About the Counselor:
“The roots of resilience…are to be found in the sense of being understood by and existing in the mind and heart of a loving, attuned, and self-possessed other.”
― Diana Fosha
I believe change and growth occur in profound and significant ways. As a therapist, I approach a person holistically, considering their emotional, psychological, physical, and spiritual well-being. When we find ourselves in the middle of an inter-relational struggle or a personal crisis, fear may prevent us from taking the necessary next step. Isolation and feelings of aloneness contribute to our pain and frustration. Asking a therapist for help is a great beginning.
My specialty includes issues related to depression, anxiety, trauma, grief and loss, addictions, adjustment disorders, attachment and relationship problems, self-esteem, and spirituality. My approach is warm, non-judgmental, supportive and focus so you can get where you want in life.
My goal is to create a safe place where you feel comfortable sharing your struggles, challenges, and pain with someone who listens with an open heart, attunement, and empathy. My role as a therapist is to assist you in achieving resilience and regaining control of your life. Therapy is a collaborative effort where together we explore and overcome the obstacles that prevent you from living your best life. Creating trust in the therapeutic relationship is the essential first step.
I have spent the last twenty-five years coming alongside men and women in their journeys to recover their authentic selves after years of addiction, co-dependency, depression, anxiety, trauma, and/or shame. I have worked with individuals who have been in abusive and emotionally destructive relationships, assisting them as they learn how to develop healthy boundaries and self-care strategies. I have learned that when we feel stuck in some of life’s difficulties, it’s important that we ask someone to come alongside us to offer support and help as we navigate our feelings and our pain.
I completed my M.A. in Counseling from Townsend Institute Concordia University, Irvine, CA. My therapeutic approach includes attachment-based therapy, ego-state therapy, psychodynamic therapy, Gestalt therapy, emotionally focused therapy, Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy techniques (AEDP), positive psychology, mindfulness, and Christian counseling (if desired.) I believe strongly in continuing education and training to keep current with new advances in the field. My practice is enriched by the ongoing reading, research, and training that I continually pursue. I have been particularly an interested in trauma and Complex PTSD (relational attachment trauma). Moreover, I have completed advanced coursework in a variety of innovative, evidence-based approaches.
Because I have personally experienced healing from emotional and physical trauma, I know that there is hope for transformation and freedom for anyone who is willing to do the therapeutic work. When you find yourself struggling and uncertain about what to do next, I am here to help. Together we can begin a new journey of healing and transformation.
By overcoming some of the difficult situations in my own life, and finding new ways of healing and thriving. I bring a sense of real connection and clear guidance to my clients. As a result of my own personal work, I know that not one therapy fits it all. Therefore, I have an eclectic therapy style. I am always learning, and I tailor my approach to the needs and interests of each individual.
Change can be challenging and anxiety-producing. I am trained to work with individuals who experience depression, anxiety, self-criticism, boundaries and healthy relationships, self-esteem, family stress and conflict, life transitions, trauma and old wounds, disconnection from self, sadness, grief, and difficulties adjusting to new circumstances and dealing with life in general.
“Our wounds are often the openings into the best and most beautiful parts of us. ~David Richo
As we move through life, we all have times when things don’t seem to be working. Maybe you feel overwhelmed by pain–from recent events or events long ago. You might feel lost. Through a personalized and collaborative process, I can help you heal and propel your life and relationships to a better place.
However, taking the step to come to individual therapy can be a scary one.
Having been there myself, I will provide you with an empathetic and safe environment for you to explore and learn while therapy is all about while respecting your pace and needs.
I believe everybody has the capacity to live fulfilling lives. However, trauma sometimes gets in the way. Therapy offers you the chance for lasting and meaningful change, to transform your experience in such a way to live a richer and more rewarding life. In therapy, the overall outcome includes feeling happier and more effective in your life. These changes happen in the context of a respectful working relationship between client and therapist. I am specialized in working with individuals who desire a healthy lifestyle, as well as individuals who face difficulties such as loss and traumas.
My Counseling Work with Couples:
As a relational therapist, one of my biggest passions is to help people find fulfillment and joy in personal relationships.
Regardless of your status, single, married, divorced, or in a relationship, I can help you with whatever you are looking for. You might be single and not able to connect and find a good partner or a healthy relationship. You might be divorced and have gone through the grief and loss of marriage already so don’t want to repeat the pattern.
If you are in a relationship or married, couples therapy is recommended when partners feel unhappy or “stuck,” and have not been able to resolve your conflicts. Some couples or individuals in couples may have become angry and argumentative, while others may have emotionally shut down and disengaged. You might be on the verge of separation, or primarily looking to improve communication and rekindle the passion in your relationship. Whatever your situation, I will provide a safe environment in which you and your partner can be heard. I practice effective ways of communicating and dealing with repetitive difficulties.
The biggest underlying issue to many couple’s dilemmas is attachment trauma.
Therefore, my work focuses primarily on your own attachment style and how it influences your relationships dynamics. When we dig deeper, we can increase our compassion towards ourselves and our partners; therefore, we facilitate change, increasing intimacy and decrease conflict. You will also develop new skills for problem-solving as well as enhancing your relationship, even when it is not in trouble.
I can help you both work your differences and problems in emotional communication, sex, parenting, money matters, problem-solving, division of labor, in-law relationships and more. We then use this information to guide our treatment plan. We are focusing on mutual change pertaining to reconcilable differences, and acceptance when change is not possible. My therapeutic approach is integrative, and combines Attachment Therapy (Imago and Emotionally Focus Therapy-EFT), as well as individual work each partner would deepen in.
For people that want to explore and integrate spirituality in their lives and healing process, I combine sound clinical mental health treatment with a Christian foundation.
I work under the supervision of Isabel Kirk, LPC