Since I was young, I always tried to be inclusive of others, never wanting others to feel alone when I could notice it. Over time, this desire turned into something that I felt called to do. I knew that I could never solve everyone’s problems or even get them to tell me their problems, but I could always be available to them, ready to distribute mercy whenever they needed it. One thing I have learned from being available to others is that being vulnerable is difficult. I fell in love with the counseling profession when I was taught how to create a space where others could feel comfortable being vulnerable. Now, I no longer get to only be available, but I get to help cultivate a space where people are able to be vulnerable and invite me into the most sacred parts of their lives, which is truly an honor and a blessing.
I have expertise in working to help clients with, among other things:
- Acute/Chronic/Complex Trauma
- Children, adolescents, and young adults
- Relationship distress among families or couples
My philosophy stems from a belief that the human person is foundationally inclined to flourishing rather than languishing. What this means in a therapeutic context is that I believe emotions are not something that we just have to cope with but are a capacity/strength that we can use towards functioning and flourishing. I tend to have a person-centered and emotion-focused approach when I work with clients. I value the story and experience of each client, so I value creating a safe space for my clients to share their stories.
My style stems from attachment-based theory that believes that healing comes from interdependent relationships, meaning that the humans flourish in environments of secure attachments that are neither fully dependent on nor fully independent of others.
I love to utilize the medium of play in therapy. Just as adults talk to process their experience, children do so through play. My mother was an at-home daycare provider so maybe working with kids was inevitable for me, but no matter how annoying, exhausting, and snarky they can be, they always managed to make me smile and laugh in a way that gives me life. Working with children in this profession has made me laugh and smile more than I could ever imagine, but what I never expected was witnessing how much they are able to be their own agents of healing when they enter into therapeutic play.
I have a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from St. Gregory the Great Seminary in Nebraska and a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Divine Mercy University here in Virginia. I am passionate about serving and being available to all. I am open to working with any age, issue, demographic, ethnicity, sexual orientation, identity, and modality (individual, couple, and group therapy).
Much of my training and experience has been focused on trauma and Child-Centered Play Therapy. Additionally, I am a certified Clinical Traumatologist, Certified End of Life Specialist, and I am just finishing up my certification requirements to be an Emotion-Focused Therapist for Couples and Individuals. I have also received training in Filial Therapy as well as Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), which is a powerful tool for integrating the mind and body and emotions for trauma work.
Please reach out if you have any questions or would like to talk for a few minutes on the phone to see if we will be a great fit to work together. I look forward to hearing your story!