It all started when...
When I was 12-years old someone asked me “what do you want to be when you grow up?” I stated that I wanted to be a lawyer, president of the united states or psychiatrist. Throughout high school and college I volunteered and worked for different organizations that supported women’s rights, cultural diversity, and members of the LGBTQ community.
In college I worked for the YWCA and did presentations “A slice of life” which focused on different perspectives and life experiences of people of color. I directed the show “Vagina Monologues” and majored in theatre and communications, which prepared me for the depth of human experience and the many ways that people connect and form relationships. As a volunteer I facilitated a group at SASS (sexual assault support services), helping those who were adults and had been sexually abused as children.
My path to becoming a therapist
After graduation I moved back to Portland and started volunteering at Portland Women’s crisis Line. I realized I wanted to get my master’s and become a counselor. I continued to be interested in women’s rights, but also started looking into other ways to support women, including doula work. At this point I was working with individuals dual-diagnosis addiction, trauma and other mental health issues. Most of these people also had families and I became interested in systems work along with individual counseling.
Then I had my own family- what a crazy adventure!! I studied as a doula, raising two children and went into private practice combining my interests of supporting women during child birth and support couples and individuals during the early years of child raising. The more I worked with young families and couples I noticed how much strain it puts on even the strongest of couples. I also started hearing more and more and shifting sexual identity and experiences after child birth. AND very few people were talking about it. The message “healthy mom, healthy baby is most important”, but what a healthy mom looks like varied. Pressures of career, lack of family, physical injuries or pain, trauma from the birth….so many challenges and not enough support.
So I started talking and researching and found myself drawn to helping these women and couples to get through these challenges and thrive. I want to help women heal from child birth, move through that first year of postpartum empowered and reclaim their sexuality as a woman and a mother. I want to see couples continue to connect and grow together through the struggles of those first years and come through stronger, more dedicated and resilient because of it. I want to help individuals and couples inhabit their bodies, address sexual concerns and find emotional, mental, physical and sexual health.
what i focus on now
That is my focus now—using emotionally focused therapy, sex therapy techniques and exercises as well as communication tools I work with couples to help them build stronger connections together. I help individuals through trauma or other sexual struggles to feel more confident and better sexual partners.
Check out my podcast Hearts and Other Sex Parts, a podcast about redefining yourself and your relationships.
Learn more about what I offer, and my unique approach with my clients.