I am a curious, compassionate person and I bring creativity and dedication to my work. I am refreshed and inspired by nature, music, yoga, books, and family. As a long-time Portlander, I have deep roots in this community and have raised my children here. At the same time, my youth and education on the East Coast continue to inform the way I see the world. Travel in this region and overseas helps me to stay conscious and keep perspective.
I have provided therapy to children, families, adults and couples since 1995. Before becoming a psychologist, I worked as a special educator, teaching young children with emotional problems. As a therapist, I focus on enhancing clients' ability to be whole in their present lives, no matter what has come before or what they are facing. I love my work, its challenges, and the privilege of serving people in need.
My approach to therapy can best be described as integrative. I draw from various approaches and methods, depending on the need. My primary orientation is "psychodynamic" in that I believe the past informs the present and must be deeply known and honored. Because our lives play out over time, I pay attention to developmental and life-cycle challenges. I will often ask about how what is going on right now might resonate with the past or have bearing on the future. I believe that our experiences in early relationships form the core of who we are and how we see ourselves. And that it is also in relationships that we build self-esteem, resilience, and the capacity to love and nurture others. I also try to understand people as members of their families, culture(s), and the surrounding social and natural environment.
You will find me to be present, active and interactive in the session. I will listen, but I will also engage with you and deepen the conversation, pose challenges, and create a shared space for healing and growth. At times I may actively problem-solve with you, laugh with you, or coach you as you learn new skills and ways of responding.
I am active in a number of organizations that serve children and families, both in Portland and elsewhere. I am proud to be the local Clinical Director for "A Home Within": a national organization that provides no-cost, long-term therapy to children in the foster care system and adults raised in foster care. Learn more at www.ahomewithin.org and feel free to ask me about this any time.