- Choosing a counselor is an important decision. Reaching out almost always brings up anxiety – will they understand me? Can I trust this person with my thoughts, feelings? Will they really be able to help me? Everyone shares these questions in one form or another. Regardless if you had therapy in the past, or this may be your first time, it can be difficult to take that first step! I am a kind, strengths-based, compassionate, and nonjudgmental counselor.
- As your counselor, I will create a space for you to safely and privately express your problems and personal pain.
- To enhance your counseling experience, I encourage you to text, email me, or use your personal online journal (in your secure client portal) between sessions to help you express your thoughts
- I specialize in treating clients that have been traumatized at some point in their life. Trauma has a way of staying with us for a lifetime if not properly processed. Managing trauma symptoms including, anxiety, depression, low self-worth, suicidality, and hypervigilance (otherwise labeled as ADHD, overactive nerves, disruptive moods, or conduct disorder) are not effective in the long term. Processing symptoms rather than only “managing” and “coping” with symptoms are key to psychological healing.
- I specialize in helping clients better understand their chronic pain. Many do not realize that physical and psychological pain impacts the same brain regions as physical injury. The means, regardless of whether the source of your pain, biogenic, psychogenic, or both, your pain is real. If your pain issues are not getting resolved medically, you may want to consider how the effects of stress or trauma are manifesting as physical pain.
My Continuing Education
- I graduated (with honors) and hold a masters degree from the University of Rochester in mental health counseling.
- I am a current doctoral student at the University of Rochester. I am honored to be in my second year in the Warner School’s esteemed program, Counseling and Counseling Education. My Ph.D. program keeps me abreast of the current research on interventions that are evidence-based practice, and practice-based evidence.
- I have the great fortune to train with and be supervised by many of the best researchers and educators in the field. These distinguished individuals include Dr. Andre Marquis (my advisor), Dr. Doug Guiffrida (my mentor), and Jennifer Farah of Global Therapy (my clinical supervisor).
My Research Interests
- My research interests relate to how the mind and body are connected, how distress impacts the central nervous system and the long-term effects of emotional neglect. Our physical reactions to distress often go unnoticed (
), which can result in lifelong physical health issues, including chronic pain, depression, anxiety, mood, and personality disorders. neuroception
- In Addition, I am currently studying how the theory of constructed emotion neurologically differs from the classical theories of basic emotions delineating any implications on contemporary experiential dynamic therapy.
Getting Better Help for Your Needs!
- I use interventions that heal the underlying cause of the problem, rather than just trying to cope and manage symptoms.
- I offer you a choice of in-office or online video sessions. Coming to my office will provide a more personalized experience. However, video counseling gives you the convenience of distance counseling, no matter where your location.
- I am private pay, which keeps your information secure and private. Private pay also gives you control of your treatment options, including frequency and duration.
Other Important Considerations
- I charge $95 per hour. I am often not covered by insurance. Most of the people in my practice pay completely out-of-pocket. Reimbursement from your flexible spending account is generally not a problem, but actual insurance coverage seems to hinge on whether or not your plan has out of network provisions. Please check with your insurer in advance, so you know where you stand.
- Groups are $15.00.per session. Groups typically consist of 5-9 members. If you would like to join a group, a regular commitment is requested to build and maintain trust and cohesiveness.
- I do not specialize in counseling clients under the age of 14.
- I am qualified to work with a wide variety of clients and problems, but sometimes I may not have the training needed to address a particular concern. If this is the case, I will discuss it with you and make sure that you receive a referral to another professional who is better qualified to serve you. If you do not want to explore how personality dynamics, personal history, and internal conflicts that may contribute to your problems, I may not be the best counselor for you. Also, if you are having current hallucinations/ delusions, severe thoughts of suicide or self-harm, or extreme Bipolar mood swings you may need more support than I can offer you through weekly psychotherapy, and I reserve the right to refer you to a different or more intensive treatment if I believe you exceed the level of care I can offer.
The therapeutic interventions that I most commonly use (but not limited to) are:
Internal systems (Richard Schwartz) – Identifies different parts of the self, non-judgmentally, with awareness and compassion. More severe protective parts such and anger, control issues, and emotional pain, visual flashbacks can be a reaction to a continuum of trauma. These parts have evolved to help you protect yourself and avoid harmful memories.
Short-term dynamic (Habib Davanloo) – as an integrative experiential dynamic approach, this intervention facilitates the rapid resolution of a broad spectrum of emotional disorders. Short-term dynamic interventions are specifically designed to resolve anxiety, depression, and somatization disorders (such as chronic pain), and more severe psychosis. This collaborative alleviates a variety of self-defeating behaviors, many of which derive from traumatic experiences including unstable or troubled early life attachments (emotional neglect, verbal, physical & sexual abuse).
Strengths-based (Donald Clifton) – Focuses on your attributes rather than your weaknesses. Helping you identify your strengths that you may not have previously considered. For example, a strength that you have is taking steps to address issues to improve your mental health.
Mindfulness-based (Jon Kabat-Zinn) – Mindfulness is a method of paying attention to yourself and your environment. With practice, you will be able to notice your thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations with compassion and in a nonjudgmental way. Mindfulness-based interventions develop present moment awareness and diminish uncontrolled intrusive and self-judging thoughts.
Polyvagal mapping (Stephen Porges) – How the nervous system is affected through neuroception (unconcious perceving), from relatedness to fight, flight, or freeze. Somatic (physical) symptoms such as anxiety and depression are directly related to your central nervous system through vagus nerve stimulation. Environmental and intrapersonal triggers related to PTSD, chronic pain, and social anxiety can be processed and healed through mapping (intrapsychic focus) the vagal nervous system.