believe that the bond we build together has the potential to bring about growth and change, as you learn to connect more deeply to yourself and others.
My work is also informed by Attachment Theory, Mindfulness, and Interpersonal Neurobiology (brain science). I am also trained in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Emotionally Focused Therapy. I find that these therapies integrate beautifully with a relational approach. If you feel that you would like to incorporate learning specific skills for coping with anxiety or emotional dysregulation, I will happily work with you toward that goal.
I have always been infinitely curious about the particularity of our stories as human beings. How are our personalities formed? What motivates us? What gives our life meaning? I graduated with a BA in Psychology from Western Washington University, and a bit later in life, I received my MA in Counseling Psychology from The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology. I have enjoyed years of experience working together with my clients to experience not just symptom relief, but true flourishing.
One of my greatest joys is engaging in lively conversation over lovingly prepared food. I am passionate about the city of Tacoma and feel incredibly grateful to live in the wild and gorgeous Pacific Northwest. Dogs are my weakness and a good British detective mystery often serves as my self-care.
Master’s Level Intern
You are looking for help. You might feel anxious or depressed. I get it. I’m here for you.
I will provide you with support to help you understand how thoughts, feelings, and behaviors interconnect so you can engage with life instead of just reacting to it. You are valuable and your experience is important.
Therapy is work.
You are worth every minute.
You can move forward.
I am currently a clinical intern at Northwest Counsel completing my final year of the Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counseling graduate program at Antioch University New England. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Visual Arts from the University of Washington. Outside of my practice, I enjoy creating and use my free time exploring everything from knitting to watercolors. I love being outside and spending time with my two dogs and loved ones.