Hi. On other parts of this page you’ll find my stats – my education, my training, and my theoretical orientation. Those things certainly help me be a good therapist.
But if you want to know a bit about who I am, read on:
I’m a wife, mother, friend, sister, daughter, client – which means I get lots of practice feeling vulnerable and imperfect.
I am equal parts emotional and cerebral. Cerebral side: Ideas excite me and I’m energized by learning something new. I’ve followed my curiosity down many paths in this profession and am a bit of a cross-pollinator when it comes to the theories and experiences that inform my work. Emotional side: I’m a noticer and a feeler. I naturally attune to the emotional experiences in my life and in those around me. I believe emotions deepen connection and provide a roadmap for healing.
I work hard to make sense of my own life experiences and have a deep capacity to be with my clients as they experience the pain and joy in their own lives. Providing a welcoming space for the diversity of humans and their lived experiences is very important to me.
- Certified Group Psychotherapist
- PACT (Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy) Levels 1 & 2
- Gottman Method Couples Therapy Levels 1 & 2
- Interpersonal Neurobiology Immersion program with Bonnie Badenoch, LMFT, PhD – “Nurturing the Heart with the Brain in Mind“
- The Center for Group Studies in New York (current student)
- Blending Attachment Theory and Modern Analytic Group Therapy (ongoing)
- A variety of trainings with Esther Perel: Rekindling Desire; The Double Flame: Reconciling Intimacy and Sexuality in Couples; Sessions
- Relational Life Therapy, Level 1
- EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
- Internal Family Systems – IFS Training Circle
- Discernment Counseling
- Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
- Study/training in the following areas of ongoing interest: attachment theory, interpersonal neurobiology, group therapy, trauma, racism, nervous system regulation/somatic response, depression, anxiety, the person of the therapist, shame, healthy relationships, parenting, vulnerability and more.
I love being a therapist and deeply value the relationships I’ve formed over the 20+ years I’ve been doing this work. After graduating from The University of Texas with my Masters in Social Work I spent several years working at La Hacienda’s Solutions (an outpatient substance abuse treatment center) as a therapist and intern supervisor. While there I developed a passion for group therapy as I led psychoeducational groups, process groups, and multi-family groups. I also provided individual and family counseling. After that I worked at Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation, supporting the psychosocial needs of families dealing with pediatric cancer. In 2003 I joined the Expect Respect team at SafePlace (now SAFE), leading groups and providing individual therapy for teens impacted by domestic, dating, or sexual violence. I helped co-write curriculum for the Expect Respect program, a school based program developed to prevent relational violence via group participation and education.. Around this time I started volunteering as a therapist and supervisor for Capital Area Counseling. While there I began working with couples and launched into a multi-year pursuit of post-graduate training in several couples therapy modalities. In 2012 I opened my private practice where I provide psychotherapy to couples, groups, and individuals and provide support to other therapists.
BA, Trinity University, 1996 (Major: Psychology; Minor: Art History)
MSSW, University of Texas at Austin, 2000 (focus on Clinical Social Work)
-American Group Psychotherapy Association
-Austin Group Psychotherapy Society
-Austin in Connection
–GAINS (Global Association for Interpersonal Neurobiology Studies)
My approach (theoretical orientation)
I am a Certified Group Psychotherapist and have led thousands of hours of group therapy: interpersonal process groups, support groups, psychoeducational groups, training groups and multi-family groups. My early training in Yalom’s Interpersonal Process model continues to be my strongest guide. I currently train in the integration of Modern Analytic theory and adult attachment theory and am influenced by object relations and psychodynamic theories as well. Group theory suggests that the group process is potentially more powerful than individual therapy alone due to its dynamic and relational nature. My approach to group is ultimately grounded in the idea that group is a relational workshop – an opportunity to practice expressing and tolerating emotion states, connect with others, try new skills, learn how we relate to ourselves and others, allow oneself to see and be seen, and more.
Being in a great relationship takes work, creativity and persistence. I pull from many places to support the couples who come to see me. I am interested in the stages and struggles growing couples encounter and I stay curious about the intersection of personal development and relationship vitality throughout the lifespan. My work is strongly influenced by Dr. Stan Tatkin’s PACT model (Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy). As a PACT therapist I attune to attachment, neuroscience, and nervous system regulation to help my couples develop a relationship that is secure, mutual and connected. I trained several years in the Gottman Method and find their research on what makes relationships successful (or not) to be helpful. Esther Perel’s work on desire and sexual intimacy in long-term relationships has influenced how I think about sexuality, desire and vitality in the couples I see. Marty Klein and Emily Nagoski have also been influential thinkers and teachers. I use William Doherty’s Discernment Counseling model with couples on the brink who have ambivalence about staying together. Others who influence my work as a couples therapist: Terry Real’s Relational Life Therapy, Harville Hendrix’s Imago theory, Sue Johnson’s Emotion Focused Therapy, Harriet Lerner’s work on the dances we do in intimate relationships, Shirley Glass’s research on infidelity and rebuilding after betrayal, Linda Carroll’s work Love Cycles, and much more.
At my core I am a relational therapist. I believe we are wired for connection, and that emotional healing happens most successfully in the context of healthy relationships (with a skilled therapist, with a loving partner, with engaged group members, with good friends, etc.). My work with individuals is heavily influenced by interpersonal neurobiology, psychodynamic theory and attachment theory. All of these, to some degree, explore the impact of our early relationships on who we are and how we function in the world today. I am also trained in mindfulness and EMDR and have studied the impact of trauma on the body and mind. Pat de Young and Brene Brown’s work on shame and vulnerability are often with me as I work with individuals, couples, and groups.