"a long time ago, when you were a wee thing, you learned something, some way to cope, something that, if you did it, would help you survive. It wasn’t the healthiest thing, it wasn’t gonna get you free, but it was gonna keep you alive. you learned it, at five or six, and it worked, it did help you survive. you carried it with you all your life, used it whenever you needed it. it got you out — out of your assbackwards town, away from an abuser, out of range of your mother’s un-love. or whatever. it worked for you. you’re still here now partly because of this thing that you learned. the thing is, though, at some point you stopped needing it. at some point, you got far enough away, surrounded yourself with people who love you. you survived. and because you survived, you now had a shot at more than just staying alive. you had a shot now at getting free. But that thing that you learned when you were five was not then and is not now designed to help you be free. it is designed only to help you survive. and, in fact, it keeps you from being free. You need to figure out what this thing is and work your ass off to un-learn it. because the things we learn to do to survive at all costs are not the things that will help us get FREE. getting free is a whole different journey altogether."  mia mackenzie, creator of black girl dangerous, author of  the summer we got free

"a long time ago, when you were a wee thing, you learned something, some way to cope, something that, if you did it, would help you survive. It wasn’t the healthiest thing, it wasn’t gonna get you free, but it was gonna keep you alive. you learned it, at five or six, and it worked, it did help you survive. you carried it with you all your life, used it whenever you needed it. it got you out — out of your assbackwards town, away from an abuser, out of range of your mother’s un-love. or whatever. it worked for you. you’re still here now partly because of this thing that you learned. the thing is, though, at some point you stopped needing it. at some point, you got far enough away, surrounded yourself with people who love you. you survived. and because you survived, you now had a shot at more than just staying alive. you had a shot now at getting free. But that thing that you learned when you were five was not then and is not now designed to help you be free. it is designed only to help you survive. and, in fact, it keeps you from being free. You need to figure out what this thing is and work your ass off to un-learn it. because the things we learn to do to survive at all costs are not the things that will help us get FREE. getting free is a whole different journey altogether."

mia mackenzie, creator of black girl dangerous, author of the summer we got free

the first step

People seek psychotherapy for myriad reasons; the “why” of your reach for counseling at present is often woven with recurring patterns in your past.  Human resilience comes in all forms, shapes, and sizes.  Throughout one’s life, to cope with overwhelming pain, loss, or shame, individuals develop, often subconsciously, ways of moving through the world – professionally, relationally, etc. – that keep one surviving afloat, but may hinder, consequentially, someone’s ability to embrace their life in full.  You may be struggling with addictions of some kind, or grappling with relationship behaviors and personal fears that may seem unsurmountable.  You may have experienced a recent overwhelming loss, the wake of which may seem too painful to bear or accept.  You may be seeking counseling for a reason currently unidentifiable, but there is an ache or experience of something missing or a general need for resolution.

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welcome

Before you begin, ask yourself: Why am I here?  Why now? What behaviors have me concerned?  What aches have seemed to keep me stalemate?  Or reaching for all of my vices? What feels out of control?  When did I begin feeling this way?  Do my feelings remain stagnant?  Or am I fluctuating constantly or in a seemingly spontaneous fashion within my subjective experience, my inner dialogue?  Am I my most brutal critic? For how long has this been the case? Am I here for my relationship?  My family?  Should I be working together with my partner? How can my family land on the same page?

I imagine one or some variation thereof these questions brought you Here.  It is a brave and courageous in the least platitudinous or hyperbolic meaning of both words.  You're taking an enormous step.  The first step. And that is everything.  

As a counselor, it is my job to hold a safe and consistent space in which to unpack and explore the present, past, and recurrent with you.  I am here to hold the entirely too cumbersome, painful, and messy.  I am here to guide you as you learn to carry your hurt in a way that heals the gap between where you want to be emotionally and behaviorally and where you feel you are at present. Our sessions are a protective container, a boundaried time and space in which to grow. 

