I understand how challenging being a Millennial and young adult can be. There are a lot of stressors and pressures to maneuver through and sometimes it seems as though the odds are stacked against us. Many of us have a mountain of student debt that is proving hard to conquer. Finding a job we are passionate about, feel valued in, provides adequate benefits, and pays enough to cover the bills and save for the future is almost impossible to find.
Between work and financial stress, our relationships are suffering as well. Our relationships with ourselves, families, friends, and partners suffer because we are not able to be present when our phones are constantly dinging and our attention in being drawn in 10 different directions. We find it hard to take the time we need to rest and rejuvenate ourselves when we live in a culture that paints sitting and relaxing as being unproductive and lazy. Sex and intimacy are hard to cultivate in long term relationships when we are in a constant state of stress and anxiety.
Many of the clients I work with think they must choose between paying the bills and their own happiness and wellbeing.
I am here to tell you that you can find a balance.
I have empowered many Millennial couples and individuals to dig deep into themselves and understand what it is they want out of life and their relationships and how to fully live out these desires. I truly believe that when we find the strength to be unapologetically ourselves and state the things we need and want, there is usually a path forward we ignored because we did not think it was possible.
My love of psychology came out of me failing a class in my first passion in life, music. I started college as a vocal performance major and in my freshman year, I failed one of my classes. I may have talent, but my mind has a hard time comprehending intervals and rhythm just by hearing them played. With that failure came a hard look at what I wanted to do and I just did not feel as though singing brought me joy anymore when it was mixed with so much stress and anxiety. I decided to leave my music major and try taking psychology 101. Thankfully, I found a new passion!
Majoring in psychology led me to learn so much about myself, my family, and relationships. As a child of divorced parents, I always wanted to know how to make relationships work. When the time came to figure out how to take a psychology degree and turn it into a career, it was a no brainer for me to go straight to grad school to become a marriage and family therapist.
The best thing about being a therapist for me is really the collaborative process that happens in the therapeutic relationship. I think clients are surprised to discover how much I learn from my work with them. I have learned so much about myself and about the world we live in because of the stories I hear from my clients. These stories then begin to weave into the fabric of my work. As I learn more about myself, I continue my journey in living more authentically and can share those insights with clients. The insights and solutions clients discover for their own lives and relationships, I then take and use as examples for other clients who are trying to do the same. This is all done in a confidential way of course. I definitely can relate to the stories my clients share, because I have been there. We are all learning and redefining what it means to be a Millennial as we grapple with these problems together.
Why I Do What I Do
I started this business out of not feeling as though I could have a good balance in my life. My job required a lot out of me without enough of what I needed in return. My health was suffering from chronic pain issues that I should not have in my mid-20s, due to sitting all day and chronic stress. I felt as though I did not have enough time or resources to get back into doing the hobbies I love, like singing and dancing. I was constantly exhausted and felt as though I was not doing my best for my clients, my relationships, or myself. It was hard to understand what was happening to me but to not have a way to stop it.
I saw my relationship with my husband suffer because I was not always able to be present in the way that he needed. My relationships with my family became strained because I did not feel as though I had enough time or energy to see them on a consistent basis. Time with friends seemed to only happen about once every couple of months. Being an introvert and needing time to myself to recharge resulted in most weekends being filled only with chores and sleeping.
When I finally realized that this life of surviving but not thriving was not good enough for me, I made a decision to make a change and take matters into my own hands. I decided that I could become my own boss and create the type of life that I wanted while also having the freedom to work with the type of clients I have really connected with.
I acknowledge that being an entrepreneur comes with the privilege to be able to take a financial risk. I am very lucky to have family that was there to support me in this journey. My husband and I did, however, have to make a hard decision in the first year of our marriage to move back in with my Mom in order to save money and to afford for me to take this leap. We both were still in the beginning stages of our careers and this was a big undertaking.
When thinking about the population of clients I wanted to work with, I chose to work with Millennials because I am a Millennial. Out of my constant struggle with work/life balance and hearing similar stories from my clients, I started to understand that this is a generational phenomenon and not just isolated experiences. I found that I am not alone and neither were my clients. All of these issues that we are seeing in our lives, actually have very real economic and cultural foundations. I strive to teach my clients about the real reasons we are all struggling and then empower and support them to come up with innovative solutions that are right for them.
Along with financial independence and having a balanced life, another Millennial issue I am extremely passionate about is sex and dating. I believe this passion in part stems from me being raised by a single mother, going to an all-girls high school, and having many strong female role models in my life that taught me it was ok to explore and talk about things that not everyone talks about. With all of that as my early background, a feminist was born and I minored in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies in college. When I found out in grad school that I could become a sex therapist, my eyes widened and I said, “Yep! That’s what I want to do!”
Since then I have so enjoyed working with clients on how to navigate this world that is progressive, but still very tight-lipped and squeamish around sex, sexuality, relationships, and the fluidity that is becoming more accepted around all identities. I particularly love working on how to be in healthy, pleasurable, vulnerable, ethical, and satisfying relationships no matter what the relationship structure.
