I specialize in working with people who are highly self-critical, who never feel they are “enough.” So often we are our own worst enemy and are much more critical of ourselves than we would ever be of others. We tell ourselves a story about how terrible we are, all the ways we fail and are not good enough, all the ways we are a fraud, all the ways no one will want us, etc. For many people this pattern of berating and doubting themselves can be very painful and jeopardize their happiness and success. In my work, I help people focus on understanding why they are so critical of themselves, as often times we have learned to be this way for many understandable reasons. I also help people challenge the scripts they have in their head about who they are so they can work towards feeling greater acceptance of and compassion towards themselves.
Gender and Sexuality Concerns
I am an affirmative therapist who has extensive experience in working with individuals with concerns related to sexuality and gender. I spent several years working at Chase Brexton Health Care, a community mental health center with a mission to serve individuals of diverse identifications in terms of gender and sexuality. I consider myself to be an advocate within the LGBTQ community and I am continuously working to improve my knowledge and skills to be a resource to LGBTQ individuals. I have worked with such individuals in a range of mental health settings and very much enjoy this work. I believe it is important to look at how one’s sexuality and gender intersect with other aspects of one’s identity, and how experiences with others can impact the way one feels about their sexual orientation and gender. Sexuality is complex, and is often oversimplified. People cannot be boiled down to a label, and in my work with individuals I try to create a space that honors complexity of a person’s identity.
I have specialized experience in working with trauma survivors. I have worked with individuals with many different types of traumatic experiences, everything from physical or sexual assault or abuse, to working with combat veterans with traumas related to their combat experience. I completed a specialty rotation in PTSD during my internship year at the VA-Los Angeles Ambulatory Care Center. Additionally, I led a specialty group for survivors of trauma during my postdoctoral training at the Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt. My work with trauma survivors involves looking at how the trauma has impacted the way you see yourself and the world. I encourage people to open up about their trauma gradually as the relationship develops and as they learn ways to manage trauma symptoms that often come with talking about what has happened. Often, if individuals are able to make sense and find some meaning from what happened to them, trauma symptoms decrease and they begin living more fulfilling lives.
Binge Eating/Emotional Eating
I have worked extensively over the years with individuals who use food as a way to manage their stress and emotions. Some people find themselves overeating or binging (eating a large amount of food in a short amount of time and feeling out of control in doing so) to cope when they don’t know what else to do. When people feel out of control, anxious, sad, ashamed, angry, fearful, etc., food can feel like a way to manage their distress. It can feel like food can make everything better, even if only for a few moments. I completed my postdoctoral training at the Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt and worked as the Eating Disorder Services Coordinator at Towson University’s Counseling Center. These experiences have prepared me to help people who want to look at their relationship food and find different ways to manage their emotions.