My priority as a therapist is creating a space that allows patients to feel safe enough to work on areas of their life that are causing them discomfort. I know that speaking about such vulnerable topics is challenging. So, I strive to create an atmosphere of open and collaborative communication, which includes being receptive to feedback regarding the therapy process.
I utilize an integrative approach, but frequently encourage patients to explore their childhood and early relationships, in order to understand their current challenges. It is my goal to help my patients recognize their strengths while supporting them as they examine their life patterns. Through our collaboration together, patients will decide what changes they want to make. At the same time, it is my hope that they realize aspects of themselves they previously underappreciated, and they recognize these aspects do not need to be changed but can instead be celebrated.
Providing LGBTQ affirming and culturally sensitive care is critical to providing high quality care. I recognize that factors such as: race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, religion, and disability status, are important aspects of self. I know that in order for me to help my patients, I must have a solid understanding of who they are in all areas of intersectionality. I also acknowledge that I am a White, cisgender female. I encourage my patients to be open to exploring what it is like to work with someone who holds the identity factors I do.
I provide individual therapy to patients ages 14-65 years old. My areas of speciality include: patients who have experienced traumatic life events, patients who want to increase their self esteem or explore aspects of their identity, and those struggling with anxiety and depression, including Bipolar Disorder.
I have been providing LGB and transgender and nonbinary affirming care since 2011. This has included supporting transgender or gender diverse individuals and their families through different stages of their transition. Therapy is also a space to talk about challenges that come from interactions with a binary world.
I am happy to provide gender affirming surgery letters for patients. This includes those who are seeking care with me for this purpose only. I am very skilled in navigating the insurance process for surgery approval and discussing different local surgeons.
Due to the limited amount of providers who are competent in providing LGBTQ affirming family therapy, I have chosen to limit my referrals to individuals who are LGBTQ. I have worked with numerous families who are seeking care after their child has come out as being transgender or nonbinary; this includes parents of adult children. I operate from a strong belief that my job is to help keep families together, as they work to understand their loved one’s experience.
Given my background and previous clinical experiences, I am also a good choice for LGBTQ families who have:
In taking on new couples cases, I limit referrals to couples who are LGBTQ. Working with parents of transgender individuals is a passion of mine. I am honored to provide a safe and non-judgmental space for parents to process their child’s transition and learn more about gender transitions. I also can provide couples therapy focusing on support needed when one partner is exploring their gender identity or sexual orientation. In addition, I often work with parents who are trying to balance the needs of themselves as an individual, the needs of their children, and the needs of the couple.
My approach to couples therapy includes gaining a more thorough understanding of each partner by examining their family of origin history. Using this approach, we strive for better communication, and create more joy while reducing conflict in the relationship.
I am a graduate of Loyola University in Maryland (formerly Loyola College), obtaining my Master’s degree in 2006, and my Doctorate of Psychology in 2009. I became a licensed psychologist in 2011. I completed a two-year advanced postdoctoral fellowship at the Jefferson School-Sheppard Pratt Health Systems, a residential treatment facility for adolescents who had psychiatric and behavioral disorders.
Prior to creating Collaborative Pathways Counseling and Consulting in 2020, I worked in a management position at a multisite group therapy practice in Maryland. I launched a successful new location and created an LGBTQ affirming care line for patients at all locations of the practice. Other places of employment, or training, have included: Chase Brexton Health System, University of Maryland Medical System: Midtown Campus, Kennedy Krieger Institute-Child and Family Therapy Clinic, and Children’s National Medical Center-Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders.
I am an active member in my state professional organization, the Maryland Psychological Association (MPA). I served on the Board of Directors twice. First, as the Chair of the graduate student portion of the organization (MPAGS) in 2007-2008. I served in a leadership position again as the Chair of the Diversity Committee in 2017-2018 and 2018-2019. In 2019-2020, I was the Co-Chair for the Diversity Committee. I also serve as a volunteer for the Pro Bono Counseling Project (for more info about this resource, see here).