Tell us a little about you:
I was born in Wisconsin, spent my school years in Indiana, and returned to Wisconsin for college but I moved to San Diego on an adventurous whim in my early 20’s and never left! After a variety of office jobs and a brief stint as a holistic nutritionist, I became a mom to two, now teenaged, girls whom I stayed home to raise for the first 5 years. At that point I opened and ran a business doing residential organizing for nearly a decade before I returned to graduate school for my MA in Marital and Family Therapy.
What inspired you to work as a therapist?
Growing up with a Psychologist for a dad, I was always interested in the world of mental health and played the role of therapist for many friends and family members over the years. I suppose it was the desire to differentiate that influenced my decision NOT to study psychology or become a therapist earlier in life. Working for years helping couples and families navigate the dynamics of their homes through residential organizing, I came to realize that all of the outer chaos being experienced by my clients was a manifestation of their inner struggles and relational issues and that the place I could affect the most change was in the therapy room. The moment I stepped into my first therapy class, I knew I was home.
What’s one personal value you hold dear as a therapist and why it is important to you?
Curiosity drives me every day in this work. Curiosity inspires me to want to learn as much as I can about the process of therapy. Curiosity ignites me each day as I engage with my clients, with their lives, their struggles, their insights, their amazing resiliency, and their inner wisdom. Believing that it is impossible for me to be the expert in someone else’s life, nor the expert on exactly where and how healing may arise for them, I remain curious and open to the magic of therapy and honored to engage with other’s lives in this way.
What is your approach to making change in therapy?
My belief is that at the heart of each and every human there are strengths and preferred narratives to be discovered. I believe my role is to act sometimes as a guide, sometimes as a partner towards inviting insight and connection with that source of self-compassion and inner wisdom which lies within each of us. I believe that change in therapy happens when clients learn to speak authentically and non-judgmentally about their emotions, are able to connect with their own self-compassion and their inner wisdom, and are able to engage in genuine, meaningful connection with others.
After a long work-week, how do you de-stress and unwind?
In my free time I love connecting with my body through exercise, yoga, and meditation. I love connecting with my kids and my husband – exploring all that San Diego has to offer, spending time with family friends together, and lots of laughter. I love connecting with my friends sharing dinners and meaningful conversation as well as seeing live music and dancing. I am an avid reader and perpetual student of therapy and LOVE snuggling with my dog on the couch with a good book.