Therapy goals guide the therapeutic process, and those goals belong to the client. I collaborate with clients to determine benchmarks that make sense to them and for them. I think a good goal in therapy is one that a client connects with, and one that they can reasonably make and see progress towards. As far as the process goes, goal development occurs in the first couple of sessions, and then is regularly revisited, typically every 3 months. Often people will come to therapy with a big picture goal like "I want to not feel anxious anymore." I think that's a great place to start, and will work with a client to develop more specific mini goals to tackle and better understand the big picture. For example, we may decide to start with a goal to learn and use at least 2 new coping skills to manage anxiety in a certain situation. During goal development, we also talk about things like what has and hasn't worked before, as well as different interventions and approaches that I'm trained in that I could see benefitting the client. For instance, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may be a good fit for one client, whereas another client may benefit more from acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT.) Ultimately, deciding on goals and how to approach them is an important part of the therapeutic process and helps provide direction for therapy.
The first session is important for building a foundation for the therapeutic process. I spend some time up front discussing what is called "informed consent." It's important for clients to know about my background and training, as well as what to expect from me and from our sessions. We'll discuss the benefits, limitations, and potential risks of engaging in therapy, as well as client rights and confidentiality standards. The first session is also a time to engage in an initial assessment, where I will ask the client a lot of background questions, in addition to questions about the issues they seek to address in therapy. We will also discuss things like what to do in case of a mental health crisis and identify any needs for other types of referrals if needed. The first session is a time to begin getting to know each other, as well as to start identifying some initial goals if time permits.
The therapeutic relationship is the heart of therapy. The key component of that relationship is safety. As a therapist, I have the honor to witness parts of people's beings that they may rarely show. This honor comes with the responsibility to provide a safe space for people to explore and address the things they typically keep hidden away. A safe space is one that is affirming, positive, non-judgmental, and one that can serve to empower people to move forward with greater self-compassion and self-knowledge.
College & graduate student issues
LGBTQIA related issues
Abuse/Survivors of abuse
Artists' mental health
Autism spectrum disorder
Young Adults (18-24)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Strength Based Therapy
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
National Certified Counselor (NCC)
WI, LPC, 7052-125
Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology, Professional Mental Health Counseling, Lewis & Clark College, Portland, OR
I chose therapy as a career to join people in knowing, understanding, and valuing themselves, and to help them forge a path to their goals. Before going to grad school to become a professional counselor, I worked as an inclusion specialist, assisting adults with developmental disabilities to work and volunteer in their communities. That experience made me particularly interested in supporting individuals with developmental disabilities and mental health needs, in addition to their family members and caregivers. After graduating, I worked for nearly 3 years as a mental health counselor for youth with co-occurring developmental disabilities and mental health needs who were living in group homes. I provided individual counseling, as well as family counseling, and helped to move youth from restrictive group home settings to foster and family home settings. Though this was fulfilling, I found that I wanted broader experience, and more opportunities to work with adults. Since then, I have worked the past 3 years primarily with adults experiencing a range of identified challenges, like difficulties with managing intense emotions and stress, managing anxiety and mood, addressing past trauma and traumatic stress, working on improving communication and boundaries, navigating life transitions, decreasing shame and increasing self acceptance, and developing mindfulness and other positive coping skills. I additionally have developed specializations in working with LGBTQI+ individuals, college students, and people experiencing social anxiety.
110 Algoma Blvd, Suite B, Oshkosh, 54901, WI