Real Issues Deserve Real Talk

About


 
Screen Shot 2017-09-28 at 10.46.59 AM.jpg

 

Before entering the mental health field...

I earned a Bachelor's of Communications, focusing on oral presentations and new business development, from Boston University. My degree was the last ingredient required for promising career in food media, thanks to a series of amazing internships alongside hometown-hero, Andrew Zimmern, and his Bizarre World. However, shortly after graduating, I found out I had a series of medical conditions that would prevent me from the career track I had been working my whole life towards. 

The final diagnoses could have been a crushing blow. Instead, I felt grateful to finally understand myself and my body. I had experienced medical anomalies throughout my life, but no one took them seriously. I repeatedly dislocated appendages doing simple tasks, tore my meniscus playing ping-pong, and started having anaphylaxis to foods I had eaten only days prior. Unfortunately, these symptoms were explained away, or entirely dismissed, by doctors and therapists. If I were in pain and tired, I was depressed. If I broke out in hives, I was anxious. If I got an injury, I was attention seeking or self-harming. No matter what I did, I felt overlooked, hopeless, and like I was not an authority on my own experiences.

I decided to become a therapist because I was so disappointed in the care I had received... 

I was taken to see specialists; individuals highly regarded in the field and community, even to this day. Still, I would leave feeling worse than when I walked in. I felt as if I was failing at therapy. The more I started talking about how much therapy hurt, the more I learned that my experience was not even remotely unique. Regardless of race, class, gender, or issue, I started to realize that finding a therapist who fits you is a profoundly difficult task (on top of whatever you are dealing with that made you want to pursue therapy in the first place). My goal became to never make anyone feel the way I had. Even if I wasn't the right fit, I would help others to find the right person for them. 

Prior to joining The Calli Institute, my professional experiences with mental health spanned over five years, working at schools, group homes, and with incarcerated populations. Most recently, I spent the 2016-2017 school year at Edison High School, where I provided individual, family, and group therapy to students of north and north east Minneapolis. I received my Master's of Marriage and Family Therapy from St. Mary's University, and became a Licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (LAMFT) in 2017. I am currently working towards full licensure under the supervision of Cathy Malmon, LICSW, LMFT.

When not working, I enjoy reading, television, movies, cooking, being around my family of choice, and spending time with my puppy, Teddy Bear.  

 

Approach

 

 

 


Philosophy


Finding a therapist that works for you is a bit like blind dating... you hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

No one becomes who they are alone. We are constantly being influenced by the systems we enter into, both consciously and unconsciously. Sometimes those systems serve us, such as finding a community we identify with. Sometimes those systems do not serve us, such as feeling marginalized by a family we are told will love us unconditionally. 

By looking at the individual, their symptoms, and the influence of their systems, we are able to understand why and how these problems came to be, what we need to cope with in the moment, and how we can prevent them going forward. By changing how we interact with the system, the system as a whole is forced to adapt. While it may be uncomfortable at first, it provides you sustainable, realistic results you can live with.  

 


Style

 

    Clients have described my style as collaborative, humorous, and transparent. I do my best to meet you where you are at, and tailor the therapeutic experience to meet your unique needs. I believe that feedback is critical to our relationship, and that our relationship is critical to your success. I will not know what works for you, or doesn't work for you, until you tell me. If you are looking for someone to nod along to what you are saying and endlessly validate you, I can help you find that person, but it isn't me. If you are looking for someone who is invested in your ability to meet your goals, who challenges you, empathizes with you, and falls somewhere between a coach and a teammate, we might just be a fit.


    Methodology

     

    If I am doing my job right, two things are true: 

    • You will not always like me.
    • One day, you won't need me anymore.

    My orientation borrows from narrative, experiential, and internal family systems approaches. These approaches focus on the language you use to understand the issues, relies heavily on the strength of our therapeutic relationship, and breaks down everything you have gone through into digestible parts for us to tackle. Interventions we will use are creative, unconventional, and will push you roughly 20% outside your comfort zone. We work together towards progress, not perfection. 

    While I currently operate within the parameters insurance will cover, I struggle with the traditional therapeutic model. It feels as though as soon as we get to a place of real vulnerability or change, the weekly, 50-minute appointment is over. That's why I also offer "marathon therapy" model, wherein we do an intensive, prolonged session. This model is especially helpful for families and couples in crisis.

     

                                             Back to Top