As a proud member of the gay/queer community, I learned early that we deserved better from the mental health field. When I started looking for my own therapist in 2016, I struggled to find an affirming therapist in the LGBTQ community that didn't pathologize sexual orientation. Eventually, I did find safety in therapy and when I was ready, I set out on my own journey to begin helping others. I've found mentorship from both sex therapists and emotions-focused therapists, before eventually settling into my voice as an attachment-based, narrative therapist.
While 2020 was a year like none other, during this time I graduated from Friends University with a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and earned a Graduate Certificate in Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies from Kansas State University along the way. In 2023, I earned my clinical licensure in both Kansas and Colorado which allows me to independently practice and provide therapy services to residents of both states. I also earned my clinical fellow designation from the American Association for Marriage & Family Therapy.
While at KSU, my scholarship and research primarily focused on queer history (especially during the 80s, during the height of the AIDs pandemic) and gay relational dynamics in literature. Throughout my time at Friends University, I looked at the impact of societal shame on identity formation and functioning, especially as it influences mental health and relational dynamics related to sexual orientation and gender identity.
These days, I find myself interested in the importance of emotional maturity in relational dynamics and in conflict; while at the same time, looking at how our brains influence our attachment to significant others in our lives (be it platonic, romantic or familial). I'm also particularly interested in how both emotions and attachment influence human behavior in the domains of independence, (co)dependence, and interdependence; as well as the role and importance of "unifying centers" (ie. the consistent and safe things that bring people together in order to regulate fear/anxiety and bring a sense of connectedness to relational structures).
My favorite moments in the therapy room are those moments where my clients find their voice and begin using it relationally to help them write new possibilities; while at the same time, leaning into what it means to be human and building safety and security through attachment.
How can you expect me to show up in the therapy room, though? Often, I take a stance of curiosity and ask a lot of questions to help you develop your thoughts and identify the patterns that contribute to the "problem." For me, the most important element in therapy is your ability to tell your story on your terms. We'll highlight your story with compassion, honesty, and humor.
Therapy is a collaborative process; it's not something done to you. What this means is, you are in charge of your own growth and development and to bring topics to process/discuss in session; I'm here to help you carry and guide your work. Therapy happens outside of the one hour we meet each week when you begin applying and incorporating new ideas into your life and way of being. Therapy is a sacred space for your story to be told and for you to be seen and accepted as you are.
My clients know that I'll challenge their thinking when necessary, but my honesty is always layered with compassion. I also use a hell of a lot of metaphors, allegories, and stories to highlight the major themes and help give you a different perspective.
My two dogs, Piper and Phoebe, are my pride and joy. You might see them make cameos in our sessions. Piper doesn't know a stranger and, while stubborn at times, is the reason I don't give up hope. Phoebe is the sweetest, most sensitive dog I've ever met; but she's also the most protective of our little family. Their favorite things to do are to sunbathe while watching nature (while Phoebe gets the zoomies), taking long car rides, and snuggling up on the couch under loads of blankets.
In my spare time, I enjoy playing board games/RPGs with friends, writing, listening to audiobooks/music/podcasts, making art/writing poetry/being creative, and most recently, cheering on the KC Currents! I spend as much time as I can with my dogs and we try to take the occasional daytrip somewhere to let myself get lost and connect with the world differently.
My full fee is $165/50 minutes, but I also know that accessing therapy can come at the cost of paying for rent/groceries, and I am credentialed through Alma to accept both Optum (including United Healthcare) and Aetna insurance plans (you can check your benefits here).