My hope is that this site will help guide you further in your search for assistance through this next and challenging phase of growth.  I aim to further elucidate more about the therapeutic process and empower you to learn more about various approaches to counseling, both mine own, and otherwise.  It is imperative you feel this choice is entirely yours, just as your healing will be. 

 "collect rocks. that's all...sit with your rocks and think of nothing at all. have endless patterns and repetitions accompanying your thoughtlessness, as if to say let go of that other more linear story, with its beginning, middle, and end, with its transcendent end, let go, we are the poem, we have come miles of life, we have survived this far to tell you, go on, go on.    you will see you have and underlying tone and plot of your life underneath the one you've been told .  circular and image bound.  something near tragic, near unbearable , but contained by your irreducible imagination - who would have thought of it but you - your ability to metamorphose like organic material in contact with changing elements.  the rocks. they carry chronology of water. all things simultaneously living and dead in your hands."  lidia yuknaitch,  the chronology of water

"collect rocks. that's all...sit with your rocks and think of nothing at all. have endless patterns and repetitions accompanying your thoughtlessness, as if to say let go of that other more linear story, with its beginning, middle, and end, with its transcendent end, let go, we are the poem, we have come miles of life, we have survived this far to tell you, go on, go on.  

you will see you have and underlying tone and plot of your life underneath the one you've been told .  circular and image bound.  something near tragic, near unbearable , but contained by your irreducible imagination - who would have thought of it but you - your ability to metamorphose like organic material in contact with changing elements.  the rocks. they carry chronology of water. all things simultaneously living and dead in your hands."

lidia yuknaitch, the chronology of water

“i am deliberate & afraid of nothing." 

 

Audre lorde

how does therapy work?

Unlike a physiological prognosis, our work together will not involve a clear trajectory.  Much of what our work will look like is up to you, as I consider myself a client-centered, strengths-based counselor.  The ability to progress in therapy requires arduous work, but I believe the possibility of growth is inherent in each human being.  You know yourself best, and you have brought yourself to seek help.  My role is facilitator.  I will guide you as you learn to master your own emotional states and desires, helping you to trust your mind and body in holding what previously seemed untenable. Together, we will amplify your inner courage and resilience, and harness your strength to better serve your authentic self. Life will continue to happen, but the goal of psychotherapy is to empower you to move through your challenges and victories with greater agency and resolve.

finding the right fit

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I encourage you to interview as many providers you feel you need to find the best provider for you; most obviously, everyone's different.  Keep in mind relational transference during your search. Due to my relational psychodynamic orientation, I believe firmly in the power of the therapeutic relationship to heal past attachment hurts from previous primary relationships.  Perhaps you know already you'd prefer a particular gendered provider due to your own comfort or vice versa.  

It is important to ask questions. Some examples you may want to use in your search:

what is/does your past and continuing training look like? What are your credentials and qualifications?

with which governing bodies or professional agencies are you associated?  

how long have you worked in this field? 

why did you become a therapist?

What approaches do you recommend generally provided what you know of myself and my situation?

How does the treatment you offer work?

What are the chances that treatment will succeed?  How would you define "success?"

How will we assess my progress?

What should I do if i don't feel better?

How much will treatment cost? Do you cover my insurance?

Have you ever worked with [possible minority group or subculture with which you identify]?

Trust your gut, but listen.  And keep asking what you feel you need to embark upon your process.  

what's next?

There are many options for help.  It will serve you well to know what options exist for your support, from life coaches to psychopharmaceuticals and the various other kinds of providers may offer you a path to the relief you seek.  Recent empirical evidence serves as a proponent of talk therapy, or psychotherapy (read the most recent, relevant resolution from the American Psychological Association here).  From depression to addiction and unresolved trauma, a beneficial counseling relationship can effectively mediate the challenges that have brought you to this site today.  It remains up to you to decide your route and up to you to put in the work for the life you imagine.  

 "what matters most is how well you walk through the fire."  charles bukowski

"what matters most is how well you walk through the fire."

charles bukowski