Specializing in Anxiety, Depression and Intergenerational Family Dynamics

 
Sad on Couch

We all go through periods where it seems like our life is out of balance. And when we don’t feel comfortable sharing our needs and goals with loved ones, we can end up feeling disconnected from our own story. I am here to listen and to help you explore what is and isn’t working in your life so you can make guided, productive changes—like learning new communication skills or introducing meditation into your routine—that work for you. Instead of only treating anxiety symptoms, you can learn to identify unmet needs and take concrete steps to address the reasons you feel anxious in the first place. 

As an intuitive and holistic therapist, I draw from a range of approaches to help you connect with your emotions and find lasting relief. It starts with psychoeducation so you can better understand the factors and triggers that are contributing to your experience and learn how to communicate your needs confidently and clearly. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (M-CBT) can help you recognize how distressing thoughts are affecting your emotions and behaviors. Practicing meditation, mindfulness skills, and breathing techniques will allow you to reduce stress before it becomes overwhelming. And by incorporating visualization and imagery techniques, you can see your situation from a neutral perspective and acknowledge improvements you’re making that you may have been minimizing in the past.

 

Throughout our work together, I’ll adapt to your goals for each session. If distressing symptoms are keeping you from keeping up with daily obligations, we’ll practice concrete skills and resources you can use to find fast relief. And if you are struggling to open up, I’ll take the lead and slow the pace of our work so your story can emerge naturally, instead of pushing you out of your comfort zone too quickly.

Anxiety

 
Red Plastic Portrait

Depression

There is no one real cause of depression; it's different for everyone. Depression is a complicated mental illness, so we can't point to one thing that triggers a season of depression. Often, multiple factors cause depression and are typically a combination of genetic, biological, mental, emotional, and situational factors.

That being said, I notice some patterns when my clients come in for help with their depression. Here are a few common causes of depression:

  • A trauma

  • A loss

  • Certain medications whose potential side effects are depression

  • Genetics (you are more likely to get depression if it runs in your family)

  • Major events or transitions

  • Personal problems like family conflict, relationship problems, social isolation, and more

I believe that mental health and well-being are possible for everyone. Using techniques learned through teaching, writing, and meditation, I accompany clients on a journey to unearth and gain mastery over unhelpful patterns in order to live lives of greater authenticity, meaning, joy, and connection. I utilize holistic, strengths-based, solution-focused techniques to help people achieve greater confidence, satisfaction, and ease in both daily life and in times of transition or crisis. With creativity, honesty, curiosity, and humor, I create a safe environment in which to share, explore and ultimately find healing.

 
Forest

The pain you feel after a loss honors the love, relationships, and hopes you had. And when you give yourself permission to be present with your experience—instead of denying the pain—you can learn to process it and make sense of what happened. You can learn to move forward and find balance without letting go or losing your connection.

I recognize that there is no “right way” to grieve, and one of the most important steps you can take is to find a grief therapist you trust and who will honor your unique journey. That’s why it is important for me to get to know you and understand where you are in the grieving process. Rather than asking you to follow a set process, I tailor each session to your needs and goals. And because I provide a safe space where you can experience bottled up emotion, practice new skills, tools, and strategies, you can learn to identify and work through challenges that you may not have been aware of or that you may have been actively avoiding.

 

Throughout our work together, I take an integrative approach that helps address your whole being: mind, body, and heart. By introducing breathing practices and mindfulness, you can recognize where you hold grief in the body and learn to release tension before it becomes overwhelming. Through emotional regulation, you give yourself permission to feel without fear or self-judgment and learn to embrace your emotions as a source of strength and growth. And by incorporating storytelling during sessions, you can reflect on the narrative you have been telling yourself (for example, that you can’t move on) and visualize a new direction you want your story to take from here. You can honor your pain, thoughts, and behaviors while making healthy lifestyle changes that bring you from where you are now to where you want to be.

I have been helping teens, adults, and families navigate the grieving process for over 10 years. During that time, as a hospice volunteer, crisis interventionist, mental health first responder, and now as a clinical therapist, I have seen how important it is to feel accepted and supported while coping with a loss. And I know that no matter how difficult things may seem right now, there is a path to hope and healing. With the right guidance and support, you can live the life you want while continuing to honor the memory of what you had.

