What’s Your Story?
Are you thinking about therapy? Perhaps circumstances are not as you would like them to be right now. You may have struggled through years of discomfort or experienced a more recent, life-altering event but you know that something has to change. You’ve tried tolerating it, distracting from it, numbing it and have hoped it was just a phase. But your discomfort continues to build.
You believe deep down that change is possible. You may not know what steps to take to create these desired changes but you know now is the time. There is something calling you on a quest to find the best and highest version of yourself, to actualize the life you deeply desire.
You may feel apprehensive about moving forward into the unknown but you know that staying where you are currently is even more distressing. So even though it feels scary, you’re going to take the steps. This is courage.
You know that transformation requires effort and that building a better life (or building anything for that matter) is work. While talking to a warm, empathic partner can be soothing, you recognize that change and renewal come from learning and practicing new ways of thinking, coping and being in the world.
As you consider what you need to move toward peace and emotional wellbeing and as you evaluate whether to invite me along, here are some things you should know about me.
- You are worthy. You came into this life as a valuable human being searching to create a life worth living. You might have held onto this truth throughout your life, but it’s likely you have become somewhat conditioned and crossways in your thinking. It’s not unusual for unkind people and painful life events to influence one’s thoughts and self-concepts. If you have lost sight of your value and worth, I would like to help you find it.
- You are doing the best you can. Our best varies day-to-day based on countless variables (e.g., sleep, nutrition, hormones, pain, events of the day, etc.). Yes, we can learn to do better in life, but none of us wake up and think, “I’m going to do a half-assed job of coping today.” I will remind you of this as needed.
- Thoughts are not facts. Our minds—bless them—do an amazing job of keeping us safe, helping us problem-solve and, therefore, navigate relatively well through life. They are not who we are and they don’t even tell the truth. We have a higher level of consciousness that enables us to observe and question our thoughts. When’s the last time you noticed a song stuck in your head? Have you ever thought, “What made me think that?” Our minds create stories that can best be viewed as options or possible truths. Part of my focus in therapy, as well as my own life, is bringing critical awareness to these stories and evaluating how well they are serving us.
- We create our own reality. Once we understand our thoughts are not facts, we begin to recognize many more selections for how a situation can be interpreted. We have choices and can then become much more deliberate about the life we are creating.
- We are all connected and find meaning and greater understanding of who we are through one another.
I view the therapeutic relationship as an equal partnership. You are the expert of your own life and the one who determines where the process is going. I will offer my knowledge and experience to identify the possible paths to take, the skills or tools that are needed along the way and how to make the journey safely and successfully. In addition to valuable lessons learned from other clients along the way, I will draw from the following experiences, education, and training.
When exploring degree options that would enable me to connect with and uplift others in the way I desired, I found that I most resonated with the biopsychosocial-spiritual focus of social work. After all, we are multifaceted beings who are continually influenced by our own physiology, thoughts, feelings, our environment, relationships with others, and our connection to something bigger than us too.
Along my professional journey, I have been shaped by a variety of clients and jobs throughout Virginia. While living in Richmond, I worked in psychiatric hospitals, with the homeless, and at three Community Services Boards (CSBs). Experiences in Charlottesville included Emergency Services at a CSB, hospice, and working as a therapist for women in prison. In Harrisonburg, I provided outpatient therapy and coordinated a Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) program at yet another CSB before starting my private practice.
- Bachelor of Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
- Master of Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
Licenses & Certifications
- Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the Commonwealth of Virginia
- Certified Daring WayTM Facilitator
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
- Positive Psychology
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Level 2 Practitioner
- Sandtray Therapy
- Motivational Interviewing
- Dissociative Disorders Psychotherapy Training
- National Association of Social Workers (NASW)