Education & Experience

Before gaining my Ph.D in Counseling Psychology from University of Houston, I attended Louisiana State University for a bachelor's degree in Spanish and Marketing.  This included a year in Salamanca, Spain where I fell in love with the language, culture, and renewed my passion for bringing the spirit of resilience and passion into the tapestry of my life as well as sharing it with others.  

I started my private practice in 2014 after returning home to Houston from a seven year period of living in England, where I worked in the National Health Service as the lead Psychologist on a team for adults with learning disabilities.  Prior to that, I enjoyed training rotations in community mental health centers, intensive outpatient programs, and inpatient and outpatient services at the Houston Veteran's Affairs hospital, Texas Children's Hospital, Ben Taub hospital.  I also volunteered for many years during that time at Bo's Place, a Houston based non-profit organization, facilitating groups for adolescents who were bereaved following the death of a sibling or parent.  My passion for this program inspired my dissertation on Traumatic Grief and included an outcome study for the grief groups offered at Bo's Place.  

Philosophy 

I discovered my passion for other cultures, lifestyles and experiences while studying in Spain and later living in the United Kingdom.  My travels extended beyond the geographical world of Europe and into the depths of my personal belief system.  Living as a minority out of my comfort zone inspired me to explore, ponder, and articulate a set of values and ideologies that are uniquely my own.  Through discourse with friends from all over the world, I encountered myriad belief systems, all of which challenged me to question the views of my family and my culture.  In the process of discovering others, I discovered myself.  Spending time in foreign countries with people from various backgrounds undoubtedly influences my therapeutic emphasis on interpersonal process.  It is through this lens that I view every client as having a distinctive personal language. 

 

Approach 

My therapeutic approach integrates psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, and systems theories.   This approach is eclectic and is largely guided by my clients' needs, personality style, and acceptance of an intervention that will fit best and be most effective. I emphasize helping my clients identify and modify fruitless patterns and unrewarding points of view developed early in their life and still affecting their adulthood.

I believe that all clients have grown, adapted and honed skills that allow them to cope with problems, people, and situations in life. Identifying each client’s adaptive strategies allows me to work within and build upon the skills a client already possesses.  Emphasis on a client’s survival of their history of difficulty or abuse has often allowed for transformation from a victim mentality to a survivor identity for clients with whom I have worked.

Cultural context is also paramount to developing an understanding of each individual, including their strengths and their struggles. All clients have a personal context of ethnicity, gender, socio-economic factors, customs, beliefs, values, and experiences that shape their understanding of everything in their lives. As a therapist, I also come with a cultural context through which I view the client. Attention to both is critical to delivering an impactful and productive therapeutic experience.

 

Motivation 

It took me a long time to realize that my ability to help others see their own potential is my gift.  I believe that it is my place in this world to help those who want to examine the parts of their lives that are not working, and to inject confidence and enthusiasm into opportunities for change.  This may initially look like a crisis, loss, or trauma that leaves the client feeling broken or wounded... but all great heroes have scars and I am in the business of cultivating survivors.  I can't imagine a more rewarding role in life!