Philosophy and Approach
Life can be difficult and it is not uncommon for people to go through periods of anxiety or heightened sadness. Many people turn to behaviors such as substance abuse, self-harm and eating disordered behaviors that help them numb or change painful emotions in the moment but become increasingly problematic over time. For others, avoidance and/or isolation might provide momentary relief but keep them from achieving important life goals. I believe in the potential of individuals to recover, even from extremely traumatic events, and create meaningful and satisfying lives. Counseling can help. I have been extensively trained in both Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (SP) – and am one of the few therapists in Portland who have completed both Level I sensorimotor training for trauma and Level II training for developmental trauma. I am also currently one of a vanguard of American therapists who has been intensively trained in Radically-Open DBT (RO-DBT) for disorders of over-control. DBT helps individuals confront extremes in thinking, feeling and behaving while SP uses a mindful body-centered approach to help people integrate painful experiences. RO-DBT helps people loosen rigid patterns of thinking and behaving and enhance their ability for intimacy and connection. Within these frameworks, you and I will develop a treatment plan to overcome barriers (such as problematic thoughts, strong emotions, lack of skill and the influence of your environment) so that you can begin to work toward and achieve your goals.
Formal Education and Training
I am a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Oregon. I hold a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis on addictions from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR and a BFA from New York University. I specialize in the treatment of eating disorders and am currently the Co-Chair of the Columbia River Eating Disorder Network and adjunct faculty at Lewis and Clark College. Prior to opening my practice, I was for a time the Clinical Director of a partial hospitalization program for eating disorders and prior to that, worked at the Portland DBT Institute for a number of years where I ended up managing the eating disorder program and serving on the training team – giving numerous trainings for professionals and helping agencies start DBT programs. I continue to give professional trainings on an as requested basis and am an approved supervisor for LPC candidates.