One of the biggest challenges when beginning therapy is the willingness to begin. However, once there, we will work together to be as honest and aware of what is happening to gradually shift narratives that perpetuate suffering. Therapy is not dependent on one life event or one aspect of a person, but a process in a lifelong journey. Since therapy is unique for everyone, I empower you to explain what works for you in therapy and to have a therapeutic relationship tailored to your specific needs and goals. In the safety of therapy, the foundation for healing and growth is built. I use a trauma-informed perspective and explain symptoms and patterns of behavior using both neurobiology and developmental aspects of trauma. Explaining symptoms and behavior patterns through understandable neurobiology and a trauma-informed lens are powerful tools to reframe confusing symptoms that you may be experiencing. Reframing these confusing symptoms is an imperative starting point in order to develop your therapy goals not based on shame, guilt, or suffering.
I am a trauma-informed, LGBT-affirmative therapist, and I use the power of the relationship formed during therapy to work against shame and barriers to personal growth. I am a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) and received my Master’s Degree in Community Counseling at Northeastern Illinois University. I have over ten years of experience in mental health services, and for the past five years, I worked and trained at Live Oak, an LGBTQ-affirmative community practice, where I provided psychotherapy to individuals and couples. During these past five years, I gained extensive experience in working with individuals and couples experiencing depression, anxiety, complex trauma, grief and loss, and issues around suicide.
I started my therapy career by building my experience and tools in crisis situations when I volunteered at a crisis clinic that focused on suicide prevention. Early in my career, I also worked at an adult day center as a registered counselor, serving adults who were coping with various stressors and losses. I became acutely aware of the resiliency of the human spirit and the social stigmas that affect those who are differently-abled. When I moved to Chicago, I worked with Chicago’s mentally ill homeless community, and this experience gave me real life examples of social inequality and the importance of wrap-around supports for people with mental illnesses.