I prefer to make therapy sessions feel like a conversation as opposed to a very formal and clinical interview. I am open and honest about my own mental health journey and use self-disclosure to help create validation, better understanding, and acceptance for what my client is experiencing. In addition, I believe it creates a stronger therapeutic alliance and clients know that I too put into practice the skills learned in therapy on a daily basis. I am pragmatic and realistic when it comes to creating goals or establishing coping mechanisms.
Throughout my experience, I have honed my skills and specialize in the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and other severe mental illnesses (SMI) including Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, and other psychotic disorders. In addition, I treat individuals with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as well as complex family/custody and forensic issues. My therapeutic approach is multimodal. I primarily use Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT); however, all treatment is individualized for the needs of my client(s). Therefore, I utilize other types of therapeutic approaches including Exposure and Relapse Prevention (ERP), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Play Therapy, and Expressive Therapy, among others. Furthermore, I have worked in the health and fitness industry since 2001. I am trained and certified in meditation, progressive relaxation, and Yoga.
There are unique challenges that individuals with BPD and/or other severe mental illnesses warranting extra support from a clinician. I am available to clients at all times possible via a direct channel of communication for support during a particularly distressing event. I do not judge anyone and encourage my clients to not judge themselves either. I am direct, but extremely empathetic and compassionate. I believe that it is not my role to make decisions for clients or push my values and beliefs on a client. Instead, my role is to help clients work through the decision-making process as well as making decisions and choosing behaviors that align with their values, goals, and are right for themselves at the time.
I have worked in social services for over 15 years with a wide range of clients – from adolescent females in residential treatment to the severely mentally ill inpatient population to performing psychological and neuropsychological assessment of individuals of all ages, and I have trained under some of the most respected psychologists in the forensic field. I was a military spouse for many years, which afforded me the opportunity to work with active-duty military service members and their spouses all over the United States. In my free time, I enjoy teaching fitness classes, dancing, playing piano, and spending time with my family, friends, and dog.