I have often said of myself, “I can’t learn it on paper, I need to learn it in my body.” This way of approaching significant life challenges foreshadowed my path to becoming a mental health counselor, and compassionate facilitator of your journey.
In 2014 I was unsatisfied with my career. Having recently transitioned positions from a small branch of a health care non-profit helping to provide services directly to patients in clinic, to a large pediatric hospital managing referrals and incoming calls, I found my daily work lackluster. Though I held compassion and care for the parents of our patients who called in needing help, I missed connecting face-to-face with patients every day and helping to empower and advocate for them. Through introspection and a bit of luck I found the field of counseling, which satisfied both my need to connect to individuals on a deeper level every day, and to help them grow empowered and shape the course of their lives.
I received my Masters Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Portland State University in June of 2018. Accredited by CACREP (the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs), this program is known in the community for its highly competitive clinical mental health program and extensive hands-on training. In addition to my masters coursework, I have completed several trainings through the M.E.T.A. training center, which is also where I completed my culminating internship experience for my Masters program. M.E.T.A.’s focus of the use of mindfulness, body-awareness and experiential techniques echo my belief that the most impactful experiences are not learned on paper, but in the body. My immersion in these powerful modalities have influenced and shaped the way I approach my work with clients, and the change process.
I also feel passionate about the people I serve. Both during my time in the mental health field, and my previous career in public health, I have worked with many marginalized and underserved populations including the LGBTQ+ community, people of color, people with disabilities, immigrant and Spanish-speaking populations, trans youth and their families, and non-monogamous/polyamorous individuals and couples. As an intersectional feminist I acknowledge the role systemic, institutionalized oppression plays in the lives and wellbeing of marginalized communities. I aim to learn about each of my client’s experiences in the world with curiosity and respect.
Prior to my Masters level education, I pursued my artistic interests in music, theatre, and photography. Art and creation still hold a special place in my life, in and out of the counseling office, and I hope to incorporate curiosity, creativity and play into our sessions. As a native Portlander and Oregonian I treasure connecting with the natural wonders of our state, and enjoy spending time with friends and family.