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 I also want you to know who I am.

I’m a wife, mother, friend, sister, daughter. Which means I get lots of practice feeling vulnerable and imperfect. Good relationships take work, and the reward is growth and connection. I know this from psychology books, and also from real life.

I am equal parts emotional and cerebral. Cerebral side: I love neuroscience, attachment theory, and relationship research. I am a bit of a professional training junkie and am energized by learning something new. Emotional side: I’m a feeler, and 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.

Books, movies, travel, sharing meals with family and friends, being in nature, TED talks, and finishing a hard spin class are some of my favorite things. Starting a hard spin class is one of my least favorite things.

I work hard to make sense of my own life experiences, and I have a deep capacity to be with my clients as they experience the pain and joy in their own lives.

If you’re interested in the academic stuff, please read on to learn more about the theories, trainings and psychological concepts that guide my work with individuals, couples and groups.

Board Approved Supervisor

Certified Group Psychotherapist

PACT (Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy) Level 1 & Level 2 and ongoing study

Gottman Method Couples Therapy Level 1 & Level 2

Esther Perel: Rekindling Desire – Pilot program; The Double Flame: Reconciling Intimacy and Sexuality in Couples; Esther Perel Sessions

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)

The Developmental Model of Couples Therapy (The Couples Institute)

Internal Family Systems – IFS Training Circle

Discernment Counseling

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

And many hours of training and study in the following areas of interest: interpersonal neurobiology, attachment, group therapy, trauma, nervous system regulation/somatic response, depression, anxiety, the professional use of self in therapy, shame, healthy relationships, parenting, vulnerability and more.

I love being a therapist and deeply value the relationships I’ve formed with a wide variety of people over the 20 years I’ve been seeing clients. 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). While there I developed a passion for group therapy. I ran psychoeducational groups, process groups, and multi-family groups and provided individual and family counseling. I also supervised social work interns. I moved on to Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation for 1 year, supporting the psychosocial needs of families dealing with pediatric cancer. In 2003 I joined the amazing Expect Respect team at SafePlace (now SAFE), leading groups and providing individual therapy for teens impacted by domestic, dating, or sexual violence. I continued to provide clinical supervision to counseling students and was fortunate to join my art therapist colleague in co-leading an art therapy group for kids. Around this time I spent a few years volunteering 1 day/week 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. After 12 years of providing therapy in agency settings I moved into private practice in 2012. In my private practice I continue to work with couples, groups, and individuals and provide support to other therapists both individually and in a training group I lead for clinicians.

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

EMDRIA

My approach (theoretical orientation)

I am a relational therapist. This means I believe we are wired for connection, and that emotional healing happens most successfully in the context of safe 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, mindfulness and attachment theories. I am trained in EMDR and trauma processing so I use that modality when appropriate. Brene Brown’s work on vulnerability and shame is often present in my mind as I work with individuals, couples, and groups.

Being in a great relationship takes work and creativity and persistence and I pull from many places to support the couples who come to see me. 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 and help my couples develop a relationship that is secure, mutual and connected. I have 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: 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, and much more. I’m currently in a year long training program with The Couples Institute and their Developmental Model; deepening my understanding of the normal and natural stages and struggles that growing couples encounter and deepening my understanding of how personal development and the couple relationship intersect.

I am a Certified Group Psychotherapist with over 1,700 hours of experience leading a variety of groups: 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 have done some training in Modern Analytic theory as well. In recent years I’ve been working to understand and integrate newer ideas about adult attachment into these more established group process models. 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, connecting with others, trying new skills, allowing oneself to see and be seen, and more.

I’d love to hear from you. Please contact me here.

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