I am a licensed clinical psychologist and Somatic Experiencing Practitioner and have been working for over 20 years in Austin.
Psychologist in Austin, TX
I began training in Somatic Experiencing in 2010, officially became a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner in 2014, and was an assistant trainer for years. It and the basis in understanding the nervous system from Polyvagal Theory is deeply integrated into how I approach treatment and in addition to providing individual therapy from this lens, I have been built a group therapy program called Resiliency and Regulation where individuals can learn the principles and practices.
I became enamored with Attachment Theory in graduate school including joining a group of psychologists studying Daniel Siegel's book The Developing Mind (one of the earliest books on interpersonal neurobiology). Afterwards I sought out trainings from Daniel Siegel as well as others like Carol George and Diana Fosha for years. Attachment theory is the foundation of my approach to therapy, particularly the centrality of safety in relationships in order to explore, expand, and face challenges.
I have trained in an array of psychodynamic approaches, but found my home in Diana Fosha's AEDP (an attachment, emotion-focused, experiential approach that seeks to identify and relinquish defensive obstacles to healing). I regularly completed trainings from 2007-2011, including her immersion course and 2 complete years of the intensive "Core Training Program". I was so invested I was a member of a group of therapists seeking to make Austin a "Third Coast" training hub.
Work with addictions & veterans required me early on to dive into the depths of understanding and treating trauma, particularly complex post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I take a phased approach to treating trauma that respects the sensitivity of the wounds and humanely and gradually builds resiliency by learning how to find safety and regulation when false alarm survival responses take over before we eventually turn our attention to facing the “hornet’s nest” of the memories themselves.
For 20 years I have been treating addictions (alcohol, drugs & behavioral) and running a treatment program. I particularly specialize in the challenging interface between addictions and co-occurring other mental health problems. I take a harm-reduction perspective (including abstinence) that focuses on learning the practical skills to achieve your goals including learning how to address social and emotional triggers bound up with use.
Being transgender and non-binary, I have a special place in my heart for working with others who are similarly struggling with shedding the gendered expectations and norms imposed on them to find their own unique gender identity and way of expressing it in the world. I am particularly interested in helping such individuals free themselves from the impacts of the traumas woven into this experience and relinquishing the hold of addictive or other behaviors that interfere with their true self.
I began doing work in substance use and addictions in graduate school and have continued to this day. I was the Team Lead of the integrative dual-diagnosis harm-reduction oriented Substance Abuse Treatment Program at the Austin Veterans Administration for 20 years. My speciality is in the recovery process for individuals who's substance use/addictive behavior is tied to significant sources of life trauma/hardship (such as minority stress) and/or other mental health conditions.