Are you seeking change in your life but are unsure of where to begin? I am a firm believer that effective psychotherapy can improve your well-being and help you lead a more meaningful and fulfilling life. Perhaps you are dealing with depression, anxiety, grief, relationship issues, trauma, or struggles with self-esteem. Maybe you have taken steps on your own to resolve some of these issues and are wondering if a trained professional could help. It is a courageous step in anyone’s journey to reach out for support. I have over a decade of clinical experience in providing mental health services and would be grateful for an opportunity to work with you.
Clinical and Educational Background
My areas of clinical expertise include depression, anxiety, trauma, relationship issues, grief and loss, women’s issues, and life transitions. I have a particular interest in working on issues related to trauma, attachment, and shame. For those clients who desire to do so, I integrate spirituality and faith into clinical practice. I am interested in utilizing research-based modalities of treatment that encourage positive neurobiological change (such as EMDR). I work primarily with individual adults and adolescents.
I completed my MSW in 2010 and have been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker since 2013. For over a decade, I was an outpatient mental health therapist at Catholic Charities where I worked with adolescents, adults, and families from diverse backgrounds on a broad range of issues. In 2022, I completed a PhD in Clinical Social Work at The Catholic University of America where my dissertation research focused on shame as it relates to mental health disorders, and the relationship between individuals’ attachment styles and how they experience shame. I have published articles in peer-reviewed academic journals on the topics of attachment and spirituality in clinical practice.
On a more personal note, I currently live in Virginia with my husband and toddler son. I enjoy music, dance, outdoor family activities, spending time with friends, and being involved with our church community. I spent two years living in Paris and speak French.
My therapeutic approach is deeply informed by attachment theory and interpersonal neurobiology. Attachment theory helps us to understand how our prior relational experiences have shaped the way we relate interpersonally, as well as how we regulate our emotions, and provides a framework for healing in a therapeutic context. Interpersonal neurobiology, the study of how relationships affect the human brain, supports our understanding of attachment and provides guidance on how the brain can heal with the help of therapy.
My approach is also informed by family systems theory, which conceptualizes the individual as part of a family system in which all parts influence one another. In a sense, the family is viewed as an emotional unit, in which symptoms in one individual may be indicative of problems within the wider system. Concepts from this theory help us understand how certain issues can be passed down intergenerationally, from one generation to the next, through family dynamics. Understanding the individual client within the context of the family system in which he or she was raised can often shed light on root causes of current struggles.
I think it’s safe to say that everyone in life experiences some sort of trauma, big or small, from which they need healing. Trauma that is left unprocessed and unresolved manifests in symptoms that negatively affect mental and physical health. These traumas may be impersonal ones, such as a natural disaster, or more often, personal ones connected to ruptures in our relationships with people in our lives. Recognizing the prevalence of trauma, I work to establish physical and emotional safety, collaborate in such a way that the client maintains choice and control in the therapeutic process (for example, carefully assessing with the client’s feedback the appropriate pace at which to process disturbing material), and empower the client in an atmosphere of affirmation and validation to develop resources and build on existing strengths.
In 2017, I was trained in EMDR therapy and have found it to be a powerful and effective approach. Currently, I am working towards EMDR certification. I have found EMDR to be efficacious in treatment for trauma (traumatic experiences that might be considered more significant as well as those that might be considered more benign), distressing childhood events, anxiety, depression, grief and loss, and stress reduction, among other issues. It has been my experience that when individuals are able to successfully process and bring resolution to disturbing memories using EMDR, they can experience positive changes in how they think and feel that are lasting and permanent.
I combine the use of EMDR with interventions from other modalities including Ego State therapy and Internal Family Systems (IFS). I use a stage-oriented approach in which I first focus on creating safety and developing a person’s internal resources.
Uniquely Tailored, Culturally Responsive, Spiritually Integrated
I recognize that each person I encounter is unique and strive to tailor sessions specifically to meet your individual needs. I conduct a careful assessment in order to determine what approach would be most appropriate and effective for meeting your goals.
I value learning about other cultures and have specific training in culturally responsive practice. In my prior clinical work, I had extensive experience working with individuals from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds. I also have personal experience relating cross-culturally having lived overseas for two years and being a first-generation American born in the U.S. to immigrant parents.
For many clients, spirituality is an important part of their lives, and when the client wishes to do so, I integrate spirituality into clinical practice. I have conducted prior research on the role of spirituality and religion in mental health, and the integration of spirituality and faith in clinical practice.
My goal is to make the therapeutic relationship a safe space where you can share all your challenges and know that you will feel heard and accepted without judgment. I view the therapeutic process as a collaborative process in which we work together to understand the root causes of your current struggles and find lasting solutions. I hold hope for you along your journey that transformation is truly possible (as I have experienced and continue to experience transformation in my own life). Indeed, it is a privilege to walk alongside individuals as they courageously face their struggles, and to witness the changes that happen as they heal and lead more fulfilling lives. If you would like to take the next step in your journey, contact us today.