I was born and raised in Aurora, Illinois. For as long as I can remember, I have been interested in developing a better understanding of how others think and behave. As a result, I took my first psychology course in my senior year of high school. My interest continued to grow when I attended the University of Illinois-Champaign and took an Introduction to Psychology course. I earned my Bachelor of Science in Psychology, and later attended the Illinois School of Professional Psychology (Argosy-Schaumburg) where I earned my Master of Arts and Doctorate Degree in Clinical Psychology.
My clinical experiences have varied from private practice to hospital settings and I have worked with a diverse population of individuals ranging from age 5 to late adulthood. Most recently, I completed my pre-doctoral internship at Truman Medical Center in Kansas City, MO. During my internship year, I worked with individuals on an inpatient unit addressing severe and persistent mental illness. I have experience in individual and group therapy, crisis intervention, and psycho-diagnostic assessment.
My Approach to Therapy
I am a licensed clinical psychologist in Illinois and I practice full-time at LivingRite. I believe a healthy therapeutic experience is built upon honesty, integrity, and respect. Therapy is a collaborative experience and I work with my clients to explore their symptoms, as well as their short and long-term goals, in order to determine the best course of treatment. A good therapeutic relationship is essential to achieving symptom reduction as well as healthy pursuit of goals.
Areas of Specialty
I work with individuals 18 and older. My primary therapeutic orientation is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and, dependent upon the needs of the client, I utilize other evidence-based approaches including: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Interpersonal Therapy (IPT). I have been trained as a generalist and assist individuals in a number of areas such as: depression, anxiety, personality disorders, relationship issues, self-esteem, communication skills, anger management, life transitions, grief/loss, and trauma. I am also a member of the Anxiety/OCD Specialty Team at LivingRite.
Depression is a mood disorder that impacts not only one’s emotional state but also may interfere with one’s ability to complete daily responsibilities. It is characterized by low, depressed mood as well as a loss of interest or pleasure in most activities. Quality of sleep, eating habits, and energy levels may all be affected when one experiences depression. Both biological and environmental factors may cause or contribute to one’s symptoms. I typically use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to help individuals explore the connection between their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. In doing so, I work with the client to develop ways to challenge these patterns that cause or maintain symptoms related to depression. Interpersonal Therapy can also be an effective method for treating depression, particularly when depression is related to interpersonal issues.
Building and maintaining relationships is an integral part of a healthy life. We all have struggles in this area from time to time. I have assisted clients with many issues pertaining to relationships, including but not limited to: developing and practicing effective communication skills, assertiveness, conflict resolution, and healthy emotional expression.
Experiencing stress is a normal part of life. However, many individuals develop anxiety which may interfere with daily functioning. I have a special interest in working with individuals who experience anxiety. Some of the common variations of anxiety I have treated include: Generalized Anxiety Disorder (A chronic sense of worry about many different things), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (presence of obsessions and/or compulsions/rituals), and Social Anxiety Disorder (anxiety in social situations due to fear of negative evaluations). Physiological symptoms (i.e., sweating, shortness of breath, and gastrointestinal problems) often coincide with anxious thoughts and feelings. As a result, use of relaxation techniques (i.e., deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and visualization) can be helpful in reducing symptoms. Some other techniques I utilize include: Mindfulness, Challenging Automatic Thoughts and Maladaptive Assumptions, and Exposure Therapy.
Other Areas of Clinical Interest
In addition to my therapy experience, I also have training in assessment. To date I have performed numerous personality and cognitive assessments in order to aid in diagnostic clarification and treatment recommendations.