I have a master's degree is in Integral Counseling Psychology.
I am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, which uses a systems approach to understand interpersonal dynamics and relationships. I work with both individuals and couples.
I am most closely aligned with the theories of Transpersonal and Integral Psychology. I am also influenced by Buddhist Psychology, Jungian Psychology, Mindfulness Based Therapy, Gestalt, Psychodanic/Object Relations and Solution Focused Counseling. I am interested in the field of neuroscience as well as Shamanism and the healing potential of non-ordinary states.
I am a registered yoga teacher and am informed by the psychology of yoga. I bring a holistic approach to the services that I provide.
I engage in my own personal therapy and mentoring with a local therapist.
Q: What does "Transpersonal" or "Integral Psychology" mean?
Transpersonal Psychology might loosely be defined as the psychology of spirituality. It is concerned with those areas of the human experience that search for a higher meaning in life, or those areas beyond or "trans" personal.
Integral psychology aims to blend the Wisdom traditions and spiritual practices from the East with modern, Western Psychology. It is an all-encompassing holistic approach. It includes both lower (unconscious) realms of consciousness, ordinary (thinking) mind, and spiritual or transcendent states of consciousness.
Q: What can I expect from working with you?
You can expect that I will provide you with compassion, respect and understanding. I will provide perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and to help you increase awareness of your feeling and of your choices. I will assess your situation and we will formulate a plan for helping you cope with, accept, get relief from or resolve your situation. At times I will challenge you. I do not give outright "advice" or tell you what to do, but I hope to ask thought provoking questions to help you make sense of your own experience and work towards your fullest expression of yourself.
Q: Do you see individuals even though you are a marriage and family therapist?
Yes. I see more individuals than couples, actually.
Q: What is the difference between counselor, therapist, psychotherapist, psychologist, and psychiatrist? And what about life coach and consultant?
The terms counselor, psychotherapist and therapist are relatively interchangeable in referring to professionals who provide counseling and psychotherapy/therapy.
- Counselors, Psychotherapists/therapists and Social workers have at least a master's degree and a master's level clinical license ( such as LCSW, MFT, LPC, etc.) to provide counseling or psychotherapy.
- A Psychologist is a different clinical license that requires a PhD or PsyD, and may be referred to as "Dr." They can also provide counseling or psychotherapy and also psychological assessments, but they do not prescribe medication.
- A Psychiartist is an MD who can prescribe medicine and usually doesn't provide therapy.
- A life coach does not provide mental health counseling or treatment or address problems. A life coach may address specific life goals and help create a plan of action for achieving desired changes and support you as you work towards your desired changes. Life coaching is not covered by insurance.
- A consultant is a broad term for a professional who provides professional or expert advice in a particular area. This may also include facilitating trainings or workshops.
Q: What is the difference between counseling and therapy or psychotherapy?
Among mental health professionals, such terms are so similar that they are often used interchangeably.
- The term "counseling" means professional guidance in addressing personal conflicts and emotional concerns. Counselors can assist with everyday-life challenges affecting marriage, family, intimate relationships, friends, school, careers, personal growth, spiritual matters, etc. It may be brief or ongoing.
- The term "therapy" is an abbreviation of "psychotherapy," which refers to the treatment of psychological maladjustments or disorders. It can also be used for personal growth and exploration and to seek deeper meaning or understanding of one's life experiences. I generally think of therapy as lasting longer - from several months to years and generally meeting weekly. In working this way, we have more time and space to dig a little deeper - to address more complex issues, persistent patterns.
Q: What if I am not a spiritual or religious person?
I am able to talk about spiritual issues if presented. I am also very well versed in helping people with emotional and relational issues without discussing spirituality at all. I am committed to respecting each individuals unique spiritual or religious path or lack thereof. I am very grounded and practical and I draw from many other styles of counseling in addition to Transpersonal.
Q: What do we do in the first session?
The first session is mainly to see if what you are looking for and what I have to offer are a "good fit." I will talk to you about what brought you to seek therapy. We might also talk about your wants and needs and goals for therapy and begin to complete an initial clinical assessment. In the next few session we will discuss a general sense of what we will work on, (aka a treatment plan) should we choose to continue. It is important that you have a therapist that you feel comfortable with and it is important that I am able to feel like I can meet your needs. I will happily provide you with referrals if you would like to try working with someone else instead. If I feel that I cannot meet your needs or there may be someone more appropriate, I will provide referrals.
Q: How long does therapy take?
That is entirely up to you and the issues that you would like to address. I have worked with people in short term and longer term counseling and therapy, ranging from just a few session to more than 7 years and just about everything between. We will discuss what you think you might be looking for at the beginning of our work together and also as we go.
Q: How does therapy end?
You can always decide to end at any time. People end therapy in different ways. I ask that when you are considering ending that you discuss this with me in person. My hope is that we can spend time exploring the work that we did together, get closure and say goodbye.
Q: How do you feel about medicine?
I believe medication can be helpful at times, especially for providing symptom relief and supporting mood stability. This can be an important part of your overall healing journey. Many psychotropic medications are prescribed on a routine basis and pose few and mild side effects, while others may have some potentially serious side effects. Some alternative and complementary treatments MAY help achieve some symptom relief as well, often with fewer risks or side effects. Additionally, studies show that lifestyle habits such as regular exercise, good sleep hygiene and mindfulness practices can help support mental health and bring relief of some symptoms. In my opinion, sometimes the best approach for bringing desired and sustained results may be a combination of medicine, counseling and potentially other complementary treatment modalities.
I do not provide specific medical advice, but I do have a strong understanding of clinical psychopharmacology and I will discuss your decision with you if you are considering taking medicine or considering going off of it (please don't make any medication changes without discussing that with your doctor). I do not prescribe medication, nor do I provide any alternative healing modalities, but I can refer you to someone who does. If you currently take medication, we might discuss the possibility of me consulting with your prescribing MD (with your consent) to make sure we are collaborating and on the same page and to provide the best possible care. I believe that with this type of integrative approach to wellness, you will receive the optimum support for your overall health and wellbeing.