It is hard to find a good therapist. I know, because I’ve been there. When I was looking for a new therapist, I frankly didn’t care about where they went to school or where they had worked. I wanted to get a sense of what it would be like to sit in that room with them and spill my stuff. I had an idea of the kind of therapist I wanted and needed. Assuming your thought process is similar, I’ve written this to give you a sense of what it might be like to work with me.
I keep things simple. I won’t give you a long-winded, overly technical explanation when I can tell you in a couple of short sentences. If we find a strategy that works, or you already have one that helps, I’m not going to mess with it. I believe that people are more likely to follow through with suggestions when they are easier to do.
I am a die hard optimist. Not in the “everything will be great” way. But rather, I know that you can handle therapy and the work that needs to be done. I know that when we are finished, you’ll be able to handle whatever comes your way. You’ll have faith in it too. I will always make it clear that I believe in you.
I am focused. Sure, you might be able to distract me for a few minutes with talk of a good book, a great recipe, or a fantastic pair of shoes. However, it won’t last long, and I won’t let you avoid the hard stuff. I will keep us on track, so you can get what you want and need out of therapy as quickly as possible. Just remember that I will always be here for when you need a booster session, or two, or seven. I will keep you focused on your goals so that you can get the work done and move on. I don’t expect people to stay in therapy forever.
East coast-west coast. I will be direct and call you out when I see you avoiding or getting stuck in unhelpful patterns (east coast!). But instead of using a baseball bat to do it, I will be gentle and patient (west coast!). I might just ask you a bunch of questions, so you have no choice but to see it for yourself! I love balancing these complimentary sides of me, and have found it to be quite effective in helping people get themselves unstuck.
My office is a judgment free zone. I understand that you likely already judge yourself harshly, and that you don’t need someone else doing it. So please, tell me your truth. Don’t tell me what you think I want to hear or what you think you “should” say.
Humor is important. Because laughter offsets the hard stuff. And when we can laugh, the work seems easier. It’s hard for our body to hold tension when we laugh. It lets us let go of tough and uncomfortable emotions – I also just love humor and love to laugh!
Fun Facts: My happy place is any warm, pretty beach, toes dug into the sand, while I read a good book and listen to the crashing waves. I don’t really like chocolate. I love the smell of freshly cut grass. Reading, exercise, and cooking are my current non-therapy therapies.
Licensure and Education: I am licensed in Maryland (#04804) and California (#20024; inactive status). I earned my Bachelor’s degree from Boston College and my PhD in Psychology from Pacific Graduate School of Psychology (now part of Palo Alto University).
Training and Experience: After 15+ years in the field, I have a broad range of work experience in multiple settings. I have worked with a variety of clients and difficulties. I prioritize my continuing education around strengthening my current skills, learning new evidence-based techniques. and adding new skills to my therapeutic toolbox. I am certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for kids and teens. I am trained in Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD.