Women and Wellness
Women often neglect their own needs, putting them last on a long list of other things to do including meeting the needs of those around them. This means therapy can have a profound impact as it involves dedicating an hour of your week to yourself and your own growth, goals, and wellness. In order to reach our full potential, we must learn to enhance wellness across its multiple dimensions: mental, emotional, physical, relational, and spiritual. I enjoy helping women learn to include themselves in their priorities and take steps to maximize their wellness.
Issues women commonly struggle with include self-esteem and developing self-compassion, maintaining an intact sense of self across multiple roles and in relationships, assertiveness including identifying and honoring your own needs, and creating a healthy weight and body image while engaging in healthy eating patterns.
I am passionate about working with college students and have decades of training and experience providing therapy to graduate and undergraduate students. I can assist you in learning ways to cope with mental health issues that interfere with your academic, career, and personal success. This is such an important time in your life as you face unique challenges. The choices you make now, including those about your relationships, school and career path, and your values and identity, will have a profound impact on the shape of your life. My extensive experience university settings, including my work at USF for more than 10 years, make me an important resource and ally to you as you navigate these choices.
Adult Children of Alcoholics
Alcoholism and alcohol abuse affect so many families yet the stigma around substance abuse leads us to keep silent about our own experience. Growing up with a parent who abuses alcohol can have profound and lasting impacts on our identity development and our future self-concept and relationships. For example, growing up in a home with alcohol abuse leaves us having to “guess at what normal is” as we develop a strong instinct to keep secrets that lead to shame. When a parent prioritizes alcohol over our needs, we come to doubt our own worth. If we do not address this, we often repeat this pattern in our relationships and struggle with never feeling “good enough.” Therapy is especially effective in helping you learn new ways to see yourself and others in ways that lead to more satisfying and supportive relationships and foster your sense of self-worth.
Grief and Loss
Losing someone we love transforms our lives and challenges us to find ways to mourn, heal, and adjust to a life that is forever altered. We often neglect to recognize when and how we need to grieve and we tend to judge ourselves for grieving the “wrong way” – though this is not possible. We not only grieve the loss of someone we love, but also for the loss of a job, relationship, long held dream, or any change that disrupts our lives. Grief can be an overwhelming, confusing, and isolating process as we struggle to regain equilibrium and purpose. I specialize in you helping navigate the murky, turbulent waters of grief including recovering from miscarriage.
Creating More Satisfying Relationships
Many of our difficulties have their origins in our prior relationships with others (family, romantic partners, friends) where people have, intentionally or unintentionally, wounded and shaped us in ways that stick with us and cause problems in our current relationships. Since these wounds were caused in the context of a relationship, it is natural that they require another type of relationship to heal. The professional, therapeutic relationship between client and psychologist is a powerful setting in which this healing is facilitated, and I enjoy helping my clients through this process.
Depression is both very common and very debilitating. It robs you of your ability to enjoy life and of the energy you need to meet your ambitions. If you think you may be depressed, you don’t need to continue suffering in silence. I can help you recognize and address your symptoms in ways that will help you start feeling like yourself again. I approach depression treatment from a holistic perspective that will evaluate physical, emotional, cognitive, and interpersonal factors that are influencing your symptoms. This approach is highly effective in helping you both understand and treat your depression.
Anxiety, while very common, creates a great deal of suffering and disruption in our lives if left untreated. I have specialized training in the latest approaches to anxiety that focus on helping you learn to more effectively address anxiety, social anxiety, and panic. I work with you to develop an individualized treatment approach that will get to root cause of you anxiety and help you break free from the fears that are keeping you from pursuing what is most important in your life.
Values Clarification and Identity
What are the guiding principles that direct your life and give you a sense of purpose? What is most important to you? Who are you and what do you stand for? Most of us struggle to answer these important questions as we are caught up in the busy-ness of our lives. We can get lost in the details, worries, tasks, and chores of our daily life and feel profoundly lost as we lose sight of the meaning and purpose behind them. Therapy provides a space for the self-reflection and support necessary to explore and clarify the values that guide our choices and actions. The result of doing so infuses your life with a sense of fulfillment and dedication.
Religion and Spirituality
If your religion is an important aspect of your life, know that I will not only respect this but will incorporate the aspects of your faith that your draw strength from in the therapy process. You will not be expected to “check your faith” at the door.