top of page

Me and My Approach

ProfessionalPhoto.png

Photograph by Tyler Olson

I studied psychology and philosophy at California State University, Northridge before earning a Doctorate of Psychology (Psy.D.) from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles.  While there, I developed a generalist approach to clinical psychology with emphases in humanistic-existential psychotherapy and health psychology. I served as the American Psychological Association Student Ambassador of the Society For Humanistic Psychology, as well as the co-founder of my campus' Humanistic-Existential Student Interest Group.  I was also selected to be a founding member of The Mentoring Project, which involved in-person group meetings with leaders in the field of psychology to discuss their writing and therapeutic work.

 

I moved to Bellingham in 2015 to complete an internship with Western Washington University's Counseling Center and practiced as an individual and group counselor of the center from 2017 to 2019.  While at Western I acted as a co-founder of the First Generation Student Support Group, a Men's Resiliency Advisory Committee member, and trainer for both doctoral interns and undergraduates.  I am currently a Washington State licensed psychologist (Lic. #PY60751686) in private practice. 

 

When I am not being a therapist I am often performing and recording music as an improvisational solo bassist, which is my primary self-care activity.  I also enjoy spending time with my partner and our cat.  My hobbies include watching thought-provoking films, spending time in nature, playing video and board games, and searching for novel and interesting music.

I value a collaborative approach that is as non-pathologizing as possible, preferring instead to help people define their struggles and strengths in ways that make sense to them. I seek to fully embrace the complexity of being human and aim to encourage clients to be more authentically themselves through warm, curious, and enthusiastic meetings. My constant pursuit in therapy is allowing the person I am working with to be themselves as much as possible and, in doing so, help them become who they want to become. 

 

While I utilize many techniques to meet the uniqueness of each client, my core therapeutic approach draws from:

  • Existential Therapy: cited by researchers as an essential component of effective therapy, interpreting client struggles through the lens of existential givens (interrelation, death, isolation, freedom, responsibility) provides deeper analyses of what may be missing from a person's pursuit of meaningful living. I draw from exceptional study of these approaches, including mentoring from leaders in the field (such as Irvin Yalom and Kirk Schneider). This approach is also the least pathologizing available.

  • Humanistic Psychology: effective therapy requires a trusting, collaborative relationship, and I believe humanistic approaches that emphasize empathy, authenticity, and trusting of the client's process to be the most effective means of forming such relationships. I have years of study and practice establishing these kinds of relationships, informed by training under Thomas Greening and other leading humanistic thinkers. I have also been an active supporter of American Psychological Association Division 32, The Society for Humanistic Psychology, since 2010.

  • Nonviolent Communication: it can be difficult to explore our inner world when we lack the words and structure necessary to communicate them effectively.  For years I have incorporated the Nonviolent Communication (NVC) lens of human feelings and needs in order to empower clients to request from others what they need out of their relationships.  I developed my own approach through supervision from practitioners and with the help of NVC training.
     

20190421_144839_HDR_edited.jpg
My Bio
My Approach
Specialties
20181014_131715.jpg

My areas of specialty include:

  • Existential Concerns

  • Questions of Identity

  • Life Transitions, Adjustment Difficulties

  • Grief and Loss (especially secular ways of grieving)

  • Mood-Related Struggles (depression, anxiety, bipolar)

  • Relationship Struggles

  • Individuation (separating from family of origin)

  • Open Relationships

  • Therapists, Professors, and other Professionals

  • Spirituality​, Secular Questions of Meaning

I am likely not a good fit for those primarily seeking services regarding:

  • Therapy for children under age 18

  • Family therapy

  • Mandated therapy

  • Psychological assessment (beyond clinical diagnosis)

  • Eating Disorders

  • Substance Dependency

bottom of page