As a therapist, I ensure my virtual office is a safe, welcoming, accepting and non-judgmental place for my clients to explore their concerns; whether relational, emotional, spiritual, cultural, academic, or health related. I view my role as being a very collaborative, trusting one where I hold space for you, providing the validation and gentle guidance you need on this important and sacred journey. I will walk with you as you discover your inner resources and strengths, as you find more effective ways to manage your life, make sense of your struggles or suffering, find hope, build confidence, and do some healing.
I believe strongly in the power of the therapeutic relationship as foundational in healing and growing. Over the years, for me, this has come to look rather relational, feminist and trauma-informed, with my roots of conceptualization grounded in psychodynamic theory. This means you won’t find me identified with or using CBT, DBT, ACT, or other behavioral approaches to therapy. I work from a non-pathologizing, social vs medical model of disability, and within a neurodiversity-affirmative framework. That said, I still need to provide diagnostic impressions, as insurance requires this for payment for services and I find it helpful to guide our treatment together and be on the same page. I am trained in a specialized treatment called EMDR, which is wonderful for a variety of conditions, often greatly shortening the time it takes to work through a difficult issue. I also help clients become resourced in ways that work for them (e.g. training in progressive muscle relaxation to decrease anxiety, guided imagery, grounding skills for dissociation, executive function life hacks, etc.).
I approach the therapeutic connection from a place of deep curiosity and want to get to know you and understand your thoughts, feelings and lived experiences. There are reasons why you gravitate toward certain types of people, addictive habits, emotional responses, and negative or unwanted thoughts. A central part of my job is to help you identify and understand those reasons so you can remove layers of guilt, shame and stigma that may be associated. Therapy is an opportunity for learning new things, for self-exploration and meaning making, and a place to weave together the strands of your life in a way that allows you to see the whole picture of your situation in a broader context. That context consists of things like your upbringing, family of origin dynamics, pivotal life experiences, your unique personality and neurological wiring. Over time, you’ll gain insights that help guide your important life choices (e.g. schooling, jobs/careers, relationships, identity development, what to do for fun, etc.).
In my 20+ years in this sacred profession, I have worked at two community mental health clinics, two college counseling centers, two outpatient hospitals, and two private group practices. Each type of setting in various communities brought unique experiences that helped me learn different things about people, services, and the systems in which we operate. I have worked with teens, adults, couples and groups and have 18+ years of experience treating people with complex trauma and 7 years supervising pre-doctoral interns. Though I truly miss supervising interns, I now channel that passion into my love of working with early-career and seasoned mental health professionals.
In January, 2019, I joined Psychology Associates in Madison, beginning my transition to private practice, which I completed in January of 2022. Partly by design and partly by luck, a very significant share of my caseload now involves providing affirming care to the transgender/non-binary/GNC/LBGQIA+ community. I am thrilled to support young people just starting to explore their gender and sexual orientation identities as well as older teens and adults seeking formal transition-related services. I am a long-term member of WPATH and coordinate care directly with the PATH and other gender clinics, often writing Letters of Readiness for my clients, when/if needed to access services.
Additionally, if you are wired a bit differently from the neuro-“norm”, please know that I am neurodiversity affirming and happy to help you explore the possibility of ADHD, autism, PDA profile, or any other neurodivergence that may be impacting you as you navigate a more neurotypical world. Stress related to being part of a neurominority, a gender minority, a racial or ethnic minority, an LGBTQIA+ minority, a socioeconomic minority, or a disability minority is often profound and worthy of exploration, especially for those with multiple minority identities intersecting at the same time.
Formally, my professional background includes a BA in Psychology in 1989 (Miami U), an MA in Professional Counseling in 1996 (ISPP-Chicago), and a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology in 2002 (ISPP-Chicago). I completed my pre-doctoral internship at the University of Wisconsin- Madison's Counseling and Consultation Services, then served as their primary provider of after-hours crisis services until I started my work with Agnesian HealthCare/SSM Health in 2003. I finished my 18.5 years with that organization in November of 2021, turning my full attention to my private practice in Madison. Though I do have a physical office space, I exclusively see clients virtually.
You will always be able to count on me to be open and honest with you about my impressions and recommendations. I will work hard to empower you to be the best version of you possible and will advocate on your behalf when needed. So, whether you need assistance with grief and loss, depression and suicidal thoughts, panic attacks, PTSD, a tough medical diagnosis, relationship problems, parenting, concerns about gender identity or sexual orientation, issues related to race/ethnicity, or an unresolved history of neglect or physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, I am happy to discuss your goals and help you reach a place of living your life more authentically, with hope for the future, and with a renewed sense of meaning and purpose.
Please E-mail me with questions or to schedule a time for a free 20-minute phone consultation. Voicemail is checked less frequently. Thank you and I look forward to possibly working with you and/or your child!
Please note: E-mail is not a secure form of communication and therefore, confidentiality cannot be guaranteed.