People were put on this Earth for each other, and no one can make it without support.
Love and compassion are healing.
Everyone deserves love and to live a fulfilling life.
Everyone has a purpose.
Pain and suffering are a natural part of life, but can also be an impetus for growth and positive change.
Healing can occur by finding meaning through suffering.
Everyone has inner wisdom and resiliency.
Mind, body, and spirit are all interconnected. We need to honor our body’s signals (including pain, emotions, and intuition) and address each facet of life.
Everyone is doing the best they can with what they know, AND they can do better.
My story in a nutshell:
When I was in high school, my best friend since childhood died unexpectedly in a car accident. I used art to cope with this tragedy, as a way of honoring and remembering her life. The art I created reflected how profoundly she impacted my life and how saddened I was by this loss. I eventually found closure by pledging to live a life with kindness and compassion, just as she demonstrated to me and everyone who she interacted with. I saw it as a ripple effect, something that will help to make the world a better place. She only needed 17 years on this earth to accomplish what she had been here for. I already had a strong interest in psychology and a passion for art and creativity, so when I heard about art therapy in college, I knew immediately that this was my calling in life and I have never doubted this.
Why I love art therapy:
Art therapy is a tool that can be used to aid in expressing that which cannot be put into words. It can be a safe place to explore one’s inner experience through imagery and symbolism, or simply a way to regulate emotions while dealing with difficult and painful thoughts or memories. Creativity can also be fulfilling in that one is doing something positive and productive, and it can be very cathartic to put one’s inner world into a tangibly observable form.
My other superpower:
I am very grateful to have intensive training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). DBT gives some structure to therapy which can help when someone has difficulty regulating emotions and staying on task, or doing the things necessary to improve. It is organized into modules with specific coping skills: mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, and distress tolerance skills. A diary card is often assigned to help clients stay mindful of and reflect on the skills they are using each day, which helps to develop better responses to stressors as well as building a life worth living.
My therapist hat:
I have a very kind and gentle approach when working with people. I genuinely care for all of my clients and have a lot of patience because I know healing takes time and believe everyone is doing the best they can with what they know. I also believe everyone has a fundamental need for love and acceptance. I like to balance acceptance with change by using validation, while also encouraging new ways of responding to life’s challenges.