Experiential Psychotherapist

My style is informed by 20 years in the wellness field and blends the empowerment of humanism, the strengths focus of positive psychology, and the interior mapping of neurobiology. Prior to becoming a therapist, I was a body worker and plant-based chef.  In addition to my clinical training, I’m a writer, gardener and photographer. My range of experience and passion for growth lends flow and flexibility to the work.

I view health holistically and see therapy as an intimate form of learning. I draw from a wide theoretical background that includes: Taoism, functional anatomy, plant-based nutrition, neurobiology, existentialism, mindfulness and yoga. I am trained in experiential, psychodynamic and mindfulness-based approaches. I believe in our innate healing process and use the body to generate flow of energy in session.

The bulk of my work is traditional therapy, with two people sitting together in a sacred space. I additionally offer a style of therapy that is unique to my scope of practice called Embodied Psychotherapy. This style of therapy is inspired by Eastern philosophy and incorporates yin yoga postures. It can be an adjunct to traditional therapy or used exclusively as a route for personal transformation.

Embodied Therapy

My style is a blend of experiential and somatic psychotherapy. This simply means the clinical setting is a place to practice in session. We’re going to do more than just talk. I teach ways of being that allow you to study your edge and grow past areas of stuckness.

I believe in the power of the unconscious and will likely encourage you to “watch” your thoughts and feelings and get curious about what is happening. When we sit with discomfort in a safe and mindful way, we become stronger and more resilient.

I’m trained in a variety of somatic techniques that link mind and body. Specifically, Hakomi, Internal Family Systems, and Accelerated Experiential Dynamic PsychotherapyAside from mindfulness-based therapy, I’m educated in psychodynamic, cognitive and depth psychology.

Psychodynamic Therapy

Psychodynamic therapy uncovers the patterns driving our behavior. Its goal is to understand how behavior and mood are influenced by thoughts and feelings. We do this by increasing awareness and exploring the past. this includes take a look at early life experiences.

Relationships are an important piece of a psychodynamic approach, which includes you and I. Exploring relationships provides you with a perspective that is rich with possibility. New roles and ways of being emerge. This breaks patterns that are no longer serving you and lays the groundwork for new ways of being.

Cognitive Therapy

The stories we tell ourselves matter. People usually attribute their distress to difficult situations, but in reality, it is our reactions to situations. I use powerful questions to get you in touch with your thoughts, feelings and beliefs. But also to help you accurately tell your story.

According to cognitive theory, emotions follow thoughts. It is never the other way around. If you want to feel and behave differently, a place to start is with your perception. I use cognitive therapy to help you update and more accurately tell your story. The more balanced our thinking, generally the better we feel. You’re the author. It’s your life. You get to right the ending.

Eastern Philosophy

Prior to becoming a licensed therapist, I was an avid yogi and body worker. I owned and operated one of the early Pilates studios in Portland, taught yoga to kids and was a Thai Massage Therapist. Based on my unique experience, I’ve found a way to blend the most effective tools from Eastern wisdom with traditional Western therapy. The style of yoga I use therapeutically is called Yin. It’s not your traditional yoga. It comes from the Taoist tradition and occurs seated.

Each therapy session is unique. We can work traditionally, use the body more experientially or create a combination of both. Either route, in session you will learn how to relax around your edge of discomfort and tap “hidden” resources which is a highly transferable life skill to master.