I began to find a love for psychology at a very young age. I was interested in how people behaved and felt about themselves, as well as others. I was particularly interested in relationships and how having people became intimately connected to one another. Growing up I didn’t always witness positive connections and at times had experienced how hurtful people could be. Some of those experiences are not unrelated to the anxiety I’ve experienced myself that has been a long-standing mental health concern.
The anxiety at times has been debilitating in ways that has had the potential of limiting me from doing the things I love. I’ve played sports and done theater in school but was always ready to bail when I needed. It wasn’t until college that I found more of my own identity and a sense of my truer self. I came to realize that during all those years of interests, I had been allowing anxiety to limit myself and the attachment I had to others. I remember trying to understand how everyone else seemed to have close connections with others that I wanted to be able to have too. In part because of that, Marriage and Family Therapy resonated with me more than any other therapeutic approach or specialization. Through my own personal journey and learning what was necessarily to grown and overcome some of my own challenges, I’ve developed a passion for helping others identify issues in their own relationships as well as, overcome the limitations they place on themselves.
Human beings are social beings. We are meant to have connection and connect deeply with others and thru that can learn even more about ourselves. Today I embrace family, friends and my husband fully as never before but only after having learning to embrace and fully accept myself first. I hope that clients I see are also able to embrace life and those they love more fully as well.
Absolutely, the skills that I recommend to clients are utilized by therapists, including myself. For example, one of the skills I often recommend to clients is called Vagal Breathing. It’s a great tool to slowly reduce feelings of stress, anxiety and even feelings of panic. This is a simple exercise that anyone can use anywhere. The sequence is to breathe in for 4 seconds, hold that inhale for 4 seconds, and then breathe out for 6-8 seconds. This technique helps to reduce anxiety thru a physiological response and reduce the heightened arousal to triggers that often come from outside sources and can create stress on our mental and physical health.
I have always wanted to help people from a young age. Everyone has a history of experiences that may have impacted them, positive or negative. I have had a fair share of negative relationship experiences that led me to initially become very interested in what draws couples together and what drives them apart. I wanted to understand more about how some couples and families are able to figure out how to navigate the complexities of life and get though difficult times while others struggle or reach an impasse. My passion for working with couples is in part related to the fact that there are so many layers to the connection and intimacy they share. It’s complex and fascinating at the same time. One of the most effective models to my understanding and work with couples is based in attachment theory. We look at four different kinds of attachment styles which typically starts in early childhood and shapes how we feel and behave in our intimate adult relationships. I use these ideas to help couples and families understand one another more and create a safe space to communicate things clearly while more effectively meeting one another’s emotional needs.
My approach to the therapeutic relationship I have with clients begins in the first session, when I take the time to learn anything my clients feel comfortable expressing. As a therapist, I at times offer some personal disclosure and share experiences that might be helpful for clients to know that I may have additional insights that allow them to feel like "wow okay they get me in this way."