Born and raised in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan, I graduated from two of the Big Ten’s finest to pursue my dreams. I received my B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Nutritional Sciences from Michigan State University and continued at rival, University of Michigan for my masters degree. There I received my M.S.W from their #1 U.S. News ranked School of Social Work. Throughout my masters program I specialized in clinical social work with a concentration in interpersonal practice and mental health. I spent time at the University of Michigan Hospital’s Comprehensive Eating Disorders Program working with adolescents and young adults diagnosed with a variety of eating disorders- anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder– facilitating therapy centered around better understanding what encompasses body image, what body acceptance may look like, and how self-esteem and perfectionism often come into play for those struggling with eating disorders. I have since worked with at-risk youth and their families experiencing the array of symptoms associated with complex trauma, helping them heal from their past experiences. I love working with children, adolescents, young adults, and families experiencing any and all of the above through hearing you and your individual story, helping you place the pieces together to solve your puzzle. I utilize a mixture of psychodynamic modalities, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and other mindfulness based approaches. I am eager to explore your story and share my knowledge with you & of course to remind you to live BeYOUtifully.
What a session with me looks likE
I approach my clients the same way I approach my loved ones- with compassion, empathy, authenticy, and humor. My hope is to make you feel like my office is your living room…yes, this a bit of a stretch (no pun intended) because we are currently strangers, but my goal is for that ‘stranger feeling’ to subside sooner than later. I likely will crack some jokes here and there, use language that a “professional” shouldn’t use (though not with my adolesent clients of course), and most definitely call you on your sh…enanigens. I strive to provide a space for my clients to explore their struggles and find answers within themselves. I am a huge fan of sitting with discomfort because afterall, those are the moments that provide growth in the many areas of life. We cannot make our struggles disappear, they will always find their way back – I will most definitely encourage you to stop running from them and start sitting with them. Heads up- sometimes this is not fun and I am not going to sugar coat that! But, I can assure you, life begins to make a lot more sense and feel a bit less chaotic when we allow ourselves to peel back the layers and simply exist with some of those more uncomfortable feelings. Though some of the work may be tough, I also hope to make you smile AT LEAST once throughout your session, for I believe that part of therapy should entail reflecting on the positives in life as well as cutting ourselves a heck of a lot more slack than we [likely] do on a daily basis.
If you’re a kiddo or you’re eagerly searching for a good fit for your child, I promise to make therapy something to look forward to each week. Being a creative thinker I have put together a kid-friendly toolkit; every child brings their own spunk to my office and it is my task to find something in my box of possibilites that will work for you or your child. Just as I do with my adult clients, my hope is to allow my adolescent clients to open up at their own pace, to begin working on the struggles beneath the surface, and to slowly but surely see improvements in their lives.
When you come sit on my couch always remember that you are sharing your story with someone who is listening; someone who cares to help you piece the puzzle together; someone unbiased and non-judgemental…key-word: NON-JUDGMENTAL. If I’m being honest (and I know you’re on my site for honesty beacuse you’re likely trying to find someone who is a good-fit for you), I generally don’t believe in solution-focused approaches to therapy, meaning I generally don’t believe in quick fixes. Yes, there are exercises I may tell you to try each week, but no, do I think those alone are going to provide an end to the struggles you may be experiencing. I don’t own a magic wand, I don’t have all the answers you’ve been searching for, nor do I have super powers, which means that you too have to be a part of the work we do in my office- without you, I simply cannot succeed…and that is why I love what I do! Because each and every day I get to meet with unique individuals that bring wonderful stories that inspire me, teach me, and open my eyes to life’s possibilities. I vow to honor your story and to help you find the beauty in it. As we walk through life each of us sees the world through a different lens, a wonderful lens that makes us who we are. Through our time together I hope you gain more insight into your unique lens and a sense of appreciation for the imperfections that lie within it. I can promise you taking the leap and committing to this journey will be worth it in the end!
A Personal Take on Body Acceptance
Having been through my own pursuit of the “perfect body” and coming out the other side with a slew of health problems, I realized I was not only not being true to myself, I was also depleting the organs of the very body that allows me to live, breathe, and laugh each and everyday. Fortunately I realized rather quickly that I needed to break the viscious cycle, that I needed to once again begin honoring my body, regardless of what size I wore while doing so. I ate more, relaxed often, laughed whenever possible, & stopped sweating the small stuff. I did my own inner work, resolved many of the deeply rooted emotions that were subconsciously effecting my daily functioning, and learned to love my life once more. But I can assure you, I get it- I get what it feels like to want something so badly that you’re willing to wake up at 4:30 am daily to achieve your goals at the gym. I get how hard it is to snap out of that roaring yearning…but you’re on my page for a reason. You’re on my page because there is a part of you that wants change, whether it be just an ounce of you or your entire being, you are ready to transform your life in some way. Though I don’t know you yet, I know that if you are on my page, even just browsing, you are strong enough to push past this. Let me help you find food freedom, body freedom, & freedom to live your life again. I promise you, it will be worth it.
The Nitty Gritty
Degrees: Bachelor of Science, Psychology, Minor Nutritional Science – Michigan State University // Master of Social Work (MSW) – University of Michigan
License Info: CO: Licensed Clinical Social Worker; 09925809 MI: Licensed Master Social Worker 6801103876
NPI Number: 1659812584
Affiliations: Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH) Member // Body Trust Provider*
Every human being was created to be a unique, worthy individual. Not every human being is dealing with the same medical conditions, life stressors, genetics, injustices, etc. It is vital that we remember this. I ask that when you read the contents of my site, you too remember this and remember that your needs may be different than that of your relative, neighbor, partner, or friend. While one person may need to add more movement to their life, another person may need to move significantly less. While one person may need to add more nourishing foods to their diet, another person may need to add more diversity to their diet by way of cookies, cakes, pizza, and bread. We are all in different places with very different stories. These stories make us who we are and who you are is what I hope to help you honor.