Psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl believed, “everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms–to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” While possible, the ideal of choosing our attitudes can be hard to achieve. The circumstances we encounter may trigger overwhelming emotions of anxiety, depression, and anger. We may find ourselves reacting to situations in ways that we didn’t expect, aren’t proud of, and don’t understand. In our relationships with others, we may find ourselves caught in upsetting loops that we can’t disrupt no matter how hard we try to change our behaviors.
I know from personal experience that counseling can help us develop the freedom to choose our attitudes to life’s difficult circumstances. Counseling enables us to learn more about ourselves and those around us. This knowledge allows us to more accurately evaluate the circumstances we find ourselves in, weigh our options, and choose our responses.
In my work specifically, I will help you build awareness of your needs, values, and internal processes by encouraging you to explore and articulate your emotions. Using a person-centered, strengths-based, and relational approach, I will prompt you to increase your understanding of and empathy for yourself and the other people in your life. We will translate the insights that emerge into tangible growth by practicing new skills and developing new mindsets. Therapy is your journey of self-discovery and change, and I am here to collaborate and support you in pursuit of the freedom to choose your own way.
I have a Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marymount University. I earned my bachelors degree from the College of William and Mary. After seven years of working in training and development, I decided to change careers and pursue my passion for mental and emotional health. My commitment to this field increased while working for PRS CrisisLink, a Northern Virginia crisis hotline that is part of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network.
Pulling on attachment theory, Internal family systems (IFS), existentialism, family systems, and Gestalt, I work with adults, individuals and couples, on issues of anxiety, depression, relationships, life transitions, grief, and loss. I regularly use techniques from Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Solutions-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), and Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT).
I have also developed a passion for working with Postpartum Depression (PPD), which is relatively common among childbearing women as approximately 13% of recently delivered women experiencing symptoms severe enough to warrant a clinical diagnosis. We can prevent a lot by treating the mother. However, women tend not to be treated for PPD. If treated, the intervention does not typically address the marital or environmental context in which PPD occurs. The recommended treatments are generic individual therapies or group therapy with other PPD women. Research indicates that, among other factors, PPD is linked to women’s negative perceptions of themselves as much as to negative or lack of close relationships. At DC VA, we approach PPD from a holistic perspective. We are offering treatment and support for the individual as well as for the family involved with the welcoming of the new baby.
Especially for women who have symptoms that persist much longer than the first year. Addressing the environment aspect is crucial for recovery and fostering a long-term healthy family environment
I work under the supervision of Isabel Kirk, LPC.