I am a licensed counseling psychologist in Pennsylvania and New York, and credentialed as a National Register Health Service Psychologist. I hold a PhD from Penn State's Counseling Psychology program and completed an APA-accredited psychology internship and a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania's Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) in Philadelphia. I also earned an MSW from the University of Maryland prior to obtaining my doctoral degree. I provided individual and group therapy, psychological assessment, and crisis counseling for over 10 years in diverse settings including college counseling and community mental health.
In my practice now, I specialize in offering individual therapy for adolescents and young adults, and work with many college students from Penn State. Occasionally, I teach clinical coursework in the counseling program at Penn State and I also serve as a volunteer on the Behavioral Health Team at Centre Volunteers in Medicine (CVIM). I love being a psychologist and helping clients develop a deeper understanding of and connection to themselves and others.
When I'm not working, I can often be found reading, visiting the ocean (or any body of water!), drinking coffee, or traveling near and far.
My Therapeutic Approach
As a relational therapist, I believe that healing often occurs in the context of a safe, trusting relationship. I aim to create a secure, caring, and collaborative relationship with each of my clients so that therapy is a place they feel fully seen, heard, understood, and respected. I value understanding clients' past experiences, particularly related to relationships with family, friends, and important others, as these experiences often shape present relationships and struggles. I see a large part of my job as helping my clients develop a greater understanding of themselves and why they think, feel, and behave the way they do. In better understanding ourselves, we are more equipped and empowered to make choices that avoid repeating old, unhelpful patterns.
Much of my therapy style is informed by postgraduate training in a type of therapy called Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP). An attachment-based therapy, AEDP is focused on emotional transformation. Put simply, AEDP is about helping people become stronger at the broken places and finding places in people that are already strong. It is grounded in the ideas that we are biologically wired for change and healing no matter how great our suffering, and that safe therapeutic relationships rooted in sensitivity, authenticity, kindness, and emotional engagement promote this change.
My work is also strongly influenced by multicultural/feminist perspectives and mindfulness-based approaches. Although these are the broad frameworks I most often use as a therapist, I adapt what I do to each person I see.
Areas of Specialty
In various capacities, I have worked with victims/survivors of sexual and relational trauma (e.g., sexual assault, rape, child abuse and neglect, interpersonal violence) for about 15 years. I am committed to and passionate about being a trauma therapist. In addition to the ways of working I describe above, I have training and experience in therapy modalities specifically designed for treating Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), including Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) and Prolonged Exposure (PE). AEDP (described above) is also a treatment model for trauma, especially complex trauma.
For the past many years, I have worked most often with college students (both undergraduate and graduate) and greatly enjoy being with young adults as they navigate through college, emerging adulthood, and all of the related life tasks that come with this time of transition.
My other areas of speciality include:
- Women's issues
- Identity development
- Relationship concerns