How I Work

In my work as a psychologist, I see myself as having two basic jobs.

My first job is to help you connect the dots – to help you find the links between your past and your present, and to help you identify the subtle ways in which the things you’ve experienced keep you from living the life you want. Often times what seems like a series of unrelated but upsetting events are all linked to the same underlying cause, and rather than simply working on what is wrong on the surface, we’ll work together to identify the unifying feature so that you have enduring relief rather than a temporary fix.

My second job is to  work to hear what it is you are not saying, not able to say, or not aware you want to say. I will listen to what is going on underneath your words, and I will help you learn to listen to yourself so that you can speak your truth and live in a way that makes you feel understood, connected, and empowered.

The work I do is informed by a number of sources. Psychologically speaking, I primarily use Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), a third-wave cognitive-behavioral approach. ACT asserts that while pain is often unavoidable, we can still live fulfilling lives alongside it, particularly if we’re aware of and living in step with what we truly value. In our work together, I’ll help you identify the spots where you’re stuck or unhappy, as well as what matters to you, and we will use a variety of techniques to help you disentangle yourself from the thoughts and behaviors that are keeping you stuck. To a lesser extent, I also use psychodynamic therapy and feminist therapy. Psychodynamic therapy emphasizes the ways in which early experiences – say, with your parents, or in elementary school – influence how you interact with the world around you in the present day; we often find ourselves repeating the same patterns over and over again, and the psychodynamic approach will help us determine what might be causing this repetition and how to help you work through the emotions surrounding the patterns. Feminist therapy emphasizes the ways in which social, cultural, and political elements contribute to oppression and marginalization, and encourages clients to take an active role in empowering themselves. In a less traditionally psychological vein, I also incorporate existential philosophy’s emphasis on the responsibility of individuals to make meaning out of their own lives.

Please note that I work remotely up to three months out of the year. I use a HIPAA-compliant videoconferencing software during that time. Washington state law/insurance law covers video sessions, so clients need not worry about any disruption in services. If you are concerned about whether periodic video sessions would be a good fit for you, please talk with me about your concerns.