I earned a B.A. from the University of Maryland with a double major in Psychology and English Literature. My Psychology courses provided academic rigor in psychological theory and research methods, and my English classes trained me in the more intuitive process of how to think about and understand people’s life stories through the discussion of literature. I entered graduate school at American University and went on to earn my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 1995. Throughout my training, and prior to opening my private practice in 2002, I provided therapy in university counseling centers, in a community mental health center, and as the Outpatient Director of a residential treatment facility.
My training includes Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), psychodynamic therapy, and addictions treatment models. CBT is based on the idea that your feelings and behaviors are determined by your thoughts, not by external factors like people, situations, and events. This means that you can change the way you think in order to improve your emotions and behaviors, even if the situation does not change. Psychodynamic theory examines how past experiences can influence your perceptions and decision-making in current situations. This allows you to examine early life lessons learned, which sometimes got you through difficult circumstances in the past, but which may no longer be serving you well.
In recent years, I have also sought advanced training in Mindfulness-Based approaches, which can help you to focus your attention on your present experience, and separate from negative thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations before they become too overwhelming. This gives you tools, and opens up options for how to respond in the moment, rather than getting caught up in old habits of reactivity.
In my private practice, I use an “integrative” approach to therapy. Instead of strictly adhering to one technique or another, I do what I think will best help you. I draw wisdom and methodology from across theoretical models (such as CBT or psychodynamic theory) to find the approach that serves you best. Research shows that tailoring therapy to the individual client enhances treatment effectiveness.
I offer a warm and compassionate setting for therapy, and I provide support and practical feedback to help you address life challenges. I offer a highly personalized approach tailored to your needs. With compassion and understanding, I will work with you to help build on your strengths and develop new emotional and behavioral skills.
Please contact me to discuss how I may be able to help you.