About Therapy

1508501579After one nasty fight, Jim* and Pam* finally decided to try counseling to see if it could help resolve their conflict.

During the first session, they were nervous. Pam sat on the edge of her seat and fiddled with her hands. Jim stayed hunched over and stared intently at the floor.

After some brief small talk, I asked them what they would like to get from counseling.

Pam glanced over at Jim, then said that she’d like to stop fighting and be able to communicate better. Suddenly, tears welled up in her eyes, and she looked around for a tissue. She took a few breaths and continued, sadly, that she was worried their relationship wouldn’t make it if they couldn’t figure out how to improve things.

“This relationship is the best thing that’s ever happened to me, and I don’t want to give up. But I can’t keep living like this.”

Jim raised his eyes from the floor and watched Pam as she dabbed her eyes. When I asked him what he’d like to get out of counseling, he was quiet for a minute. His words were careful and hesitant, saying he would like to stop walking on eggshells around Pam.

Jim wanted to be able to support her through her feelings, and he also hated that he couldn’t be open and honest with her without upsetting her. He agreed with Pam that he didn’t want to give up, but he was losing hope that they could repair the damage their words caused.

We spent more of the session clarifying their goals for counseling and highlighting their dreams for themselves and their relationship. Pam decided that she’d like to finally move past her anxieties about abandonment (which had started during her parent’s divorce). Jim said he’d like to feel more confident about himself and his ability to be a good partner.

1790921558Over the several subsequent sessions, things began to change.

I helped Pam and Jim process their conflict patterns from an individual AND a relational standpoint. They learned to recognize the triggers for their conflicts and how they could respond to each other in those moments that would slow (or stop) the conflict from growing. Jim realized that Pam’s anxieties were not entirely his fault, and Pam realized that Jim’s attempts at calming her down were not because she was “too emotional.”

When they started to heal from their past and take charge of their patterns, they began to feel more connected and relaxed with each other. Gradually, they opened up more about their internal experiences, and the little miscommunications that sent them spinning no longer had any power over them.

Each said they’d never felt closer and were no longer worried that their relationship wouldn’t make it.

*Names and stories are composite narratives and do not reflect actual clients.

About Me

AdminFinding the right approach is essential.

When I first meet a potential client, one of my priorities is to clarify, “I’m not making the therapy up as I go along.” I rely on the wisdom and training of people who are smarter than me to help you heal and reach your goals.

But, if you’d met me in 2011 when I graduated with my Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy, you might have wondered how they let a high schooler into the counseling program, much less graduate her. I looked young, and I felt very inexperienced and unsure of myself. But I believed the professors and supervisors who told me that I didn’t need to have everything figured out – I just needed to engage with clients using compassion and empathy, and the rest will come later.

And they were right! By 2018, I shifted my focus to working almost exclusively with couples and individuals from a relational perspective and was training extensively in a therapy model (Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy) proven to help individuals and couples improve their relationships. In 2021, I was certified in providing EFT therapy by ICEEFT (the International EFT Training Center).

Today, I continue to learn and grow in my skills. I am currently training in another therapy model specializing in treating complex trauma (Neuroaffective Relational Model). This therapy works to heal the trauma in relationships when we are young. I’m excited to bring this healing to my individual and couples therapy clients.

My life is full.

I grew up in Tigard and love living in the Northwest. My husband and I were married in 2008 and are now parents to three energetic boys, a dog, a cat, and five chickens, all of which like to keep us on our toes. Fun fact: My husband is a marriage therapist at his private practice. Yes, we do fight!

I love being outside, especially in the forest, at the top of a mountain, on the beach, or in any other place I can allow my boys to spend some energy with a minimum limit set by me!

In my rare moments of free time, when I cannot go on a hike, you might also find me reading, cooking, biking, or sneaking chocolate from my secret stash in the pantry (don’t tell my kids).