What is your current practice and background?
I am an LCSW with a Masters in Social Work from the University of Georgia. I trained as a therapist in an in-patient setting at Brawner South in Atlanta, then became the Director of Outpatient Services at Dekalb Medical Hospital before moving into private practice. I greatly value my training and early hospital work, and have now developed an approach that expands on this model to allow for a more holistic focus of well-being. My approach combines the medical knowledge of the psychological model with a more intuitive, holistic approach to therapy, thus allowing me to draw equally on both of these modalities.
Why did you choose to work in private practice?
I really enjoy working with people one to one, and engaging with more long-term possibilities than was possible in a hospital setting. Working in private practice is a lot more spacious and less pressured, and I love having the time to really listen to my clients. I find it is important to focus not only on the problems in someone’s life, but also to hear what is working well. My private practice is as much about finding and affirming positive aspects of a person’s life as it is about addressing and healing problems and difficulties. This way, the therapy session is not just about dealing with issues, but about seeing what might be possible in someone’s life.
How do you feel about medication?
I do not believe that medication is always necessary, but it can be effective in certain situations when used in combination with therapy. I make it a priority to stay up-to-date on current medications, and I work directly with a psychiatrist, so that we are always in communication if a client is seeing us both. I believe that therapy is about more than medicating someone, but that medication can sometimes be necessary and can support a healing process.
Can you describe some recent influences and training?
I have been very influenced by the recent Positive Psychology movement, which moves away from an historic focus on illness and what’s not working, to focusing instead on the positive things in a person’s life as fertile ground for healing and self-forgiveness. From my own experience, I know that if I feel encouraged, I am more open to working through problems, and feel less overwhelmed – and I apply this same logic to the work I do with my clients.
As well as regularly engaging in seminars and more traditional psychology training, I also have my own personal daily therapy and writing practices, and am part of an all-female peer mentoring group. In addition, I teach and practice weekly yoga and Pilates classes, as I strongly believe that physical practices run in tandem with emotional practices. All of these regular practices influence my work as a therapist and allow me to draw from a rich palette of experience.
What makes your practice different from other therapists?
I am trained in the psychological model of therapy, and have experience working in a psychiatric hospital setting with a variety of disorders, but I have also developed a highly intuitive approach, and can quickly intuit what might be going on for someone before they have become conscious of the problem. My practice is grounded in these two very different worlds of practice, and I believe very strongly that when used wisely they can work well together. I am also trained as a dancer and actor, and work as a yoga and Pilates instructor, so I bring a creative sensibility to my work. And I strongly believe that humor, laughter, and fun can be important healing factors too.
What kind of clients do you see and do you have a specialist area?
I work mostly with adults and teens who usually come to therapy because of issues with anxiety or depression. I also love working with all kinds of couples – whether they are in crisis, or simply wanting to invest time in the ongoing work of creating a better relationship. I am in a healthy relationship myself, and personally know the work it takes to sustain a relationship. Read testimonials from current and former clients.