Philosophy of Care
A German phrase when translated to English states: “A pleasure shared is a pleasure doubled. A problem shared is a problem halved.” While this phrase may emphasize the overall value that German’s place on shared experiences, the latter statement can be used to describe the therapeutic process. Individuals seeking therapy do so with the courage knowing they will be identifying problems or difficulties with the therapist. This act of expressing and sharing can help unburden and lessen the weight of the issue being experienced. As a clinician, it is always important for me to be mindful that the foundation of therapy is to create an environment that allows for the patient to be comfortable in their sharing.
To cultivate such an environment, my personal philosophy centers around a few different, yet similar, attitudes and approaches. This philosophy may even be related to the art of gardening. Without the proper conditions of soil, water and sun, the seed will not grow. This is true within the human condition, as well as the therapeutic relationship. If we use the analogy of gardening to the therapeutic relationship, the soil is the foundation of trust. Trust can be gained by respecting the individual through validating and acknowledging their thoughts, feelings and experiences. Maintaining a non-judgmental stance can also enrich the soil as it allows the individual to express openly and honestly, without fear of judgment. Without the right soil, water would then not be able to deliver the right nutrients. Water in therapy can be viewed as giving the proper feedback, challenging unhealthy beliefs or behaviors, giving new perspectives and building positive and healthy skills necessary for growth. This growth would also not be possible without the sun, which is vital for creating energy for both plant consumption and distribution. In therapy, the sun is the warmth of compassion. Compassion is the energy that vitalizes the self and others. If any one of these conditions are not present, it would make any growth difficult, if not impossible. Therefore, my hope as a clinician is to embody these conditions in my therapeutic care, because I believe that all individuals have the capacity for growth, despite any setbacks in life. And with the success of growth, just as the Germans believed, the success is shared and magnified.
Education and Licensure
- Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), State of Utah, September 2014
- M.S.W University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, August 2012
- B.S.W University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, April 2011
I have been working in the mental health field for over a decade, with the bulk of my experience revolving around children, adolescents, young adults and their families in various settings. These include: therapeutic boarding schools, wilderness therapy programs, intensive outpatient programs and traditional school settings. Having the privilege to work in such a diverse background has given me invaluable experience as it relates to the development of an individual and their impact on the relationships around them.
I attended the University of Utah and attained both a bachelors and masters in Social Work. The master’s program prepared me to become a practicing therapist as I chose to hone my education and skills for clinical work. It also prepared me to adopt the attitude that becoming a therapist meant embracing a “lifelong dedication to learning.” This dedication has been enriching as it’s given more depth and meaning in my own life and has also given the motivation to continually learn more therapeutic theories and techniques that can be useful for the patients I work with.
I primarily use depth psychology, which explores both conscious and unconscious experiences, in the hopes that one will discover core traits and the latent potentiality for growth. I combine this with Eastern practices such as mindfulness and meditation that can be useful in attaining such personal insights. I also recognize that each patient is unique and that I need to adapt my therapeutic approach to better fit their needs and circumstances. To be more adaptable, I maintain an eclectic approach that helps me utilize various therapies more relatable to the patient.
My clinical education and experiences has helped me narrow my specialties into two specific categories of depression and anxiety. I’m drawn to these issues as they relate specifically to the hindrances of personal growth. I also enjoy working with spiritual/faith transitions and how they too are part of the development of the individual.
Areas of Specialty
- Grief/Bereavement & Loss
- Life Transitions
- Mood Disorders
- Spiritual/Faith/Religious Transitions
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Compassion Focused Therapy
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
- Sand Tray Therapy