Thanks for taking a look at my profile! I hope what you find here will be helpful and maybe even spark your interest to learn more about therapy at Inspire. I'm a licensed mental health counselor and I've been thoroughly enjoying practicing therapy for over 6 years. I began my post graduate experience with a community mental health agency in Allegheny County as a crisis clinician on a mental health crisis hotline and part of mobile crisis teams. After that, I served as a school based therapist at several Pittsburgh public schools and worked with kids in kendergarten through high school. At the same time, I also worked with adults struggling with depression, anxiety, homelessness, suicidality, and more.
I was privileged to join the team at Inspire in Septemeber of 2011. I enjoy working with individuals, couples, and families of all ages and backgrounds. My special interests include using a child centered approach to play therapy, understanding play as a child's language and toys as their words. Play therapy has been shown to be effective in helping children work through behavioral difficulties, such as oppositional defiant disorder, and also lots of other stuff that's harder for children to express verbally, like depression, anxiety, and anger. I'm excited about the potential in reaching children through play therapy and would enjoy talking about it with you, if that's what interests you.
I also enjoy working with adolescents through a cognitive behavioral approach to help with depression, anxiety, suicidality, and even life transitions, such as parents' divorce or preparing for high school or college. Adolescence is a formative and often intimidating stage of life for both teens and parents and I've used therapy to help in very meaningful ways. Basically, my approach to therapy with teens is to identify specific thoughts and behaviors and explore what those mean for how a person understands the world and his or her own self. I'd also enjoy the opportunity to describe in more detail how therapy for teens can be helpful, if that's what you're here for.
I very much enjoy working with adults on an individual basis or as a couple. I've worked with people struggling with relationship and marriage difficulties as well as mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, anger, addiction, and obsessive behaviors. My approach to working with adults is person centered as well as cognitive behavioral, and as with children and teens, I enjoy meeting a person just as he or she is and exploring with hope where we can go from here.
Therapy looks different for different people and is never exactly the same for everyone. For me, therapy is a way of being and not just a collection of techniques. But if you take away all the technical terms and theories, therapy essentially comes down to words. I believe that words can have great power if used well. Words can help us organize our thoughts, take ownership of behaviors, name emotions, and express all kinds of ideas. Good therapy helps a person find the right words to do these things. For children, the right "words" may be toys and play. But however words are expressed, the power in therapy can be seen as talk moves into action, which gives words meaning. So, therapy done right helps develop new perspectives, finds answers for difficult questions, and most importantly, can inspire hope. It is my hope that this very brief introduction has been helpful and, if the time is right, has inspired you to explore therapy with IPS.
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