My interest in attachment relationships and family dynamics began more than a decade ago in the child development lab at Virginia Tech, studying parents' emotion socialization and its influence on children's development. Many of our emotional responses, whether useful or destructive, are modeled and learned early on in our development and become habit by adulthood. These habitual responses rule when we are under stress; therefore, we can make the same mistakes over and over again in our relationships despite negative consequences.
The brain strings together a series of conditioned responses to forge habits and behaviors that run on autopilot or without our conscious awareness. Habits reside in an evolutionarily older region of the brain. Habits can be positive and beneficial or, if maladaptive, may limit growth and well-being and result in negative outcomes personally and professionally.
The human prefrontal cortex affords us the specialized skills of analysis, perspective-taking, judgment and regulation of impulses; all of which are essential for decision-making, relating to others and holding onto our self-value under stress. Fortunately, the prefrontal cortex has the power to override habits from the older region of the brain. It is possible to develop new habits that serve our long-term best interests and that promote true intimacy in our relationships.
Over the years, my clinical work has involved helping individuals and families during periods of high stress (major life transitions, divorce, loss of employment, loss of a loved one) when it is easy to lose sight of self-value and succumb to anxiety, anger, fear, and hurting the people we love most. For the past six years, I've worked specifically with adults who identify anger issues that prevent successful personal and professional relationships. My therapeutic practice develops individual strategies for emotion reconditioning using a strength-based approach and incorporating mindfulness and cognitive-behavioral strategies. Therapy helps clients reduce overall resentment, increase frustration tolerance, reduce reactivity and gain greater life and relationship satisfaction. Each session is designed to move clients from a reactive, and therefore powerless state, to a proactive, confident and capable state; one much better suited for communication, relating with others and problem-solving. Therapy helps clients learn to activate the prefrontal cortex under stress and teaches specialized problem-solving strategies. In the process, clients can become the kind of persons, parents and partners that, deep in their hearts, they most want to be.
Therapy begins with an initial intake assessment. This assessment will help determine your purpose for counseling and ensure my methodology is appropriate for your needs. Counseling is a collaborative process and your comfort level is most important to me. Although establishing new habits takes time, most clients begin to see and feel marked change within six to twelve sessions.
Experience and Education
Licensed mental health counselor (LH60571415),
National Certified Counselor and DA (Danger Assessment) certified by the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing.
Member of the American Counseling Association (ACA)
Member of Washington Mental Health Counselor Association (WMHCA)
Master’s in Counseling Marymount University 2010
Bachelor of Science in Psychology Virginia Tech University
I am a preferred provider with Premera, Regence, United Behavioral Health, First Choice, Lifewise, Aetna, Kaiser Permanente (KFHP), Far West EAP, Alliance EAP, and Wellspring EAP.
Please call for inquiries regarding additional insurance plans.
Must Cancel 24 hours before the appointment to avoid $100 fee.