Depression and anxiety bring many people into counseling. Everyone experiences at least mild anxiety and depression from time to time. However, many individuals experience more severe symptoms that begin to make it difficult to function in multiple areas of life.
Regardless of the severity level you experience, I will collaborate with you to set appropriate goals that help you align with a life of meaning as you see it. Then, we'll use behavioral and other strategies from evidence-based therapies to identify and move beyond internal and external barriers. Often, moving beyond barriers starts with accepting the unpleasant realities in your life that cannot be changed and practicing self-compassion.
Some people with depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns, benefit from a psychiatric consult to see if medication could be helpful. I am happy to discuss referrals for this service if you are interested. Since I do not provide crisis services, individuals with severe or persistent suicidal thinking or self-harm are encouraged to seek an evaluation through Atrium or Novant's Behavioral Health Services.
To say that substance use is prevalent in our society is an understatement. The use of alcohol and other drugs often plays an important role in how people socialize or recreate. For some people, continued use of substances (or continued engagement in other potentially addictive behaviors like gambling, spending, or exercise), begins to become a way of avoiding hurt, shame, and other painful emotions. This self-medication can result in troubling consequences to the individual and their family, impacting relationships, career, legal standing, health, and, importantly, self-worth and self-respect.
I will offer you a compassionate, judgement-free space to explore the impact of addictive behavior in your life and meet you where you are as far as determining the next steps. If you want to pursue abstinence, I'll work with you on that or refer you to other appropriate resources. If you want to work toward reducing the negative impact of substance use in your life without abstinence, I am usually open to working with you on this approach as long as I think it's a safe option for you.
I am experienced in providing Substance Use Disorder Assessments. If you are being asked by another party to undergo an assessment, please check with me before scheduling to ensure that I am the right person to provide the assessment.
Increased visibility of LGBTQ+ identifying individuals in society along with access to information about queer people has led to greater acceptance in our society. That said, homophobia, biphobia, and especially transphobia along with fear and hatred of other queer-identifying people remains a reality of the queer experience. The effects of discrimination and bias lead to trauma, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, isolation, and other negative health outcomes. LGBTQ+ people who also deal with racism, sexism, religious persecution, and/or poverty are even more vulnerable to these negative outcomes.
While there is not one treatment plan that fits for all, my work with these populations often involves untangling harmful messages that have been passed down and internalized from other individuals and institutions and working toward self-compassion and self-acceptance.
With trans and gender nonconforming clients, I meet them where they are in their process of change and aim to provide a safe place to explore gender identity and expression and to find ways to alleviate dysphoria. For those who desire, I provide evaluations and necessary documentation for gender-affirming medical care.
The core of my approach is informed by Person-Centered Therapy. In short, that means I believe active listening and empathy are the most healing responses I can offer a client. It is important to me that you walk away from every session feeling seen and heard. In addition, I have extensive training in other theoretical approaches. Some clients benefit from Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, or ACT, which invites you to connect with your values and move toward them by learning to apply mindfulness and acceptance to difficult thoughts, feelings, memories, or urges. It is important to me that you walk away from every session having taken a moment to pause and really notice the present moment rather than feeling stuck in the regret of the past, the fear of the future, or the judgment of the mind. I enjoy working using Experiential Therapy with clients. I find that clients benefit from getting out of their thinking brain, and find safe ways to recreate and work on their challenges in the therapy session. It is important to me that you walk away from every session having practiced being vulnerable and taken a risk that moves you toward your goals. Finally, I use Motivational Interviewing simply because I believe that you know what's best for you, and my role is to guide you in exploring all sides openly, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills to help clients find healthy and effective ways to cope. My values guide me to offer my best efforts to deliver these techniques and therapies with warmth, openness, and compassion.