Restorative therapy for individuals and couples.
I provide therapy to individuals and couples in a safe, comfortable setting. Many people who give up on therapy do so because they haven’t found the right "fit" with a therapist. Choosing a therapist with whom you feel comfortable is paramount to starting the therapeutic process. I offer a free thirty-minute consultation for individuals and couples interested in starting therapy. This is an opportunity to meet face to face to discuss your therapeutic goals and how I can help you. We can decide together if my background and your goals are a good match.
My commitment to healing and the therapeutic process includes not only my clients’ healing but my own. I firmly believe that effective, ethical therapists do their own work. I can’t expect my clients to engage in the kind of vulnerability that occurs in therapy without having experienced it myself. A therapist’s understanding of hitting a plateau or pushing through resistance is only as good as their own first-hand knowledge. As a therapist, I can only go as deep with my clients as I have been myself.
I make a concerted effort to do my own internal anti-racism work, as well as addressing my privilege as related to other marginalized groups. Many of my clients have lived experience with racial and cultural trauma with which I have no first-hand experience. This, as well as implicit biases related to sexism, hetero-normism, transphobia, ageism, poverty, and ableism show up whenever humans come together. This includes in the therapy room and in my work with clients. I strive to identify and challenge my own internal biases and understand my clients’ individual, inter-generational, and societal experiences of trauma. I value relationships with friends and colleagues in which we challenge each other’s inherent prejudice. I am a cis-gendered white woman and my pronouns are she/her. I seek to provide an affirming, inclusive, justice-oriented space for healing and to support my client's healing through an anti-oppressive, anti-racist lens. I'm committed to providing quality mental healthcare to individuals of all races, identities, expressions, orientations, and family backgrounds. My office is an LGTBQIA affirming space. I believe that Black Lives Matter. I support the development of herd immunity through Covid-19 vaccinations.
I have a Masters of Science in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin and am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. My 20+ years of clinical experience includes providing therapy in an inpatient treatment facility, an intensive outpatient program, a medical practice, and in private practice. I have worked with children, adolescents, and adults in individual, group, couple, and family therapy.
I approach my work with clients from a combination of psychodynamic psychotherapy (based on Freudian theory), attachment theory, and interpersonal neurobiology. Our past experiences, including in infancy, influence our current thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. The unconscious mind creates our defenses and drives self-defeating behaviors. Repressed feelings feed symptoms of depression, anxiety, and chronic pain, disrupting relationships, and interfering with the ability to enjoy life. Exploring how out-dated defense mechanisms impede current function creates space for growth and freedom in our lives. Gaining a new understanding of past experiences and relationships can help us in our current lives as we develop new coping skills and strategies for living.
Intensive Short Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP), a psychodynamic psychotherapy model, informs all of my clinical work. ISTDP promotes accelerated symptom reduction in depression, anxiety, PTSD, and somatoform disorders. In addition, I incorporate a variety of therapeutic interventions as part of the process depending on individual needs. These include Emotional Transformation Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), cognitive-behavioral therapy, deep relaxation and mindfulness work, radical acceptance, and clinical hypnosis.
For my work with couples, I use the Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT). I began studying with Stan Tatkin, Psy D, the developer of PACT and co-founder of the PACT Institute in 2012. I continue to have monthly case consultations with Stan and am a member of the PACT Institute's Ambassador Program.
On a personal level, I'm a bit of a neuroscience geek and love learning about the latest research regarding how our brains function and how that applies to the healing process. I'm also passionate about knitting and other fiber arts and take almost any opportunity to get my creative juices flowing.
Regular participation in professional training increases my knowledge base and keeps me up to date on current research and best practices in psychotherapy. I'm committed to lifelong learning and typically average about 100 hours of continuing education units (CEUs) per year, rather than the 15 hours required by my licensing board. I've had the privilege to train with some of the leaders in the field of psychotherapy, including Stan Tatkin, Jon Frederickson, Allan Abbass, and Peter Levine. Some of the advanced training I've attended over the past several years are listed below, along with my professional affiliations.
Attachment, Trauma, & PTSD
ISTDP Halifax Immersion, Mastering the ISTDP Trial Therapy, Dr. Allan Abbass, September 2020
Intensive Short Term Dynamic Psychotherapy, Core Skills, The Institute for ISTDP Training, Jon Frederickson, MSW, 2018-2021
Emotional Transformation Therapy (ETT), Levels I, II, III, IV, & V Steven Vazquez, PhD, LPC-S, 2018, 2019
Looking Through the Eyes of Trauma, Sandra Paulsen, PhD, 2017
Penetrating Defenses and Surmounting Shame, Jon Frederickson, LICSW, and Susan Warshow, LCSW, 2015
Treating Migraines with Integrated EMDR, David Marcus, PhD., 2014
Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) International Association Conference, 2013
EMDR Level I, Roy Kiessling, LISW, 2007
EMDR Level II, Rick Levinson, LCSW, 2007
Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy, Level III, Stan Tatkin, PsyD, MFT current
The Developmental Model of Couples Therapy, Ellyn Bader, Ph.D., year-long training, 2018
Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT), Level III, Stan Tatkin, PsyD, MFT, 2016
Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT), Level II, Stan Tatkin, PsyD, MFT, 2014
Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT), Level II, Stan Tatkin, PsyD, MFT, 2013
Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT), Level I, Stan Tatkin, PsyD, MFT, 2012
Emotionally Focused Therapy with Traumatized Couples, Sue Johnson, Ed.D. November 2017
Gender, Sex, & Sexuality
Consensual Non-Monogamy with Elisabeth Sheff, Ph.D., CSE & David Ley, Ph.D., March 2018
Central Texas Transgender Health Alliance Conference, September 2017
Come As You Are: Secrets from the Science of Female Sexuality, Emily Nagoski, Ph.D., May 2016
Consultation & Supervision
In order to hone my skills as a therapist, I participate in multiple forms of deliberate practice (DP). DP is a purposeful form of practice and skill-building for the specific goal of performance improvement. Individuals from a broad range of professions such as professional athletes, dancers, musicians, artists, medical professionals, and teachers use various types of DP. DP takes many forms including mindful skill-building, receiving coaching from experts in the field, peer supervision, intentional self-supervision, and observation of video-recorded sessions. In addition to doing each of those regularly, I participate in the following groups:
Peer supervision group with other therapists, weekly
Weekly supervision from a faculty member in the ISTDP Institute.
Two consultation groups with Stan Tatkin, one monthly and one quarterly.
One-on-one peer consultation with a colleague, weekly.
The PACT Institute, Member, Ambassador*
International Experiential Dynamic Therapy Association
International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation
Emotional Transformation Therapy International Association
International Center for Clinical Excellence
National Association of Social Workers
Austin Group Psychotherapy Society
Trauma-Informed Care Consortium of Central Texas
Austin In Connection
*The goals of the PACT Ambassador Program are to increase awareness of PACT, to build PACT’s reputation, establish thought leadership, and support and empower Ambassadors to expand their impact within the therapist community.
Masters of Science in Social Work, University of Texas at Austin, 1999
Bachelor of Science in Social Work, University of Texas at Austin, 1998