My approach is to ...
... accept your feelings and help you to explore them.
Often we have feelings that are hidden from us, and we have parts of ourselves that we don't know we have, that perhaps we are even afraid to know. We keep them out of our consciousness until we can think about them with someone who can accept our feelings and help us make sense of them. A therapist provides the type of external supportive structure that allows our unconscious mind to know more about what makes us feel the way we do. Often there is a sense of liberation when we are able to acknowledge something that we had felt but had not voiced to another. The more of our mind we can know, the more we can pursue goals that give us satisfaction.
... listen for words not spoken.
I believe it is one of the greatest human desires to be known and understood, and we use more than just our words to communicate. I believe we also unconsciously try to be known with our actions and other nonverbal communications. Therefore, in addition to listening to your story, I also believe that your daily life experiences, relationships, desires, fears, and dreams will help us know you and how you experience life. These less verbal parts can offer valuable information about what may be interfering with your capacity to find greater enjoyment and meaning in life. Therefore I welcome these unspoken experiences and feelings and hope they open doors for you.
... create a space for your true and deepest feelings.
As a therapist, I strive to create a space where you feel safe enough to look at the troubling and uncertain things in your life. Often we are unaware of how unkind we are being to ourselves, and the extent to which we hurt. Sometimes we can blame ourselves for not having it all together and this can create fear around getting to know the hurts and desires underneath our behaviors. I hope to facilitate a safe place that allows your inner critic to relax and your deeper sorrows and longings to emerge.
I began counseling 19 years ago through several nonprofit settings which included counseling women, leading support groups, and providing training on issues such as depression, intimacy avoidance, codependency, control, conflict resolution, and understanding how our past impacts our present. My life experience working in corporate America, teaching English overseas, and owning my own business has enriched my work and deepened my understanding of those I counsel.
I have a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from The Seattle School and I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the State of Washington (#LH60685657). My degree program focused on mental health counseling and psychotherapy for adults, and had a strong emphasis on listening holistically. My training is in verbal and nonverbal communication and in coming alongside others with grace and humility. As part of my training I completed a one-year internship with Seattle Therapy Alliance where I specialized in women's issues. In May of 2015 I completed a one-year certificate program in Clinical Theory and Practice from Wellspring Counseling. In addition, I constantly seek new learning opportunities to advance my understanding of mental health issues. I received an undergraduate degree in engineering from the University of Washington in 1984.
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Northwest Alliance for Psychoanalytic Study - I am an active member of NWAPS, and serve on the board of directors