 
Happiness
Individual Therapy

Grief & Loss

Navigating this world is challenging and at  times overwhelming.  You don't have to be your own lifeguard or explore this alone. I will always meet you where you are in your process and offer various interventions when they fit your specific needs. I am here to support you in your journey of transforming beyond old patterns, stories and beliefs.

 

I work creatively, relationally, and experientially with clients utilizing mindfulness, somatic resources, a transpersonal lens and other modalities. Working in the present moment with the dynamic between you and me offers information as to how you experience the world. Our work together is not to stop the feeling and discomfort from happening, but rather find your resilience in the discomfort.

 

How might you ask? By staying with it, being in a safe space, staying curious together and watching what happens when it moves. It is a practice of owning your wild humanness. It is challenging yet profound work that allows you to feel deeply seen by both self and other. This process results in more satisfying relationships, choice, and empowerment. 

Some of the areas I work with include:

  • Depression​

  • Major Depressive Disorders

  • Anxiety​

  • Trauma​

  • Complex Trauma​

  • Attachment ​

  • Relational challenges​

  • ​Boundary work ​

  • Self Expression​

  • Shame and the inner critic​

  • Disconnection with the body​​

  • Grief and Loss

 
Summer Times
Happy Couple
Loving Couple with Dog

Relationships & Couples Counseling

 

Because intimacy involves and affects both (or more) partners, therapy yields the best results when each partner in a relationship commit to taking part in the process. Each partner has a unique perspective on the problem and will be a valuable asset in finding a solution. When you commit to working on your relationship together, therapy often creates better communication, greater intimacy, and brings you closer together. 

Some of the most common reasons people seek relationship and couples counseling include:

  • Communication struggles, gridlock over difficult issues and conflict resolution strategies

  • Conflicts about differences in sexual desire or preferences

  • Pre-marital or newlywed counseling and alignment

  • Challenges of parenthood, frustration and anger management

  • Difficulty maintaining intimacy and closeness through relationship and life changes

  • Work/life balance and support

  • Past relationship traumas that may be impacting present relationships in negative ways

  • Highly charged emotional differences

  • Rebuilding trust and recovery after infidelity and reestablishment of relationship security

  • Blended family challenges and co-parenting strategies 

  • Interpersonal interactions and relationships

  • Emotional tolls of infertility treatments, miscarriage, abortion, and adoption

I work with couples, families and relationships of all configurations. The Tattooed Therapist is an inclusive practice that welcomes a diversity of relationship models, both those that fit into traditional norms and those that break the mold. 

Who Do You Think You Are?

Genograms

'I once made a genogram for a client. It turned out to be about FIVE feet wide and TWO feet high. We went back multiple generations. They wanted to stop the generational abuse from showing up in their children's lives. When we put it all out on paper, they were amazed. After about six months of working together, they moved away from all those negative habits.' 

The Genogram has a myriad of different uses for individual clients and couples. Monica McGoldrick, in her book Genograms: Assessment and Intervention, notes the many uses genograms serve to:

  • Elicit family narratives and expand cultural stories

  • Reframe and detoxify family legacies

  • Discover unique strenths and resources

  • Look at key family or personal events that were life changing

  • Sensitize clinicians to systemic issues

  • Uncover sources ofcurrent dysfunction

  • Find sources of reslience 

  • Place the current issue in the context of the family evolutionary patterns

The list really goes on and on. The genogram shows patterns vertically and horizontally. They expand your mind to see multiple patterns at the same time and how they impact one another. Family patterns not only grow from past generations, but according to Goldrick, via larger social structures like religion, politics, gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, schooling, etc.

Genogram Work with Couples

During couples counseling, we talk about the merging of two cultures. That's true if you are from the same small town or from different countries. Every person grows up in their own unique culture that often clashes with how their partner grew up. If you grew up in a small southern town, you might be a polite person who is sensitive to social norms. If you grew up in a fiery tempered Italian family, you might have a loud arguing family who lets the tempers flare and then regroups immediately with no ill will. Pairing people from these different worlds often causes some relationship issues. But when we are able to map out the family structure on both sides, it becomes clear to both partners why the other acts like they do. We get clarity but also understanding and acceptance. 

If you have a complicated relationship or situation, examining your family through a genogram might shed a ton of light on the issues and help you solve it faster. 

Contact me today so we can map your your history!