About me and my approach to therapy

I have 12 years of experience in multiple settings and my approach is Person-centered, collaborative, whole-person oriented, and attachment-/relationship-based. My work is to be curious, non-judgmental, and caring; embrace the complexity of problems and solutions; and work toward healthy relationships in and outside of the therapy room. Through an honest dialogue and warm relationship, you may experience yourself in a new way, experiment with different ways of being, choose what you want to do, and who you want to become.

During therapy I'm focusing on and appreciating the other person as someone who is immensely deep and wise, who has an incredibly impactful story, whether they believe it or not. From a genuine, nonjudgmental place, I share my thoughts, feelings, and reactions: my experience of their experience. I will freely share information if I get the feeling that I know something that the client does not know that could be useful to them, but that is not the focus of my approach.  I have experience with a wide range of clients including those who are neurodivergent (e.g., ADHD, Autism), LGBTQIA+, Christian, spiritual, agnostic, atheist, immigrant,  or non-native English Speakers; and on issues that range from trauma, depression, anxiety, panic, phobias, grief, relationship issues, life transitions, and meaning and purpose.

I believe the kind of help on offer in therapy is one of fundamental change. As in The Wizard of Oz, each sets out on the quest so that they can receive what they lack, but they discover along the way that they have changed to truly become what they lacked. This sort of change is the special kind that I work to help people achieve.

I am an artist who has taken a round-about path into my dual calling as a therapist. I have a background in religious services and ministry, songwriting, sound design, electrical installation/construction, martial arts, and comic book illustration. In all the work I've done, there is nothing that enriches or energizes me more than connecting with another person in the therapy room. I consider myself privileged and honored to be able to do this work. I earned a B.S. in Electronic Arts from MSU in 2009 and a Master's in School Counseling from Evangel University in 2011. I was a high school counselor for 8 years, and worked in crisis counseling and assessment in the hospital setting for a few years. From 2020 to 2022, I worked in private practice under the supervision of Keith Wilson of New Leaf Counseling, and, in May 2023, I officially began my private practice and moved my office to the Counseling Solutions of the Ozarks location on South Enterprise.

Common concerns

Relationships

Right now, I only do individual therapy but relationship issues are a very common problem that I treat. In therapy, we gain awareness of how we are being in relationships, who we are trying to be and who we are; we improve in our emotional regulation and communication; we get more purpose-driven and clear; and we deal with insecurities, wounds, and patterns, often learned in childhood. These internal changes are, in effect, interpersonal and can improve our relationships.

Purpose and Meaning

In my whole-person approach, exploration of religion, spirituality, existence, death, purpose, and meaning are very common. I don't shy away from these topics or try to get clients "back on topic" to something "more practical". These are integral to becoming who you can be, making decisions, and making a difference for yourself and others.

Depression

Clients who struggle with depression are reaching out to be understood and to share their burden, but find it difficult to find someone whom they feel understands and can handle being burdened with it. On top of that, they often struggle with shame and guilt for feeling the way that they do. In my approach to therapy, acceptance, curiousity, and bringing one's experience back into "full color" is key.


Anxiety

My approach to counseling allows clients to begin to unpack and express the thoughts and feelings that they are anxious about. By bringing those thoughts and feelings out in a safe, positive environment, there can be a reduction of the fear and anxiety attached to them and the issues and options can become clear.


Trauma

I don't treat trauma in isolation but rather treat the whole person. I feel that those with trauma, regardless of how serious, or, even, deserved it may seem to them, could benefit the most from the autonomy and whole-person approach inherent in Person-centered therapy.

Limits

I do not specialize in assessment and diagnosis as I feel that these can be counterproductive to the kind of nonjudgmental, curiousity-driven therapy that I do. This includes assessment for ESA letters, ADHD, Autism spectrum disorder, and gender dysphoria. I believe that many people's goal for therapy and the problems they are experiencing can be treated within a Person-centered therapeutic environment without the necessity of an official diagnosis. If I ever feel that I'm not able to help a client or that someone else could help them better, perhaps with a different therapeutic approach or by means of a thorough assessment, I would discuss that with the client and may refer them to another provider.

If you have other questions, feel free to email me.