I am committed to helping you become more connected with yourself by noticing you in many ways, listening to you deeply, and seeing you well.
I am passionate about helping you become known, understood, and connected with your life-giving desire, your capacity to choose what is right and best for you, and the strength it takes for you to deeply want and risk into that wanting.
You have incredible capacity to become fully alive. And I believe that becoming more intimate and known are core aspects of becoming more alive.
I am an invested therapist - I know that your time and finances are limited and I take your personal investment in therapy seriously. Your time is precious, in part because it's finite, and in part, because you're a human being. I consider it both a responsibility and privilege that you are considering to work with me, or have chosen to work with me.
You are likely seeking me out because something in your life is difficult - and this may center around what you identify as personal anxiety, your sexuality, the way you interact in relationships, or feeling overwhelmed or numb in your life. You're reaching out for support from a trained professional who can support and challenge you in your own growth so that you can create and experience something more vibrant in your life.
The courage that it takes to look at your own life - emotional, relational, and sexual - and discern what is both very good for you as a distinct person and what you want, and then risking living into that is such tremendous, glorious work.
Watching a human being rise up and expand the wisdom, courage, and goodness of themselves is awe-inspiring and breath-taking!
PROFESSIONALLY TRAINED IN COUNSELING PSYCHOLOGY, INTIMACY & SEXUALITY
I am a relational, psychodynamic psychotherapist and sex therapist and have earned my MA in Counseling Psychology from The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology as well as the designation of 'Certified Integrated Intimacy Practitioner' from the Northwest Institute on Intimacy.
I am pursuing ongoing advanced professional training in areas of sexuality and sexual dysfunctions in order to holistically support my patients as they free themselves up to live deeply and authentically in their bodies, minds and hearts. Together we address areas where they feel dissonance, anxiety, and fear around their intimate lives in order to free them up to become more comfortable with their desire for pleasure, emotional contact, and becoming known as a unique person.
Your body (and the 'being' of you) holds essential information in it - and we're going to notice what it has to say to you, and what it has been saying for some time. Your body literally holds relational and emotional interactions in it that are actively influencing your current relationships in ways in which you may be unaware. Our work together involves looking at these deep emotional drivers to your actions, to understand them, and to help free you up to act in a way that is in alignment with who you most desire to be. Over the course of time, we will look at the psychotherapeutic relationship we have created together to understand your heart, mind, and the core of you at a deeper level.
No matter why you are seeking therapy at this time, I fundamentally believe that the concerns and struggles you are facing makes sense in the context of your lived experiences. Many people feel anxious, overwhelmed, distressed and unhappy and believe they shouldn't have these responses to their lives. Often your feelings make complete sense, and I can help you understand their source and make peace with yourself. I'm here to listen to you at a deep level, to come to know you, and to help you see ways that you may be unintentionally contributing to your own difficulties, at times. I want to help free you up to feel more alive, and to be more freely you!
I focus on noticing and challenging your self-imposed barriers to connection and intimacy that have been historically protective of you. Being hard on yourself isn't helpful because you are undermining the energy and desire it takes to change. When you challenge your own thoughts, behaviors and motivations from a strong place inside of you, that's different. That's where we want to hover together: in that place where you are known and accepted, where you touch upon your own strength and resilience (and it's abundant!), and are able to reconsider if the ways you interact are life-giving and nourishing to your heart, or restrictive and minimizing of you. I believe people's deepest longings are often to be loved and known. Living into these longings require strength, perseverance, and the awakening of desire that can mobilize you. Being known, valued and loved by yourself and others is invigorating and expansive. And it's inherently risky - because it involves wanting and choosing. And choosing requires investment and really showing up with all of you. The subjective experience of 'being totally present' is profound and helps my clients continue to crave deeper intimacy.
When we touch down into deeper aspects of the feelings and relational struggles you experience, you will become more present, aware and grounded in your body. You'll have a felt sense of moving through your anxiety into a core emotion, and then have the experience over time of becoming increasingly calm. Often people avoid what they feel because they have a sense that it will be overwhelming or will make them feel panic. I believe that it is the avoidance of what you feel and know that is getting in the way and increasing your sense of distress. We'll get through that by connecting multiple dimensions of you simultaneously, moving you into the core experience so you can feel and find relief. And then, from that grounded place, we'll learn together how to increase your strength and get you connected to your life-giving desires. You'll know what more integrated experiences feel like, because you'll be living into them. We'll listen to what you're feeling and hear your own wisdom emerge from the strongest places inside of you.
In working with my patients I utilize Relational Therapy, Psychodynamic Therapy, Mind Mapping Therapy, Psychoanalytic thought, Attachment Theory and Object Relations Theory. The core of these therapies points to the belief that you are fundamentally wired for relationship and intimacy, that you have been profoundly influenced by your primary relationships, and that you have competing drives to connect and become a distinct, solid individual. My patients become determined to grow as they face the frustrations, distress and pain they currently experience inter-personally and internally because they make meaning out of their struggle. They risk, learn to tolerate and care for a myriad of their emotions, and work to live out of the best parts of themselves, even when it's difficult to do so. It is a profound privilege for me to meet with them as they risk being open with me, themselves and their partners. It's absolutely courageous and stunning!
When my patients talk about themselves as sexual beings we are doing integrative work. So many factors in my patients' lives have disconnected their minds and hearts from their bodies' natural abilities to respond and become alive. I help my patients understand why and where they are dissociating and disconnecting and help them move into their underlying internal experience so they can become present and grounded. Most of us have been taught that sexuality is about genitals; that's an extremely limited view, considering the immense capacity of human beings to feel and know each others' hearts and desires at extremely personal levels.
I help my patients get personal and close to themselves, which allows them to integrate their feelings of sensuality into their lives. Eroticism is about feeling alive - it's about being in extremely close contact with the core and essence of you, and allowing another human being (with the capacity to do so) to know you there. It's personal. It's enlivening TO YOU because it is inherently revealing of YOU. That's why people's anxiety often increases around sexual behavior. It's not what you're doing that is anxiety provoking; the anxiety comes from what you're trying to show another person about you!
If you would like to contact me to schedule a phone conversation or first session, click here:
YOUR TASK IS NOT TO SEEK FOR LOVE,
BUT MERELY TO SEEK AND FIND ALL
THE BARRIERS WITHIN YOURSELF
THAT YOU HAVE BUILT AGAINST IT.