*I am currently holding a waitlist for Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) only*
“Sometimes you have to drop your guard so your heart can breathe.” – Emma Xu
Therapy with me: I believe that building therapeutic rapport and creating a collaborative relationship are among the most important aspects of therapy. A client working with me may not jump right into what is traditionally considered “therapy” but instead, will spend time working towards a mutual understanding of what works best for them. I allow my clients to decide if the environment I have created feels safe for them to heal. My goal is to provide my clients with time and space to find their voice, identify boundaries that work for them, and to heal from the challenges they may be facing.
My impacting identities that inform my work: I am white, cis-gender, able-bodied, heterosexual female whose identity includes many roles some of which include wife, mother, and therapist. I recognize that I grew up with privilege where I was afforded opportunities and therefore cannot fully comprehend the challenges many others have faced.
I feel informed and knowledgeable about: I feel informed and knowledgeable about how trauma impacts the whole self, not just thoughts and feelings, and remains stored in our very being. I am aware of how trauma often leads to intense feelings and/or engagement in maladaptive patterns of behavior. I am aware of how a child’s challenging behavior can impact family functioning and am knowledgeable in alternative ways for parents to interact with their children to improve relationships and help children build a healthy self-esteem.
I work best with clients who: I work well with client who are looking for a warm and empathetic and straightforward style of feedback. I enjoy working with clients who are open to challenging themselves and are willing to be vulnerable within the therapeutic space.
I am not a good clinical fit for clients who: Are struggling with substance use and abuse. I also may not be a good fit for clients who are not ready to dive deeper into their work to help themselves heal.
What makes me unique: I am a unique therapist because I work with both children AND adults. I love working with littles and supporting them to build stronger, healthier, and more attached connections with their grownups. I am also passionate about working with adults that have courageously stepped forward and are ready to address life’s stressors as well as those who are living with unhealed trauma.
I used to work in an environment where my focus relied heavily on evidence-based and trauma-informed work and while this approach may have been helpful to some, it was likely not the path to healing for others. I now recognize that much of my learning left out the conceptualization of intersectionality; therefore, upholding a longstanding environment of oppression within the field of mental health. I am committed to learning from experts on how best to work towards decolonization of mental healthcare in order to prevent further harm.
Building a private practice from the ground up has taught me so much more about my courage, determination, and self worth. Every day is a new opportunity to use my voice assertively, tap into vulnerability, and live more authentically.
I have recently become very interested in Internal Family Systems, a treatment approach that leans on a person’s own experiences and inherent parts to promote healing from within. I have already participated in an online cohort to being learning about this treatment modality and am putting what I have learned into practice. I am also planning to attend a Level 1 certification training through IFS Institute beginning in January 2023. In addition to IFS, I am also learning more about Polyvagal Theory, or the “science of feeling safe”. This theory supports a person’s ability build a regulated nervous system by better understanding shifts within themselves.
My favorite place to vacation is at the beach. I appreciate the waves as a constant reminder of life’s changes. In my down time, I enjoy spinning, crafting, and watching baking shows. I’ve seen every episode of The Great British Baking Show at least three times over and I’m happy to report my first attempt making a pavlova was a success. Next on my list…homemade ice cream and waffle cones.
My family of origin includes eight people and I am the youngest of 6 children. We are spread out across the US so pending time with my parents, siblings, and 12 nieces and nephews when we are all together in one place is really special. Time with my own little family is also important to me so I treasure any time spent with my husband and kiddo.
I have lived with anxiety for most of my life and work with a therapist myself. I am learning to embody vulnerability and cultivate self-compassion to work towards acceptance of all my Parts. Intentionally taking breaks and resting for the sake of resting has not always been easy for me and I am learning to appreciate the importance of self-care so that I am not pouring from an empty cup.
West Chester University of Pennsylvania – 2003, Bachelor’s in Social Work
Widener University – 2007, Master’s in Social Work
Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) – Nationally Certified
Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) – Nationally Certified
Certified Complex Trauma Professional Level II
Certified Clinical Telemental Health Professional
IFS Level I Trained, IFS Institute (certification in progress 2023-2024)
WHAT I’M CURRENTLY READING…
Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents by Lindsay C. Gibson, PsyD.
Anchored: How To Befriend Your Nervous System Using Polyvagal Theory by Deb Dana
Somatic Internal Family Systems: Awareness, Breath, Resonance, Movement, and Touch in Practice by Susan McConnell
WHAT I’M PLANNING TO READ NEXT…
The Perfectionist’s Guide to Losing Control by Katherine Morgan Schaffer
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell