"Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen."
Each client I've worked with has their own unique life experience, strengths, fears and concerns. My passion is connecting with people on an authentic basis. I want to know all of the things that make you you.
I hesitate to write what I "specialize" in, because people are not homogenous. Saying that I've worked with depression doesn't mean that I consequently understand your depression: how it affects you, how it feels for you, what it means to you.
That said, people seek therapy to feel better. Chances are, you're reading this because you want to know if I can help you. For that reason, I've made a list of things that I am passionate about helping people work through, which is by no means exhaustive.
Therapy isn't a pill you can take; it is a shared journey that leads to more holistic healing and a greater understanding of oneself.
"The grass is greener where you water it."
-- Neil Barringham
I believe that people are capable of change and healing, because I've seen it time and time again. If you are ready to be a bit vulnerable, to prioritize authenticity, to work hard, try new things, and sometimes sit with discomfort when you want to run away, then we will probably be a good fit to work together.
Depression is often completely misunderstood, which doesn't help at all when you are suffocated by it. It's hard to explain why you can't get out of bed, why you keep canceling plans, why you keep calling in sick to work. It can be hard to explain that sometimes there's no real reason you are depressed; you just are. You can have a million things to be thankful for and still have depression.
Therapy can be extremely helpful in combatting depression; it is safe place to process all of this and get support. I will work with you to create a plan to overcome your symptoms. We will move at your pace and take things one step at a time.
Grief & Loss
When someone you love passes away, it feels like your worst nightmare come true. Whether it's after a long illness or is completely unexpected, it can feel surreal and difficult to process.
Other experiences of loss, like miscarriage, divorce, the loss of a pet, or even ending a long career, can be devastating. For weeks, months, years, you might feel as if you're floating in a fog, just trying to get through the day. It can feel like stabbing pains in your heart, a constantly churning stomach, like you can't stand to be inside your own skin any longer, or like you are exhausted in a way you never have been before.
When others ask how you're doing, you don't know what to say. "Awful. Worse than ever before." Others might NOT ask how you're doing, for fear of upsetting you, and you want to say "This is all I think about, all day every day."
I can offer you support in this journey that you never signed up for. I can listen to whatever you want to share. I will help you manage all of life's expectations and determine priorities when the tiniest things feel like too much. I will do my best to help you get to a place of healing, no matter how impossible that might seem at this time.
Drug & Alcohol Addiction
Have you been seeing signs that your drug or alcohol use might be a problem? Do you feel that it has negatively affected your life, your relationships, or your work? Oftentimes people use alcohol or drugs to cope with difficult emotions, trauma, or stress. It might be time to explore healthier coping mechanisms to manage your emotions and heal your pain.
I'd love to meet with you to explore this. I have extensive experience working with clients with long-term, severe addiction, leading to relationship problems, being fired from work, incarceration, homelessness, or serious medical conditions. No matter where you're at with your substance use, I will not judge you. I will not pressure you to quit. I am a safe person to talk to.
I believe in a harm-reduction philosophy. I do not require that my clients are sober. I realize that AA and NA do not work for everyone. If you are not ready to quit, I'd still love to meet with you to identify ways you can be as safe as possible. I will offer you a safe space to explore the roots of your use. If you are ready to quit and stay abstinent from substances, I can offer you relapse prevention skills, alternative healthier coping mechanisms, emotion regulation skills, and be part of your support team on this journey.
Up to 70% of people experience Impostor Complex at some point in their lives-- feeling severe self-doubt and a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a "fraud." This can cause anxiety, depression, and self-imposed stress. Those with impostor complex often struggle with perfectionism, which can result in procrastination for fear of not being able to complete a task perfectly, or overly-preparing and spending too much time on an inconsequential task.
I can work with you to change this negative thinking pattern, feel empowered by your own expertise and skills, and combat the feelings of anxiety or depression that come with it.
Are you your own worst critic? Is that inner voice in your head always tearing you down, reminding you how undeserving you are?
The paradox of low self-esteem is that you feel you aren't worthy of love, which prevents you from putting yourself out there and actually finding love. You're so afraid of someone seeing you for your true self, that you never get the closeness you crave.
Low self-esteem at work can prevent you from sharing your ideas, feeling accepted, or asking for the raise or promotion you deserve.
You are worth so much. No matter who you are or what choices you have made in the past, you deserve to have someone on your team.
Sometimes it feels impossible to balance everything, like there aren't enough hours in the day. If you have too much to handle and feel like you're about to lose it, it's time to make a change. This is not a sustainable way to live.
I can help you identify ways to manage your stress, cut out un-needed distractions, and prioritize what is most important to you. We can improve communication skills and identify ways for you to advocate for what you need to take care of yourself. Life is too short to feel exhausted, overwhelmed, and stressed every day.
If you are angry, I get it.
Women are held to impossible expectations. We are expected to look a certain way, behave "appropriately" (whatever that means), pacify men, be maternal and sexy at the same time, and have careers.
Women are paid less than men for doing the same work. Women We are socialized to be "sweet," to stifle anger, to follow the lead of men, let men cut us off when we are mid-sentence, carry the weight of "emotional labor," let men take credit for our ideas. We are socialized to smile when men sexually harass us, and fear for our safety when we don't. We are told to smile by strangers i.e. male strangers, because apparently women are only tolerable when happy. We are told what we can and cannot do with our bodies. We (Americans) live in a country led by a President who thinks it is acceptable to "grab a woman by the pussy."
Yes, I could continue. If you are exhausted by carrying the weight of all this, day in and day out, I can offer you support.
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
PTSD is a mental health disorder that is triggered by a terrifying, traumatic event. Being involved directly or witnessing this event can result in the following symptoms:
Intrusive thoughts about the event
PTSD puts the autonomic nervous system on high alert, so the "fight, flight, freeze" instinct can kick in just from hearing a loud sound or seeing a reminder of the event.
I have experience working with folks who struggle with their PTSD symptoms and need relief. If you are in the same boat, I can work with you on better understanding the body's physiological response and implementing skills to cope with and lessen these symptoms.
Attachment style develops as a response to childhood relationships with caregivers and their attentiveness when the child is in distress. These learned attachment styles are then carried through future relationships.
In romantic relationships, partners with opposing attachment styles often report push-pull cycles and repetitive conflict.
The good news is that attachment styles are malleable. Awareness of attachment style can be a relief for someone who wonders "Why am I so jealous/suspicious/un-trusting? Am I needy?" or "Why can't I let people in?" By identifying and addressing these patterns, and learning how to communicate effectively about the underlying emotions, couples can stop the insidious cycles of fighting. I can help support this growth and provide tools to better understand attachment style and develop more secure attachment.
Healthy and effective communication is imperative to a happy and healthy relationship. In times of conflict, it can be a struggle to maintain composure, utilize active listening, and express emotions in a useful way. Everyone's heard of using "I statements," or Counting to Ten when angry, but sometimes that just doesn't cut it.
At work, our communication directly affects our productivity, our relationships with our coworkers, and our ability to get a much deserved promotion or raise. Whether you feel you are too passive, come across as aggressive, or struggle to be assertive and advocate for yourself, there are skills you can apply to improve your communication style.
It's frustrating and lonely to feel like you aren't being heard. We can explore the roots of your communication style and then practice techniques to help you develop clarity and assertiveness in your communication, regulate your emotions and express them in a healthy way, and finally feel heard.