I am a therapist who understands that life can be difficult, but I also truly believe that we can create lives that are joyful. Learning how to balance those two different experiences can be hard. Understanding and accepting the pain we experience in life, while at the same time celebrating the wonderful things is incredibly important but surprisingly, not always easy do without help. Some people think we should be able to handle struggles on our own, but I believe that to experience a good life, we sometimes need help. Counseling is an incredible way to create your best life. My job is to help you figure out how to live this life. My belief is that you have the ability to know how to make these changes, I do not have the answers to your situation, but I do know how to support you in figuring out how to live your best life.
I use evidence-based methods in order to provide you research proven guidance. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy with a focus on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies mixed in different ways with commitment and behavior change strategies to increase psychological flexibility. The objective is not the elimination of difficult feelings, rather it is to be present with what life brings us and to move toward valued behavior.
My experience includes working with children, adolescents, adults, and their families for over 25 years. I first worked as a Licensed Dietician and enjoyed working with people using a holistic approach to nutrition where the whole person, including lifestyle, is important. Over time, I found my attention was more and more on the psychological needs of the people I worked with and began to pursue an education and career course where I specialized in counseling. My professional status is a mental health professional, although my experience in dietetics certainly helps in working with people struggling with an eating disorder. I am a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist with the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals.
I also work with people struggling with serious anxiety, particularly OCD. The common idea of someone with obsessive compulsive disorder where they focus on cleaning or putting things in order doesn't consider the many different types of OCD. OCD can show up as ruminations or intrusive thoughts which are typically extremely disturbing for the individual afflicted by them. They occur involuntarily and can be concerned with almost any variety of topics. These types of OCD sufferers may be bombarded with unwelcome thoughts concerning many different things. I use evidence based methods to help people with these issues including Exposure Response Prevention.
Prevention and mental health in the community have been key areas in my professional development. Prior to private practice psychotherapy and counseling, I led a multidisciplinary staff in the administration and delivery of an intensive mental health program for families. In addition, I coordinated a mental health promotion and education program where I had the opportunity to work in multiple school districts. Before that, my extensive experience with managing mentoring programs allowed me to genuinely understand what barriers people face.