I've been a therapist since 2016.
My motivation for this work comes from a drive to help others find purposefulness in their life and, even more so, a desire to accompany people on life journeys that feel too difficult to tackle alone.
To survive a storm, the tall trees of the PNW need two things: Deep, strong roots to anchor them in the ground and supple, dynamic branches that allow them to sway and bend with the wind.
People too need firmly grounded roots and the ability to bend if they are to stand tall throughout the inevitable storms of life. I strive to help my clients develop a strong sense of the identities, values and practices in which they can find rooted strength and self-awareness. I use a variety of techniques to teach my clients how to move dynamically and compassionately with the shifting weathers of their life, rather than brace against them.
While I am always learning and expanding my practice, my approach mainly draws upon 3 main areas:
Evolutionary Psychology & Attachment Theory
We humans often forget that we are fundamentally animals. And, like the other creatures on this earth, we have a biology designed to help us succeed. Our bodies hold wisdom and I want to help you learn to access it.
Our body produces emotions as biologically adaptive processes that, when we work with instead of against, help us regulate and orient to what we need. Our nervous system is specifically attuned to human connection and safety, and won't let us forget it when those things are in threat. However these experiences can be uncomfortable, so we often try to hide from or get rid of the valuable information our animal body is providing us. My work is to help you learn to understand the message in the discomfort so you can respond appropriately and effectively.
Grounded in existentialism, Gestalt therapy holds authenticity and contact with the present moment as essential components to moving through life in a balanced and successful way. Without connection to your authentic self, or to what is happening in the present moment, you won't know what you need or be able to access the energy to get it.
As a Gestalt therapist I will help you to look at the process by which your suffering arises, slowing down and zooming in to see in detail what is happening. In finding the disconnect we can better understand what part of the process is impeding your well-being. I will encourage you to be present focused-this often looks like moving out of the stories of the past and engaging with how the past is affecting you in the present. I will show up authentically in our sessions together (none of the silent staring therapist vibes!) and do my part to create a meaningful and comfortable relationship as we do this healing work.
In addition to the well-known practice of mindfulness, Buddhism offers centuries-old wisdom on the causes of psychological suffering. The concept of the "second arrow of suffering" is a simple but powerful one in my work. My study of this tradition also informs the style of my approach- I meet all the stories I hear in my office with equanimity (no judgment of good/bad/right/wrong), loving compassion and an awareness of our fundamental interconnectedness.
I offer instruction in meditation and am currently training in yoga therapy.
Outside of the office....
I like to ride horses, go camping and dance. My favorite books are epic-high fantasy (Brandon Sanderson anyone?) and I can't handle any remotely scary TV show. I'm happiest when I'm in the forest with my pup or enjoying music with friends.