Click on one of the above links to explore the different services I offer.
You can also read more below about my specialty areas.
Starting therapy (whether for the first time or re-engaging with the process) is understandably a step that often feels challenging or anxiety-provoking, and it is important to be able to create a trusting relationship with a therapist. If you are interested in setting up a phone consultation or first session, please contact me.
Areas of Focus and Expertise
- LGBTQI affirmative therapy
- Anxiety and depression
- Healing from sexual trauma and abuse
- Support with traumatic experiences and PTSD
- Relationship issues
- Identity exploration and coming out
- Life transitions and adjustment
- Grief and loss
- Addressing impacts of oppression (e.g., sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia)
- Ecotherapy and incorporation of relationship with nature
- Mindfulness and somatic awareness practices
- Stress management
Ecotherapy & Ecopsychology
What is Ecotherapy?
The practice of ecotherapy comes out of the field of ecopsychology. This is a field which recognizes that we as humans have a connection with the natural world that is central to our mental well-being. As biologist E.O. Wilson suggests, we have an “innate affinity” for the natural world and other living beings. In fact, there is a breadth of environmental and psychological research showing numerous mental and physical health benefits of spending time outdoors. This approach supports us in exploring our relationships to the more than human world, learning more about the land and histories of the places we live, and practicing relating to the land and place around us in new ways.
What would this look like in therapy?
For clients who are interested in incorporating this approach into their therapy, it will likely look different for each individual. For example, therapy sessions may include discussions about your relationship with nature, identifying strategies for enhancing your relationship with nature or your local community, exploring emotions about the current state of the world and environmental issues, or homework exercises that incorporate the natural world in them.
There may also be an opportunity to meet for your sessions in an outdoor setting or nearby park. I encourage you to ask me if you have questions about this aspect of my practice or would like to know how it might be incorporated into our work together.
“To be whole. To be complete. Wildness reminds us what it means to be human, what we are connected to rather than what we are separate from.”
- Terry Tempest Williams
Why integrate psychology and ecology?
Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I have always felt deeply connected with the natural world. Through pursuing education in both psychology and environmental studies, I experienced an increase in my awareness and knowledge about the current state of the natural world, as well as how intertwined environmental and social justice issues are. I also came to learn more about the ways that we are impacted by how many of us currently live in modern, Westernized cultures. That is, by living quite disconnected from nature, we are often lacking an important relationship that is foundational to our existence and well-being as human beings. This culture-wide disconnection is one major source of the emptiness and loneliness that is so widespread in our current time. This disconnection also has roots in settler-colonialism, white supremacy, and capitalist systems, which harm certain people, communities, and the environment.
In my own life and in my work with clients I have found that the natural world can be a source of solace, joy, and healing, when we allow ourselves to fully engage and connect with it. It may be a place where we can more readily access reverence for life, connection to a greater community, quietness inside or out, and even our more authentic selves.
Depending on your early life experiences, cultural or familial background, where you live, social identities, and more — finding safety and comfort in the outdoors may not be familiar to you. I am interested in supporting all clients in this exploration and finding ways to more safely re-inhabit our bodies and our embodied connection to the earth.
As a psychologist, I view it as my responsibility to hold a comprehensive perspective of mental health, and this means including the natural world in order to fully honor all of our environmental contexts and relationships. Author David Abrams has said that "Humans, like other animals, are shaped by the places they inhabit, both individually and collectively. Our bodily rhythms, our moods, cycles of creativity and stillness, even our thoughts are readily engaged and influenced by seasonal patterns in the land." Through attending to our relationships with nature and our surroundings, I believe we can promote healing at multiple levels — for individuals, communities, and the natural world. My research throughout graduate school included examining the mental health benefits of a deeper connection to nature; and exploring the resiliencies that environmental activists hold and the unique social and psychological challenges that they may face in their work. Further exploring these themes continues to be a vital part of both my professional and personal life.
Workshops, Trainings, & Consultation
I have experience giving talks and providing trainings in a number of areas of mental health and psychological topics, including:
- The Work That Reconnects (Joanna Macy's open-source work)
- Sustaining social and environmental activism (i.e., exploring topics of burnout, secondary traumatic stress, etc.)
- Ecopsychology and ecotherapy
- Mindfulness skills and practices
- Relaxation and stress management
- Values and career exploration