I have always felt…out of place. Even as a small child and regardless of where I have been, I notice the things about me that stand out. It’s this innate feeling of disconnection that has motivated my curiosity. I am so curious about the world around me. If I can figure everything out - other people, myself, the environment - then I will find a place where I belong.
Curiosity is the root of therapy.
Now, as an adult, I know who my people are, I know who I am, and I have learned to allow myself to fully be myself. I have met interesting people. I have strange and truly entertaining hobbies (i.e. jumping spider husbandry?). But I wish that I had landed in this place sooner…and more gracefully. I wish it hadn’t felt like such a fight! (But this is how empathy is born)
My journey guides me as a therapist. When I think back to what Little Whitney needed, she needed someone who was curious about her and present with her. She needed an invitation to be seen. I needed someone who could allow me to make mistakes and to then investigate things from all angles and without shame. I needed someone excited about the things that made me excited. I needed someone who could allow me to try on different behaviors and different identities, someone to wonder with about myself, and to be with me as I settled in to me. This is what I offer folks in the therapy room.
I am a partner to walk alongside you, with your best interests at heart
My office is a place where you can be safe and free to wonder about your past, your present, and your future
Yes, this will take time to build together. Most folks, myself included, have grown up feeling not right. And as a result, they lock things up, push things down, ignore things; meanwhile, that sense of anxiety and disconnection grows.
What does therapy look like in my office?
I use Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, which, instead of focusing on getting rid of things (e.g. intrusive thoughts, anxiety, etc.) so you can live a full life, is focused on building a life that you love right now.
I also use psycho education – learning about why our brains get stuck and become demanding.
We will also practice, in the moment, noticing our thoughts, feelings, and urges, and choosing our next steps intentionally.
Imagine this metaphor for therapy in my office: grab a sheet of paper and hold that paper up in front of your face, touching your nose. Look around. What do notice? You probably can’t see much – maybe some vague shapes and colors? And probably close to nothing about the world around you! Now pull that sheet of paper away from your face a little bit, maybe at arm’s length. What do you notice now? You can probably see much more than before! The room around you, the place you’re sitting as you read this – everything! And not only can you see the world around you much more clearly, but you can also see that paper much more clearly now, too. All those details are more clear. You might be able to read the text printed or written on it.
In ACT we call this process:
Defusion – becoming unstuck with any one particular experience so that we can more fully contact all of our experiences, both internal and external.
Do you want a more full life, and one that is connected to your most important values? Then let’s chat. I’m here to invite all of you into the therapy room and for us to work together to discover what might be. My therapy room is a place for you to come and exhale, feel a sense of safety, and build together.