How I can help
I practice Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Exposure and Response Prevention, which are proven by evidenced-based research to be the most effective treatments for anxiety and OCD. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) will also be utilized to prioritize what is important in life in order to feel fulfilled and happy. We may also bring in some other treatment modalities if we are working with another concern such as trauma (or PTSD), trichotillomania (hair pulling), or excoriation (skin picking).
What drew me to practice CBT and ERP? I was originally inspired by a team of anxiety and OCD therapists I learned from while still in school. I remember the clients I first worked with in internship. OCD had left them feeling hopeless, and it affected the entire family. The intrusive thoughts left my clients feeling paralyzed, and hours a day were lost to OCD rituals. I remember their personal struggles when they entered treatment and I remember their smiles when they were done with treatment. I received an update about a year later that someone had gotten to really enjoy a summer trip overseas when just a year before, it took hours to leave the house each morning. Once I saw just one transformation, I was hooked.
Your brain may come up with some creative worst case scenarios that leave you feeling petrified, annoyed, and frustrated. And naturally as humans, we try to get rid of the unwanted scary thoughts or the weird worst case scenarios our brains tell us like:
“I have no business being at this party. What if everyone hates me?”
“Why am I having thoughts of hurting my sister? She’s my best friend. What if I go crazy and do something terrible to her? I should probably just stay away from her, maybe far away from everyone.”
Or maybe your child does not want to go anywhere new and asks the same questions over and over like:
“Where are we going? How do we know it’s safe? What if something bad happens there? Can I just stay home?”
So here’s how we deal with it and how I know I’m fit to help. I’m not a therapist that will just sit and listen to your anxious stories. I’ll listen, and we are going to take action too. Anxiety and OCD often lies or exaggerates to make our worries seem real and threatening. We will learn how to sort out unnecessary worries and OCD thoughts from our own thoughts, thus feeling more confident in our ability to listen to reality. And then we will face your fears together. Click here to learn how.
I want us to get out in the community as much as possible or even to your home if that is what is needed. I want to make sure that I am helping you to face the triggers that make you feel anxious outside my office. So we may go to the store, outside, to school, or to a particular place that spurs panic in you.
My intention is to help you learn to resist the temptation to avoid anxiety at all costs. The best way to beat anxiety is to simply sit with it without doing something in the moment to get rid of it. It goes away all by itself. We learn how to become comfortable with being uncomfortable so you can get back to doing things that feel more like you or so that you’re able to see your child be a kid again, the one you know and love.
I’m a LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker), licensed in both Arizona and Illinois, with my Masters in Social Work from the University of Illinois. I completed my anxiety and OCD training in a well-known behavioral health hospital in Illinois that has a reputation for being able to change lives from all over the country, Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital in the Center for Anxiety and OCD. I’ve run and worked in full day programs, half day programs, and hourly sessions that specialize in anxiety and OCD, so I have a thorough understanding of how much treatment it may take for someone to feel better and in control.
This is my passion. To see someone feeling like their life has been ruined in more ways than one to feeling alive and empowered is incredible. Truly, my job means the world to me.
Let’s be a team and fight this together.