What made you decide to become a counselor?
A lot of people kept telling me I was a good listener, and I fell in love with my first psychology course in college. Since college, my experience has shown me that when I am serving others and actually see a tangible difference in the lives of others, it is always worth it.
If you could teach the world one skill or technique to improve their lives, what would it be?
To take a time out before reacting to distress or stress with negative emotions in order to reduce the likelihood of causing emotional or physical damage to others
Have you personally been in counseling and if so, what did you learn about yourself?
I was in therapy briefly in college to address problems with concentration and stress, and I have also participated in several intensive courses related to infidelity healing. I learned that I was a more impatient, angry, and impulsive person than I ever realized, but the most important thing I learned was that pain and suffering are necessary parts of life that can transform into incredible blessings. Since I was very little, I was always emotionally sensitive and tended to wear my heart on my sleeve. I had always been focused on the idea of justice always prevailing in life, but this is not always the case in interpersonal relationships or family dynamics. Counseling helped me look in the mirror and discover what I could not control and how to cope with being "okay" with that so that I could move forward for myself, despite the world around me.
If you could recommend one book to all your clients, what would it be?
Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ by Daniel Goleman
Who is your ideal client?
Someone who is flexible and adaptable to change (not avoidant), even if he/she is disagreeable, negative, and self-deprecating in the process.
What inspires you to help others?
Honestly, remembering how I feel when someone helps me in my time of need
How do you personally practice self-care?
I need a little quiet time to myself every day. Journaling is my method for relieving stress, as well as staying mindful and aware of my mood and thinking patterns. Long, hot baths are nice too!
If you are hosting a dinner party, who are the 3 people you would invite and why? Lucille Ball
Because I love to laugh, and laughter is good for the soul.
How do you relate to Mindfulness? How do you incorporate it in your sessions?
Those moments in life when I catch myself being mindful of the good things in my life are the times I feel most happy in life. I love when I am driving in the car and suddenly have a moment of clarity and mindfulness about how good life is and how powerful and precious the human experience is.
I think journaling and making lists of the positives are excellent ways to be mindful. I often tell clients to put their feelings and thoughts down on paper, especially when they are in settings that are calming and allow them to reflect on the topic in a seemingly effortless way.