Tell us a little about you.
I was born in Connecticut and raised in Tucson. I spent all my summers back East and all my family moved back after I completed high school. I moved to San Diego temporarily 20 years ago after visiting during Spring Break and just haven’t left. My parents are both Deaf and my heart language is American Sign Language. Prior to becoming a therapist I worked as an ASL interpreter for over 20 years in various modalities. I am passionate about communication, connection, and acceptance. I am also blessed to be married to the person I like most in the world and have two felines.
What inspired you to work as a therapist?
I have always been interested in psychology and relationships. At the same time my own life was riddled with challenges and all sorts of messages that I am too broken to be able to help anyone else. Yet, I kept pursuing studies related to psychology/counseling, my initial entry into interpreting was in mental health, and I volunteered as a crisis counselor in various agencies throughout the years. I recall one day I was interpreting a counseling forum and the speaker spoke about her own life and traumas. I got a chance to speak with her afterwards and asked how she could be a therapist even with all her ‘stuff’. She responded, “it’s because of my brokenness that I can be a therapist”. Game changer.
What’s one personal value you hold dear as a therapist and why is it important to you?
Curiosity. As a therapist (and person) genuinely showing interest and being open to learning has changed the way I show up and experience life. Being curious keeps me open and allows me to better embrace all the moments, even the unfamiliar, strange, and new. I truly believe that curiosity allows us to be more present and in that space we can experience more meaning, purpose, satisfaction and comfort.
What is your approach to making change in therapy?
Change is something that we all desire and strive for and yet it can feel difficult to achieve. Trying to change too much at once comes with increased discomfort and uncertainty and increases chances of abandoning goals. My approach in therapy is to break change down into small incremental shifts and increase the potential for sustainable new habits. One degree of change has a profound effect on everything and over time we find ourselves in a different space.
After a long work week, how do you de-stress and unwind?
I truly enjoy my morning cup of coffee, sitting with my cats, and listening to the birds outside. I find peace in the quiet moments and wish to spend more time curled up reading or just being present. Fitness is important to me and I strive to do some kind of exercise daily. I love being outdoors and hiking. After long hikes you will probably find me somewhere in a hot tub and/or creating a yummy meal as part of self-love.