What inspired you to pursue a career as a psychotherapist?
I realized I wanted to be a psychotherapist during my first year internship experience in graduate school. When I started social work graduate school, I planned to focus on policy and administrative work. However, during my internship I discovered that I loved working directly with people and saw the immense impact psychotherapy can have on a person’s life. Over the course of my graduate program, my interest in clinical work continued to grow and I realized that being a psychotherapist was a strong fit for my skills and interests.
As a psychotherapist, what part of your job is most satisfying?
The most satisfying part of my job is when someone is able to open up about something they have not been able to talk about before. It is incredible to watch how being able to share something painful or shameful and receive acceptance and support in return can impact a person.
How would you describe your therapeutic approach?
I believe positive change occurs from a combination of new insights, shifts in perspectives, changes in behaviors, and healing experiences. As a result, my therapeutic approach utilizes a variety of interventions, theories, and evidence-based practices to promote changes in each of these areas. I work together with my clients to determine which of these practices and interventions best fit their needs and goals.
Why do you believe that psychotherapy can help?
I believe psychotherapy helps by both being an avenue for learning and providing an experience of being understood and listened to. Therapy can help us learn about ourselves, including the impact of past experiences and how we relate to others, as well as learn new ways of managing problems and difficult emotions. I also believe the experience of exploring and sharing one’s inner experiences with a supportive and empathetic person can change how we relate to ourselves and the people around us.
What are some of your specialties and what drew you to them?
Through my work and training experiences, I have specialized in treating perinatal mood and anxiety disorders and supporting individuals and families with challenges around pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. I was drawn to this specialty because I believe there is such a big need for more support for individuals and families during this time. I am interested in working on how therapists and the healthsystem can better provide this support and care. I also love working with this population because it is such an impactful time in a person’s life and psychotherapy can make a huge difference coping with changes and challenges associated with it. I have also continued training in psychodynamic approaches to psychotherapy due to its focus on the impact of past life experiences and the unconscious on mental health. I believe that sometimes understanding our past and its impact on our life today can be pivotal in making the changes we want for our future.
What is one thing about psychotherapy you wish everyone knew?
Sometimes people believe that therapy is just about talking about one’s problems which does not actually solve any issues or challenges. While it may be true that there are many problems we cannot immediately solve during a therapy session, I wish everyone knew that psychotherapy can greatly reduce the stress, shame, and distress associated with life’s challenges.
What is your motto or personal mantra?
One of my frequently used mantras is “perfect is the enemy of the good.” This phrase helps me remember to do my best rather than try to be perfect.
What are your favorite self-care activities?
I find activities where I get to make something such as crocheting or baking especially rewarding and energizing. I also love to relax with a good book or tv show.