Individual psychotherapy for adults and adolescents 16+
Ask yourself, “Are you really awake”? Many of us are not. The art of mindfulness is practiced to reduce stress, overcome insomnia, solve personal problems, and overcome worry, sadness or anger. It is also an experience of inquiry and meditation designed to facilitate awakening to one’s true nature. You will learn how to be a witness to your internal experiences without judging or reacting to them. You will also learn a variety of exercises to help you first get acquainted with the practice and then deepen your skills. This might include homework assignments and recommended reading between scheduled sessions.
Trauma & dissociation work
Complex trauma refers to the impact a person experiences after being subject to several incidents that could be deemed traumatic. When situations that provoke a sense of helplessness and grief occur over a significant period, one may notice a deterioration of their “sense of self”, difficulty coping with seemingly benign life events, and interpersonal distress. These experiences are often compounded by a range of dissociative symptoms. I have undergone extensive trauma-focused training to include Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Internal Family Systems (IFS) among others.
DBT focuses upon exploring relational trauma within the context of the therapeutic relationship and together challenging rigid beliefs and associated behaviors that have developed to self-protect against additional harm. Using “dialectics”, we are able to hold two seemingly opposing views and utilize strategies to help access our internal wisdom, often called “wise-mind.” Skills include somatic and cognitive modalities that address stillness of the mind, improved communication, distress tolerance, and self-care to prevent emotion dysregulation. I have co-facilitated and implemented comprehensive DBT programs as well as provided training to clinicians within various settings.
IFS is a fascinating protocol that conceptualizes our psyche as consisting of an inherent Self or spirit among other parts that may carry extreme emotion and rigid roles. These parts are called “firefighters” or “managers.” Though they often create havoc in our lives, they are meant to protect us from feeling emotional pain, which has often been dismissed or exiled. At its core, IFS works to strengthen Self leadership and heal trauma through witnessing our “exile” parts that likely carry heavy burdens. I completed my first IFS training with the model’s creator, Richard Schwartz, in 2010.
Brainspotting is a specialized somatic or body-focused trauma treatment. It was developed in the early 2000s after its founder, David Grand, PhD, starting blending two established protocols in which he was trained: EMDR (Eye Movement Densensitization and Reprocessing) and Somatic Experiencing (SE). The research findings are exciting and evolving. Brainspotting was found to be the most effective mode of therapy used with survivors of the Sandy Hook, Connecticut shooting in 2014. This compares to other modalities utilized such as EMDR, Somatic Experiencing, CBT, and neurofeedback.
A “brainspot” is the activity in the subcortical part of our brain in response to focused activation and eye position . This is the oldest part of the brain, often called the “reptilian” brain. This is not only where our “fight or flight” reflex lives, but also where trauma memories are stored in a kind of filing system often not accessible by other forms of therapy. It is hypothesized that even EMDR protocol takes the client out of the subcortex more often than necessary and brings them back to the neocortex. The neocortex is the part of the brain that engages in linear verbal expression, thinking or problem-solving, and meaning-making. We spend most of our time here. When we say that trauma is stored in the body, we mean that the experiences filed away in our subcortex continue to impact emotions, behaviors, and decision-making in the present. Brainspotting allows us to access the subcortex and hold the file open long enough to allow for release.
I specialize in substance use disorders, eating disorders, and love addiction or co-dependency. In our culture, it is common to endorse behaviors or use substances that serve to avoid physical and emotional pain. The origin of addictive disorders is complex and involve changes in brain structure and often the onset of adverse childhood experiences, grief, or persisting internal distress. I help people stabilize addictive behavior and explore underlying experiences or emotions that threaten relapse if not addressed. We explore what “recovery” means to you and focus upon strategies to help you cultivate a lifestyle of true freedom and empowerment.
*Please note for those seeking court-mandated substance use counseling: a conversation with your probation or parole officer is required to assess appropriateness of referral
Men’s issues & domestic violence
I enjoy working with men interested in redefining their relationship to “masculinity” in a culture that places an overemphasis on achievement, financial gain, and aggression. This includes addressing overt examples of physical and emotional abuse or implicit tactics used to avoid helplessness and maintain a sense of power within the relational dynamic. You will explore underlying beliefs that impact how you navigate intimate relationships, including reflecting upon societal messages that impact decision-making. I have a decade of experience co-facilitating formal domestic violence programming, using the evidence-based curriculum from Duluth, MN called Men Exploring Non-violent Directions (MEND). “Violence” refers to harm created to oneself and another’s mind, body, and spirit. In addition to this specialization, I walk survivors of domestic violence through the trauma resolution process, including making meaning out of these traumatic and multi-faceted experiences. This might also include linking you to important community resources to establish increased safety.
