Background and Education
I received my doctorate in clinical and school psychology from James Madison University and received my B.A./M.A. in psychology from The Catholic University of America. I completed my doctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the APA-accredited Center for Counseling and Psychological Health (CCPH) at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst where I engaged in crisis intervention, individual and group psychotherapy, comprehensive psychological assessment, as well as, increased my engagement in outreach and psychological consultation. Throughout my career, I have worked in a variety of settings, which included inpatient hospitals, outpatient clinics, schools, and university counseling centers.
Therapy Style and Approach
I am a results-oriented therapist who uses my understanding of you as a whole person to focus on immediate symptom relief while also working towards longer-term change. My approach integrates evidence-based techniques from cognitive-behavioral, emotion-focused, psychodynamic, and family systems therapies to tailor sessions according to your unique needs, goals, and interests.
Basic Assumptions and Goals:
Using insights from attachment and neuroscience, I work collaboratively with clients to help them gain insight into how they are "wired".
One of these assumptions is that humans all have a basic need to feel valued by others. For many of us, this need has gone unmet or been met inconsistently by important people throughout our lives and often underlies feelings of loneliness and apprehension.
Another assumption is that, as humans, we are designed to act in ways that minimize discomfort; however, we often use strategies that may provide temporary relief but end up making things worse down the road.
My overarching goal is to help you better understand how these maladaptive patterns function in your life so that we can find ways to alter, change, and/or replace them to improve your relationships, sense of self, ability to manage stress, and overall quality of life.
Focus on Therapist-Client Relationship:
I believe that the real work occurs on an experiential "gut" level. This means that being able to connect with your therapist in a way that feels authentic, caring, and challenging is arguably the most important aspect of counseling. It is only from this place that we can begin the work of discovering the "puzzle pieces" of what makes you who you are. We would then be able to examine how they fit together into a comprehensive narrative of your life that provides a strong foundation from which to create short and long-term goals and take steps to building increased awareness and foster meaningful change.