Prior to becoming a mental health counselor, I interned and then volunteered as a sexual assault advocate. I have kept vigil with survivors and victims in the hours after their assaults, advocated for them in the face of uncaring systems, and answered calls late into the night. These experiences have stayed with me and shaped the very foundation of my practice.
I myself am a queer, transgender woman. And while I recognize the value of my own experiences, I also recognize their limitations, knowing the incredible diversity beneath the LGBTQ umbrella. To these personal experiences I therefore add trainings, mentorships, and, perhaps most importantly, my experiences of listening without judgment to the stories of so many people over the years, all of them so alike and yet so, so very different.
To a trauma therapist, trauma can seem to be the undercurrent of all things. I did not begin my practice as a trauma therapist. Rather, I became one by necessity, having witnessed that undercurrent again and again, in everything from anxiety to relationship issues to chronic pain. I have specifically trained in trauma treatment modalities, including dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), accelerated resolution therapy (ART), and brainspotting (BSP)—because trauma is the undercurrent of all things.
I am trained, but not yet certified, in brainspotting, having completed phases 1 and 2, as well as further training in working with addiction. Brainspotting is at its core a somatic trauma modality, emerging out of EMDR, that is premised on the observation that "where you look affects how you feel." It has, together with other somatic-based modalities, revolutionized the way I work with trauma. (For more information about brainspotting, check out brainspotting.com.)
As a potent blend of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness, I see DBT as a therapy for transforming your relationship with your emotions and the world, and have used it extensively in my work with people struggling with addiction, relationship issues, anger, and anxiety. I consider it to be a first-phase trauma therapy, paving the way for deeper processing. If you're very, very lucky, you might hear me sing you a song about the various DBT skills I teach.
I am trained in brainspotting, having completed phases 1 and 2, as well as further training in working with addiction. Brainspotting is at its core a somatic trauma modality, emerging out of EMDR, that is premised on the observation that "where you look affects how you feel." It has, together with other somatic-based modalities, including focusing, accelerated resolution therapy, and sensorimotor psychotherapy, revolutionized the way I work with trauma. (For more, check out brainspotting.com.)
You'll hear me say that care and attention are basic human needs. Mindfulness is the embodiment of care and attention, and mindfulness-based therapy is a means by which you can learn to give that care and attention to yourself. Sometimes, as is the case with somatic therapy, this can give us access to both our deepest traumas and our greatest strengths. I use mindfulness extensively to call attention to cognitive and somatic processes that are critical to healing and a life well-lived.