Where did you go to school? What degree did you obtain from each?
I went to Northwestern University for both my undergraduate and graduate degree. I received my BS in psychology and my Masters in Marriage and Family therapy.
How long have you been practicing?
I have been practicing 3.5 years as a clinician and 10 years as a life coach.
Why did you become a therapist?
I was already a life coach and loved doing that work. Yet, I decided to pursue my undergraduate degree to ground my practice in more psychological education. During college I took an emotions course that blew my mind. I ended up doing a research project that involved reducing depression symptoms and increasing positive emotions. It was through that research that I wanted to work with a larger population of people struggling with these issues and decided to get my masters degree.
What is your “treatment style”?
I am an action oriented therapist. I work with people to create goals and remove the hurdles that get in the way. Then, I give people tools and skills to work towards their goals. It is rare I leave a session without giving some type of homework.
What is your focus?
I work mostly with couples to reduce conflict and increase effective communication. I also work with parents on building more effective parenting strategies and with individuals to decrease depression and anxiety.
What’s something you would say to a potential client who’s on the fence about beginning therapy?
Just try it! Therapy is a gift you can give yourself. You are worth the investment!
The most important piece is the connection between you and your therapist. If you are not feeling it after a few sessions, find someone else. We will not be offended. We want you to get what you need even if we cannot provide it.
What is your opinion on medication?
Medication works great from some and not so great for others. Research shows that outcomes increase if you do therapy in conjunction with medication versus medication alone.
What is your favorite part of being a therapist?
Being a therapist is an honor. It is a gift to me to be a part of someone’s journey. I value the trust my clients place in me to share some of their greatest vulnerabilities. My favorite part is when the tools we are working on are impactful and the client is experiencing the changes they've been reaching for. I also love when my client’s share exciting news with me outside of session.
What’s your hope for each client when they leave your office?
It is my hope that a client leaves my office feeling seen, heard, and understood. It is my goal to provide them with a safe non-judgmental place to be open and honest so they can. I also want to provide them with actionable steps they can take to increase their wellbeing.
How do you practice self care?
One of the ways I practice self care is by doing things my future self would be grateful for. That might be pushing myself to accomplish a task I’ve been avoiding or taking a walk. I also practice yoga, meditation, take long baths, read, and I’ve gotten better at saying no to social activities that I do not have the energy for.
Were you involved in any extra curricular activities either in high school or college?
I wasn’t involved in many extra curricular activities during high school. I would often babysit for family or neighbors and when I turned 16, I started working. I went to college as an adult. By that time I was a mom with two small children and that kept me pretty busy. Although, I did participate in research labs during undergrad and worked as a TA during graduate school.
What do you like to do for fun?
I love going to concerts and live music. I love to be out on the water paddleboarding or on a boat. I also enjoy going to explore new places or hanging out with friends.
What is an unpopular opinion that you have? (About therapy or about life)
I’ll give you two that I think are powerful.
Motivation is a myth. It is rare that motivation comes along spontaneously. It’s often driven by deadlines. Motivation often follows action. Building routines and habits are a more productive way to create the change you want than waiting around to feel motivated.
Feeling badly and beating yourself up is a waste of time. Many people think if I am hard on myself, I will be motivated to create change. This may work sometimes but more often than not beating yourself demotivates you. Research shows that self compassion has a bigger impact on accomplishment than berating yourself. Self compassion is not excuse making. It’s taking context into account and looking forward. Beating yourself keeps you stuck. Be kind to yourself. Build yourself up. Become your own best friend and not only will you feel so much better but you will also get more accomplished.