- Would you like to feel more confident?
- Do you struggle with anxiety, depression, or isolation?
- Want to feel more secure in your relationships?
- Are you a LGBTQNB youth or adult needing understanding and support??
- Are you concerned about your teenager? Seeing behaviors you don’t understand?
If you’re facing challenges like these, I can help.
Because I have worked with people of many different races, ages, cultures, and gender identities, I understand how to support you. And, because I come from a strong family with lots of racial diversity, I have an intimate understanding of what you may be experiencing, and how I can help.
You can learn to step forward into your life with confidence as you let go of what’s been holding you back. I will teach you down-to-earth skills drawn from DBT, CBT, and Embodied Creative Arts to help you deal with the challenges in everyday life, and to help you create the life you want.
You will learn skills to be more present, more positive, and more confident in your responses to life.
As you face painful or uncomfortable feelings, I will teach you how to use self-compassion and self-acceptance. And as you learn these skills, you might be surprised that these challenging emotions begin to let go of you.
As you learn to manage anxiety and depression, you may find it easier to communicate your needs and wants to your loved-ones, enabling you to be closer to people you care about. You may also find that your “boundaries” with others are clearer and stronger, enabling you to safely allow closeness.
You may have received feedback that you are “too sensitive”, “too much”, “too distant”, or “too difficult” and so are afraid to get close to people. I strive to understand your sensitivities and uniqueness. I will not get overwhelmed or exhausted from the honor of working with you.
What sets me apart from the average therapist?
- I honor your unique life story, history, life experiences, and view of the world. I offer my skills, training, and experience to help you move forward in directions that you value. Together, we’ll discover what’s important to you. You might be surprised that you enjoy the process
- I will relate to you with humility. My skills, training, and personality help to make me an expert in the change and growth process. But you are the expert of your life. I honor your wisdom, skills, and strengths, and I will learn from you.
- I especially like to work with people who have serious challenges such as inter-generational abuse, poverty, mental illness, and minority oppression. I know what kind of courage it takes to overcome these challenges and thrive, and I can help you with skills to do so.
- Therapy can actually be fun! We will laugh a lot while overcoming your serious challenges. Sometimes the best solution is laughter, or taking a walk, or getting a coffee. Learning to not take life, or yourself, (or even me!) too seriously is one of the best things about therapy!
- If appropriate, I love to work with your family, as a group, and with family members individually. This way, we can help your family understand and support your goals.
- I am very open about the therapy process and I like to make it clear, plain, and as simple as possible.
- I understand the importance of the connection we make with each other. It’s very important for you to work with a therapist with whom you feel comfortable, friendly, and safe. We will make sure this is happening for you in our therapeutic relationship. If it is not, we will address it and fix it.
If I were to give you one golden piece of advice, right now, it would be this:
Be gentle with yourself. Everyone, no matter who they are, can be kinder to themselves and others.
- “I have learned how to trust myself and find ways to feel better. I feel heard and cared about during our sessions.”- young adult male.
- “I love our meetings. I feel like I am seen by you and you make me laugh even when I am going through a hard time.” –adolescent female.
- “I feel like you genuinely care and I have learned ways to question my negative thought patterns and have a choice in the matter.”- adolescent male.
- “You have helped my son and the whole family feel ok again. Your hopeful attitude rubs off on all of us.” Mother of a client and client in family therapy.
Books I Recommend
- Waking the Tiger, by Peter Levine. This book describes how crisis and trauma affect us at our cores and in our bodies. It also explains how to release trauma’s effects from our bodies. Levine describes trauma in a way that is easy to understand and is relatable.
- Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl. This book literally describes the meaning of life in a very human and relatable way.
- I use many creative arts/therapy workbooks with my clients and in groups.
- I find The DBT Workbook by Marsha Linehan to be filled with practical wisdom.
FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions:
“How long will it take to see results from therapy?” The answer to this question varies with each person. Together, we will help you determine your goals and dreams. We set small goals and check in about them often. Even a single session helps. And many clients stay 6 months to a couple of years. Others come for a period of time, achieve their goals, and return to therapy as their lives evolve. Toward the end of our therapeutic relationship, your session frequency decreases as you gain confidence and ease.
How do you work with chronic anxiety? While supporting you to face your fears, I help you identify triggers and thought patterns that perpetuate your anxiety, and teach you tools and skills to overcome it. I love helping my clients overcome even severe anxiety, including agoraphobia and social anxiety.
How do you work with depression? Depression can have many causes, so identifying where and how to intervene with your depression can be a creative, challenging process for both of us. As a team, we will help you to experience joy again, to connect with others, and find new meaning and purpose for you and your life.