Scientists have introduced the term, subtle energy, to describe previously undetected, yet intelligent forces in the environment and the physical body. Energy-focused modalities generally increase our physical and emotional vitality. They can also address anxiety, self-limiting beliefs, avoidance or procrastination, and fatigue. Reiki is one of these modalities, which you can read about below. Others include Emotion Freedom Techniques (EFT) or “tapping” and energy medicine exercises.
EFT works by unblocking trapped emotional feedback so that the flow of energy is restored and the body returns to its natural state of balance. Techniques involve a combination of tapping with the fingers on specific meridian points, or energy centers, while verbalizing statements of intention. This is often referred to as acupressure as opposed to acupuncture. Both use similar meridian points, which is fascinating! If you are hoping to try acupuncture in addition to your psychotherapy with me, you will have access to two wonderful practitioners in my office building.
Energy medicine is a more general practice that works from the premise that our energy body contains evolutionary processes to maintain homeostasis. Our body is designed to heal itself! However, our bodies often need additional support to effectively adapt to an environment that differs greatly from that of our ancestors.
I am a Reiki practitioner and can integrate Reiki healing treatments into psychotherapy in the way that best serves your needs. Reiki is an ancient Japanese healing method that aids the body in releasing stress and tension by creating deep relaxation. Rei means “higher power or intelligence” and Ki means “life force energy.” The Reiki system of healing is focused on the transmission of subtle energy through the hands of a practitioner. It gently and effectively opens blocked meridians and chakras to clear the energy body. Clients often report feeling lighter, more clear, and relaxed after sessions. It’s exciting to note that Reiki is rapidly gaining acceptance in the medical community, especially within hospice care. A 2007 study found that 1.2 million adults in the United States had received an energy-focused treatment, such as Reiki, within the previous year.
Private pay only
Therapy in motion
Nature does wonders for the soul and offers numerous healing metaphors and opportunities to practice mindfulness. Simply walking and naturally swinging our arms across the mid-line helps us more effectively process stressors and find clarity within a problem or difficult decision. Research absolutely demonstrates the positive correlation between physical movement and alleviation of depressive symptoms. Join me for a session where we walk, talk, and practice presence while soaking up the sunshine! This is also a wonderful approach for adolescents. Sessions take place here:
Crown Hill Park
9357 West 26th Ave. Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
Private pay only
I am able to offer video sessions through a secure and HIPPA compliant online platform. This allows us to navigate your unique scheduling needs, travel, and transportation barriers. In addition, video sessions can help us infuse your home with the energy and intention we usually cultivate during our time in the therapy office. *Some conditions apply*
Clinical consultation & licensure supervision
I offer consultation for clinicians wanting to learn more about how to best support their clients with Borderline Personality Disorder and evidence-based treatment models for this population, namely Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. I was extensively trained by Marsha Linehan’s Behavioral Tech team approximately ten years ago. I also specialize in Dissociative Identity Disorder and provide consultation for this complex diagnosis, the mysterious world of multiplicity, and ritual abuse. I engage in ongoing learning and support for this work through consultation with my own mentors and as a member of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD).
As an Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS), I provide licensure supervision for clinical social workers and professional counselors at a competitive rate. The ACS credential identifies those mental health professionals who have met national professional supervision standards and have received specialized training. The ACS promotes a clinical supervisor’s professional identity, accountability to the field, and encourages ongoing self-assessment. As of 2016, 15 states recognize the ACS as a supervision credential of choice.
As a supervisor, I use an integrative approach to include psychodynamic and developmental models of supervision. The psychodynamic model of supervision is relational and includes close examination of parallel process, that is reflecting upon the nature of the supervisor-supervisee relationship and how particular dynamics may correlate to the supervisee’s relationships with clients. The developmental model of supervision includes the supervisor referencing a supervisee’s current stage of learning, or development, and modifying their role and relevant feedback as it relates to changes in stages over the course of the relationship. Within supervision, I also weave elements of the Noeticus Counselor Training and Practice Triangle™, i.e. Administrative Effectiveness, Professional Identity Development, and Clinical Skill Clarification and Refinement all of which influenced by the Self of the Therapist. I love giving back to this special profession and find a lot of joy in guiding new clinicians. An in-person interview is required to assess fit and most importantly, whether I am able to meet your needs for what you envision doing in this field!