Imagine what would it feel like to observe your thoughts and feelings with an open mind and curiosoty instead of letting them take the wheel and steer you through life. I provide counseling for adults who are feeling overwhelmed by a life-changing event or experiences. Maybe you’re feeling stuck, sad or scared because of something that’s happened, or not happened, in your world. Are you graduating from college into a pandemic, going through tough important relationship transitions or milestones, or generally trying to find your authentic self? I work with clients to explore their most troubling inner thoughts and emotions without judgment, so they can change their perspective and take control of their lives.
Whether you’re just starting out or you’re starting over after a career switch or the end of a relationship, every transition is an opportunity to connect with your authentic self and create a life with purpose and enjoyment. Change is essentially a loss of your former identity, and that loss needs to be grieved so the new self can emerge. The therapeutic relationship is the most important piece of that process. You do not have to go through this alone, and I would be honored to go on that journey with you.
I provide a relaxed, safe space for people from all backgrounds, as we work together to find the self-care approach that works for them. I have training and experience in treating anxiety and depression and have helped clients, ages 11 to 65, deal with trauma, grief and loss, choosing life paths, differentiating from families of origin, substance issues, eating disorders and body image issues and more. I can shine a light on your strengths and opportunities, so that you can make positive changes in your life.
Treatment Populations and Modalities:
I work from a framework of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, combining mindfulness with action based on values, to help clients develop a flexible mindset that allows them to manage stress instead of trying to eliminate it. Through mindfulness, behavior modification, and radical acceptance, my clients can approach challenges from a new perspective to regain control of their experiences. My training in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction has allowed me to share many tools for connecting the body and mind and mastering the difficult work of staying in the here and now.
I also draw on interventions used in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy to create a toolbox for grounding emotions and coping in times of crisis. As we work on ways to address inner experiences, we will explore effective interpersonal skills and how events in early life affect your interactions today. Understanding early attachments is critical to making changes in your relationships with friends, family, coworkers, spouses, or romantic interests. I rely on the principles of Attachment Theory to guide my approach in these areas.
A Little Bit About Me
I know what it’s like to struggle with adversity and how my mental health plays a role in those experiences. It’s important to have a safe space to process your feelings and to allow yourself that space. Life is not black and white, and navigating the gray spaces can make people feel isolated and prone to low self-esteem. It has been my life’s work to accept myself for who I am. Just like you, I will continue to do the work — and that work is never done. In session, you will see that I too am human and navigating the human experience. You are not alone. And you too can see the beauty in the parts of yourself that you wish were different, and begin to appreciate how those parts serve you.
Clinical Education and Training:
I have a Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the George Washington University, a CACREP-accredited program that prepared me to work with clients in many treatment areas. As part of my program, I served as a counselor at GW’s Community Counseling Services Center and completed a clinical externship at The Women’s Center in Vienna, Virginia. I worked with a diverse range of clients, including college students and local residents coping with challenges such as grief and loss, sexual identity issues, generalized anxiety, and depression.
My training and experience span a variety of presenting issues, such as interpersonal relationships, self-acceptance, eating disorders, suicidality, separations and divorce, and other family challenges. I have also helped emerging adults cope with stressors such as the COVID-19 pandemic as they journey into adulthood in uncertain times.
I chose to pursue a career in counseling after learning about mental health issues through personal experiences and volunteer work. While earning a sociology degree from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, I completed an internship with Rockingham Hospital’s outpatient Partial Hospitalization Program on the Behavioral Health Unit. I worked with licensed clinical social workers and a multidisciplinary team in the behavioral health unit to help students facing mental health crises and other interpersonal issues. This is where my compassion for young adults began to blossom. I became even more committed to counseling through my suicide prevention training and work with on the CrisisLink Suicide Hotline.
I’ve had the privilege of working in diverse mental health settings and have a special interest in providing culturally competent care — including counseling, education, support, and advocacy services. It is my life’s work to help people see the importance of nurturing their mental health, just as they do their physical health, and end the stigma associated with needing and finding the appropriate help.
During my residency in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, I will work under the supervision of Megan MacCutcheon, LPC, who specializes in building self-esteem and therapy techniques such as eye movement desensitization and reprocessing to deal with stress, trauma, and difficult emotions. She also works with women experiencing mental health issues during pregnancy and postpartum.
Specific Populations of Interest
I have a special interest in emerging adults, women’s issues, relationships, mood disorders, interpersonal relationship issues, grief and loss.