How do you work with communication issues? First, you’ll learn to identify your needs and wants, and you’ll come to understand your “Personal Bill of Rights”. Once you have mastered these foundations, I will show you some effective ways to communicate your needs to others in a way that brings you closer to people.
What if I have problems functioning in everyday life or have special needs? I offer skills training, community resources, relationship coaching, communication techniques, and conflict resolution training. These skills help will help you function better in your life.
Have you worked with gender identity? I’ve worked extensively with LGBTQNB youth and adults. If you identify as LGBTQNB, I can help you navigate a constantly changing social and political climate, and help you define and embrace your identity, and deal with your relationships and with day-to-day issues that come up as a result of your identity.
My Training and Experience
Mental Health Experience and Skills
- 15 years of experience working in the mental health field with a variety of job roles including providing clinical supervision and experience contributing to the development of a new program.
- 5 years of community mental health working within a multidisciplinary team that provided psychiatric services, Peer Wellness Support, 24 hour crisis response, individual, group, and family counseling, advocacy, linkage, vocational, housing and educational wraparound support, and entitlement assistance and current drug and alcohol treatment modalities.
- 5 years of clinical therapy experience: conducting ongoing comprehensive assessments, treatment planning, conducting individual, group, and family therapy.
- Experience with a variety of populations including: people with developmental and physical disabilities: including the medically fragile, support for death and dying issues, people with complex PTSD and trauma issues, homeless youth and adults, incarcerated and “at risk” youth, sexual and racial minority-status youth, families, the elderly in Alzheimer’s and memory care treatment, and young adults with SPMI, dual diagnosis, severe trauma and Autism Spectrum Disorder.
- I’m familiar with various therapeutic techniques: evidence-based creative arts therapies, family and systems therapy, current drug and alcohol treatment modalities, Harm Reduction, Motivational Interviewing, CBT, DBT, Trauma focused-CBT, Cooperative problem solving, reducing self harm incidents in high risk youth and bereavement therapy.
- I use a client-centered, recovery-model, using developmental theory, DBT, psycho-educational and strengths-based approach.
Clinical Mental Health Therapist Work Experience
Care Coordinator III/Screener. Lifeworks NW- EASA Team, Washington Co. OR. (11-14 to 9-16 ) I was hired as a screener and QMHP care coordinator for the early assessment support team, for adolescents and young adults with prodromal psychotic symptoms. I worked within a trans-disciplinary, community-based team, including a peer support specialist. I provided case management, QMHP documentation including treatment plans, behavioral health assessments and coordinated with referents including parole officers, and other support people. I provided multi-family group therapy, family therapy, coordination, individual and Art group therapy. I also provided advocacy, psycho-education and community education.
Case manager and Counselor III. Cascadia Behavioral Health Care, Portland, OR. (4-13 to 6-14) Worked as a case manager and primary counselor in residential treatment. My clients had serious and pervasive mental illness as well as co-occurring complex trauma, A & D issues, developmental disabilities and challenges with daily functioning. I provided case management, support with entitlement assistance, advocacy, individual, family and group counseling, skills training and consultation. I also worked with parole officers, case managers through DHS, CPS, APS and county and state agencies. The majority of my clients were youth and young adults. I was also a part of implementing, establishing and creating a new program, and providing clinical supervision for Peer Wellness and residential staff.
Counselor 2 and Employment Specialist. Telecare Act Program, Gresham, OR. (9-12 to 4-13) Community mental health- working in a multidisciplinary team that provides psychiatric services, 24 hour crisis response, individual, group and family counseling, advocacy, linkage, vocational, housing and educational wraparound support, and entitlement assistance. I was a counselor and a vocational specialist.
Art Therapist. The Edward’s Center, Portland, OR. (9-11 to 6-12) Worked with adolescent and adult clients diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, MR-DD, seizure caused dementia, OCD and Intermittent Explosive Disorder. I conducted comprehensive assessments, created personalized treatment plans, and ran groups, individual and family therapy. I also referred clients to community services when needed and communicated with birth and foster families to establish advocacy.
Art Therapist. Harbor Care Residential Center, Portland, OR. (9-10 to 6-11) Conducted comprehensive assessments, created personalized treatment plans, and ran groups for elderly clients, all diagnosed with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, anxiety and various personality disorders. All of the clients also spoke only Mandarin Chinese.
Education and Licensure
Portland State University, 2004 – 2009
Bachelors Degree of Fine Arts, Minor in Psychology
Marylhurst University 2009 – 2012
Masters Degree in Art Therapy/Counseling- MA
Embodied Creative Arts Portland, 2016 – ongoing
LPC – Licensed Professional Counselor in Oregon 2016