I believe that profound healing is possible through psychotherapy. I invite patients to journey into themselves – their past selves and present selves — with me alongside them. In order to engage in this journey, I think it’s important for patients to know about the person they are in this process with. So, here’s a bit about me and the ways that I approach this work. To start with, I am a queer, white, cisgender, able-bodied parent and psychotherapist.
Approach to Therapy
My approach to therapy draws from my training in psychodynamic psychotherapy. What this means is an understanding that our early relationships with our parents and caregivers create an imprint in our minds and bodies for how we understand ourselves and our relationships. Profound freedom and clarity can result from unearthing these connections between the past and present.
My work is also strongly informed by polyvagal theory and somatic practices, both of which center the body and, more specifically, the autonomic nervous system, as the platform on which our sense of safety, self, and connection are built. How we move through the world – turning toward, backing away, sometimes connecting, other times isolating – is guided by the autonomic nervous system. Actively engaging with our nervous system’s cues can be a source of lasting empowerment. What this sounds like in therapy can be questions like: “Where do you notice this in your body? When you have this thought what sensations come up in your body? When you have that emotion what does your body want to do?”
Many of my patients have experienced and are healing from histories of trauma. As someone with my own history of trauma, I am continuously working to recognize and hold the ways in which trauma reactions are stored in my mind-body system – and I invite my patients to do the same. I also work with many individuals seeking to embody their queer and trans- identities in a heteronormative, homophobic, transphobic world.
I believe that an embodied relational approach requires continued reflection about roles, responsibilities, and vulnerabilities in the therapeutic relationship. I aim to practice in a way that engages with and invites open discussion about power and privilege, consent and agency.
Education and Training Background
I entered the field of clinical social work after nearly a decade of studying and working in the field of international peacebuilding. I have a Masters degree in International Peace Studies and spent time in Afghanistan and Northern Uganda, addressing the impacts of gender-based violence and oppression in communities ravaged by war and conflict. Over time I realized that although I believe strongly in collective transformation, I am more personally engaged and interested in individual healing processes.
I earned a Masters Degree in Social Work from the Smith College School for Social Work in 2013. My graduate education included extensive work with individuals impacted by intimate partner abuse as well as work at the Atlanta VA Medical Center, providing trauma-focused treatment to veterans and active duty service members struggling with PTSD as a result of combat trauma and/or military sexual trauma.
Following my graduate degree I have completed the following additional professional trainings:
- 2015 American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) Fellowship
- 2015 Society for Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Psychology (Division 39) Scholars Program
- 2021 Interpersonal Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Program, William Alanson White Institute
- 2022 Integrative Trauma Studies Certificate Program, National Institute for the Psychotherapies (NIP)
My ongoing training and lived experience continuously grounds me in the belief that a meaningful, connective therapeutic process can facilitate a more fully embodied life.