Therapy is collaborative and non-judgmental
In therapy I am a non-judging other who simply wants to understand your unique experience in life. It is through a collaborative and respectful lens that I seek to be a 'guide who follows.' By this I mean that I partner with you to walk us together through the trials of your life, and I will stop you at crossroads and help you consider seriously your next steps. It is not my goal to provide advice or dictate your life, but rather to help you more effectively navigate life yourself. First and foremost I believe therapy is effective through simply connecting with you. This follows current trends in psychological research that indicate that across therapeutic techniques the quality of the therapeutic relationship seems to be a core factor in whether therapy will be effective. This essential base in itself can be effective in the treatment of many mental health concerns from reducing depressive and anxious symptoms to managing more chronic mental health concerns.
Counseling is about reflection and action
This collaborative and relational base is the starting place of therapy. From that initial platform there are two major intersecting paths I develop with you. These two paths are used based on the unique concerns you bring into the office. The first path is about coming to new understandings and having a different experience of your self. This is based on principles of Time-Limited Dynamic Psychotherapy. The second path incorporates practical experience and skills from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy to help you create lasting changes in your life. Ideally therapy is a short and effective process, as opposed to a long and drawn out process. Just as each of us is inherently unique in terms of our life experiences and circumstances, I believe therapy must be uniquely tailored to meet your specifics needs. I believe therapy is not a passive process of simply sounding off of another person, but an active one. It is a process of cultivating hope where there is despair, and a process of coming to a more full knowledge of your self and your potential.
who i am
I grew up in Bothell, but had ties to Leavenworth. After living in central Washington, I knew I would never be content anywhere else. I believe this area of the country has unparalleled natural beauty. We also have wonderful opportunities for outdoor activities. When I moved to Indiana and later California to complete my studies, I always knew I wanted to return to central Washington. I firmly believe in the inherent value of each and every person. I believe that the greatest satisfaction in life is not by pursuing mere happiness - which can come and go - but instead in pursuing virtue, creativity, meaning, and deeper, more fulfilling relationships.
my training as a psychologist
I am a psychologist in private practice serving the Central Washington area from my office in Ellensburg. As a psychologist I provide therapy and assessment to my clients, but do not prescribe medication. I completed my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. There I was trained in many forms of therapy, but with a particular focus on psychodynamic psychotherapy. This means that I believe early life experiences are critical times for identity formation, and that insight into who we are and where we come from can lead to a more fulfilling life. Research indicates that psychodynamic psychotherapy can offer more long-term benefits than other forms of treatment, but that it sometimes takes more sessions to realize those benefits. I prefer to work through problems for the long-term rather than simply temporary solutions. Across my training I focused on learning to tailor my approaches in therapy to the unique and diverse needs of each person I meet. I have a unique interest in helping my clients tie aspects of their spiritual and religious heritage - whatever it may be - into treatment. I received training at UCLA's Semel Institute in neuropsychological assessment of major neurodegenerative diseases which are more commonly known as dementia. For the last three years I have received training from Central Washington University's Student Medical and Counseling Center where I expanded my skills in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Time-Limited Dynamic Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy. There I also gained experience providing ADHD assessments and general psychological assessments.