There are so many norms we are taught about how to do relationships and I relish in breaking down those barriers with clients and supporting clients as they explore what these norms mean for them.
Figuring out what is toxic and needs to be thrown out or what is vital and needs some time to grow is exciting and fulfilling. I enjoy seeing the journeys that my clients take in their relationships. I want every one of my clients to have happy, loving, successful relationships and intimacy, pleasure, eroticism, and satisfaction in their sex lives.
My Background…The Nitty Gritty
For those of you who are interested in my credentials, this part is for you.
I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the State of Washington (LF60995323)
- I went to Western Washington University and received my Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology in 2015.
- From there, I went straight into graduate school at Seattle Pacific University and received a Masters of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy in 2017.
- All through grad school I worked at a community mental health agency, Nexus Youth and Families, in Auburn, WA. I worked primarily with children, adolescents, and families around crisis management, abuse, neglect, domestic violence, behavioral problems, grief, depression, anxiety, transitions, PTSD, and emotional attunement/regulation.
- I was offered a job at this agency when I graduated and worked there until the beginning of 2018.
- For two years, I then worked with mainly adults, couples, and some adolescents at a group private practice, Acuity Counseling, in Seattle, Bellevue, and Woodinville, WA. I specialized in working with people around building healthy relationships, grieving the loss of relationships, exploring identity, managing stress and anxiety, reducing and recovering from depression, understanding consent and sexuality, and building healthy sexual relationships.
- In grad school, I was trained in the theory of Narrative Therapy, which is all about the stories that we tell ourselves about our lives and our relationships and how those are influenced by society, our environment, our family’s stories, and our peers’ stories.
- I have taken extra courses, which are listed below, after my master’s program through the Northwest Institute on Intimacy in Seattle that are required for the certification of sex therapy. I am currently completing my supervision hours to become a fully certified sex therapist.
- Sexual Attitude Reassessment (SAR)
- Advanced Clinical Sexology
I am a member of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT), the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), and the Washington Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (WAMFT).
Random Things You Should Know About Me
- I am homegrown, born and raised in the greater Seattle area and I would never want to live anywhere else other than the PNW. I love the rain, the doom and gloom, and the sun that comes with the changing seasons.
- I love to sing and dance! To manage my stress I like to sing and dance with music blasting all around the house.
- I am obsessed with my dog, Ellie. She is one of the best joys of my life. I enjoy taking her on walks, playing, and lots of snuggles on the couch.
- I am very much an introvert that loves recharging my battery under a cozy blanket, in sweats, with one of my favorite mugs, drinking tea or coffee, and watching a good show or movie.
- I’m a foodie. My husband and I love to try new restaurants and taste the cuisine of different cultures. I believe one of the best ways to begin learning about a different culture is to eat their food.
- I am biracial. I do not say this to let you know that I know what it means to be a person of color, because I do not, but I say it because it took me a long time to accept that it is okay to acknowledge an identity that is created in my DNA. I do acknowledge the privilege I have though as an outwardly looking white person. Vlog Post: Blood of the Oppressed and the Face of the Oppressor
- I am very silly and goofy and have always been my best audience at times when no one else will laugh at my jokes.
- I’m also awkward and shy in big groups of people and prefer to just hang back and observe.
- Though I am no yogi by any means, I have found enjoyment and stillness in yoga that helps me connect to myself and manage stress.
Why Work With Me?
- I am experiencing life just as you are and I’m here to share in the struggle with you, while also sharing my experiences and the experiences of others to collaboratively guide you through what is going to work best for you!
- I work hard to bring my full self to the table, goofiness and all, in order to create a real, relatable experience, and professional relationship with you. No more laying on a couch, not making eye contact with your therapist, and analyzing your dreams.
- I am one of very few therapists that have decided sex and sex education for individuals, couples, and other types of relationships is a passion! I am getting the necessary training and supervision to become a certified sex therapist. I am committed to breaking down the cultural barrier around sex and sexuality being something we should not talk about or embrace as extremely important and vital parts of life and experience.
- As part of this training, I am also friendly and inclusive of all diverse identities. I have had training in working with people identified with the LGBTQIA+ communities, Kink communities, BDSM communities, and Polyamorous communities. I also acknowledge privilege in dominant identities. I understand the power dynamics that are present when it comes to the privilege and power society grants to those who fall within the dominant narrative and how this also creates discrimination and disempowerment to those of minority identities.
- I provide Online Therapy (Telehealth) to make it more convenient for you if coming to the office on a regular basis is not an option. It also allows us to stay in touch with each other, even if the weather, sickness , or COVID-19 may prevent you or me from getting to the office.
If you have made it to the end of this page and are still with me, I think we would probably be a pretty good fit to work together!
Let’s talk more about YOU and how we can start this journey together!