Since I was a young kid, I wanted to be a Ninja Turtle. The first step was obvious – learn martial arts. For the past 20 years I’ve dedicated countless hours and effort into the discipline of Taekwondo. I progressed through the ranks slowly, dealt with several injuries, but ultimately fought collegiately and earned my 4th degree black belt. It is one of my greatest accomplishments.
How is this relevant to psychotherapy? Through ventures like Taekwondo, learning a new instrument, or completing graduate school, I’ve learned that any worthwhile endeavor is difficult, takes time, and requires a great deal of patience. Small incremental improvements are foundational in any meaningful, personal progress. Dedicated effort and patience are also necessary in psychotherapy.
Similarly, I realize the decision to begin psychotherapy is difficult. If you are a new client there can be many questions and concerns about what therapy may look like. While no course of therapy looks the same, I will do my best to be as transparent as possible in the process and try to alleviate any anxiety or worry you may have about getting started. Together we will come to know your presenting concern, the history and background of the issue, and establish a therapeutic direction. I take the perspective that you are the expert of your life and your story. My goal is to listen empathetically through your lens, recognize patterns of behavior, clarify values, and promote cognitive flexibility and insight. While therapy can be challenging, it does not have to be scary or overwhelming. I have seen time and time again how rewarding and transformative this experience can be.
Good counseling also requires a compassionate professional who will understand your unique personal characteristics and work collaboratively to challenge, guide, and support you through the process. I’ve dedicated my professional career to helping others learn more about themselves, their interpersonal and intrapersonal patterns, and how they came to be the person they are today. Together in therapy you will come to better understand emotions, clarify personal values, and strive to act in accordance with them to lead a more fulfilling life.
Over the last several years I have provided counseling and conducted research for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, several university counseling centers, and an outpatient community mental health clinic. These different opportunities afforded me the ability to treat clients with various identities and presenting concerns. In my free time I enjoy doing martial arts, playing music with friends, catching up on television shows, and spending time with my family.
I’m not a Ninja Turtle yet, but who knows – maybe in a few more years…