“One cannot get much more vulnerable than to expose oneself psychologically. To share oneself with another and then be misunderstood or rejected is, for many, a risk not worth taking. As a result, this is the rarest of intimacies and the reason so many of us are reluctant to share even with loved ones our deepest concerns and insecurities about ourselves. Yet there is no closeness that can surpass the sense of feeling known and still being liked, accepted, welcomed, invited to exist.” ― Gabor Maté
We seek therapy when what we have been doing is no longer working or accomplishing our goals. It is a vulnerable place to ask for help, to ask for the perspective of another. I believe (from personal and professional experience) that the first step of healing, recovery, and transition begins with validation and acknowledgment of where we currently are. It is difficult to define and pursue hope without first identifying where we are and where we want to go. I believe that the therapy room is a space to validate and nurture the process of defining and aligning with our values. I prioritize respect and honor as it is a privilege to listen to the stories and individuals that I serve.
In this space, growth can happen. I see my role as helping people feel secure, wisely take risks aligned with their values, and to establish a space where clients are free to express themselves as they are. I am a narrative therapist and believe that the way we tell our stories defines how we experience them. In session, my goal is to collaborate with you in the telling of your stories, to flesh them out and align with the values that bring life to our experience.
“Healing is not about ‘staying away from something bad’ but about ‘living a life led by positive values and intentions.’”
― Gabor Maté
I specialize in working with adolescents and adults. I have experience working with various forms of trauma (from child abuse to combat trauma), recovery from both substance and behavioral addiction, anxiety concerns, depression, suicidal ideation, identity/transition concerns (retirement, moving, career issues, etc.) and clients who identify as LGBTQ, those with non-conforming gender identities, and individuals engaged in alternative relationship structures. I am in process to get certified in a number of trauma modalities (Somatic Experiencing, EMDR, Emotional Freedom Technique).
Addiction/co-dependency: I can help individuals who have struggled to get and stay sober or are grappling with how to better control their use. Learning how to tolerate distress and reduce suffering are some of the ways we can work together on better managing your difficulties with drugs and alcohol. Additionally, I can help loved ones and family members of those struggling with addiction to help navigate setting boundaries and increasing self-care in coping with this. Addiction is a family disease and I can help to navigate your path to wellness.
Trauma/PTSD: Trauma is often overlooked as the symptoms (anxiety, depression, panic, nightmares, etc.,) become the focus of the treatment. I believe that these symptoms are important to identify and listen to, as they often tell the story of something deeper that is unresolved and untreated. Simply treating the symptoms without addressing the root cause often leads to ongoing dysfunction and pain. I can help you to explore the ways in which trauma is still impacting you, utilizing both narrative, cognitive, and somatic strategies to help address and recover from these wounds.
Addiction/co-dependency: I have significant experience helping individuals who have struggled to get and stay sober or are struggling with how to better control their use. Identifying different strategies to tolerate distress and reduce unnecessary pain are some of the ways we can work together on managing difficulties with drugs and alcohol. Additionally, as addiction often impacts family and loved ones, I can help loved ones and family members of those struggling with addiction to help navigate setting boundaries and increasing self-care/coping strategies. Often time addiction (both behavior and substance) once served a purpose in coping with life stressors. Identifying the needs that addiction is meeting (or is trying to meet) allows for alternative ways of coping that better aligns with the values the individual holds.
Relationship issues: Often we seek the familiar, whether that familiar is helpful or harmful. In relationships, we often repeat certain patterns that have been modeled or experienced in the past. Unfortunately, these patterns may leave us feeling unfulfilled or trapped. I can help you explore these dynamics and discover what you need in relationships. I have experience in working with partnerships who identify with alternative relationship structures as well as with couples who strongly incorporate religious and spiritual practices in their relationships. I can help to navigate issues related to these relationship structures while maintaining a respect for the values prioritized by the partnership.
Grief and Loss Issues: We are often left to our own devices to cope with loss. Whether that loss comes from a relationship, loss of employment, or the death of a loved one, we need a place to unpack the pain and make meaning of the experience. I can help unpack that pain, make space for the sadness, and validate the impact of the loss. This process takes time, and I can walk with you through the mess and unfamiliarity that it can bring.
Issues related to gender and sexuality: I have significant experience in working with individuals who identify as LGBTQ, are feeling unsure about gender identify or are in transition, or those who are questioning/exploring sexuality. I can provide a safe, accepting, and nonjudgmental space to explore the many aspects of identity.
Existential issues: We are faced with questions about life, death, and the meaning of it all. Often, this leads to feeling extremely alone and anxious. I can provide a space to talk about these things. Together, we can explore the deeper questions of life and create more meaning in your life.
· Narrative Therapy
· Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
· Existential Therapy
· Feminist Psychology
· Psychodynamic Psychology
· EMDR, Somatic Experiencing (in process for certification)
· Motivational Interviewing
· Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
I hold a Doctorate in Psychology in Clinical Psychology, with a generalist track (and emphasis in trauma, addiction, and faith integration) from George Fox University’s Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology. I am a Licensed Psychologist with the State of Oregon, #3148.
I hope I have the chance to work with you soon!