I’ve found that vulnerability is absolutely terrifying, but it is necessary for deep connection and growth.
I grew up in Florida and moved to Colorado after college to pursue my dream of being a ski bum. I'd grown up skiing out West every winter since I was 6 years old and always wondered about the lucky people who got to live in the mountains year-round. After graduation was the perfect opportunity for me to move somewhere new and experience living and working in another climate and culture of people. My time there was fun without a doubt, however I was searching for a sense of individuality, independence, and freedom in the wrong places. After two years in Breckenridge I moved to Denver to begin my Master's program, and it became clear in my efforts at school learning to nurture and guide others, that I needed to do some work of my own. Over the years I had gradually and unknowingly built up walls around me that were taking me further and further from my most authentic self. Of course on the outside I seemed to others as I always had been (maybe not to those closest to me) but on the inside I was critical, anxious, and unsure. After a few failed attempts at therapy over the years, I finally found a therapist who just felt right. Together we worked through my issues with vulnerability, past trauma, and various life stressors, and I've come to a healthy and balanced place where I can unapologetically be myself and love me for it. And from this place I can nourish my body/mind/spirit, my relationships, my creativity, and my business. Of course we are all a work in progress, and the work I've done is nowhere near being over nor will it ever be. But being able to share my experiences and journey with my clients when appropriate, and offer them support and genuineness no matter what, is what I can offer in sessions.
I’ve always been a very sensitive, intuitive human, and I think this is partly what contributed to the walls I formed to protect myself. I’m perfectly comfortable and feel honored sitting with someone else’s vulnerabilities and raw emotions in the therapy space, but I know that feeling like someone (no matter how trusted and worthy) is peering into your soul can leave you feeling a little exposed. I’ve been on the other side of the couch and I know how intense being in therapy can be at times. But more than that, it is a space to learn to nourish yourself, flaws and all, and all that makes you, YOU. I believe that a huge part of feeling satisfied with one’s life comes from finding what really gives you meaning and purpose and going out and doing that! Offering clients this opportunity for exploration and acceptance is one of the aspects of my life that satisfies and nourishes me!
Why I Love Being a Therapist
To give you a sense of what I may be like as your therapist, let me tell you about what I enjoy most about the counseling process. First and most simply, I love getting to know my clients and listening to them telling their stories. Each person brings something new and different to the room and the process of discovering what that novelty is excites me! Rather than labeling with a diagnosis, I welcome each client as a human being who has gotten to this particular place in his or her life and has miraculously survived. I try to hone in on these strengths to help my clients get to the places they would like to be. I also look forward to seeing a client experiencing an 'aha moment' and watching the insight wash over his or her face. It's amazing to be a witness to these small moments that lead to bigger accomplishments.
I’ll listen. I’ll offer suggestions if you ask for them. I’ll (try to) make you laugh. I’ll push you. I'll gently point out patterns where you don't see them. Most importantly, I'll be there with you and for you through this process.
About Me Personally
Skiing is what brought me out to Colorado, but I was quick to embrace hiking, biking, craft beer, and live music. I love painting, finding beauty in anything, practicing yoga, doing anything outside, cooking, and weight lifting. You can usually find me with my nose in a book, catching up with friends over coffee, visiting family, or heading to the mountains for the weekend. I consider myself to be a fairly laid-back and casual person, and it's pretty difficult to say something that I would find offensive.
I believe the most fulfilling aspect of life is relationship - with oneself as well as with others, and I try to nourish both of these everyday! At least once a day I take time out for journaling, a 20 minute meditation, or an intense weight lifting session. I also try my best as a friend, a partner, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, and a therapist. Of course some (or many) days this doesn't happen, and I try to meet my failures - er, missed opportunities - with compassion rather than judgment.
My Experience and Credentials
I graduated with a Master’s in Counseling Psychology from the University of Denver, and have worked in the Denver area in community mental health and substance abuse rehabilitation for over 5 years. These experiences have allowed me to work with severe and demanding mental illnesses, and I've learned a great deal from these institutions and most of all from my clients. I transitioned to private practice to be able to give more focused attention to my clients, and also to be able to foster creativity in my work.