Specializing in Anxiety, Depression, Chronic Pain, Addiction, LGBTQ+ Affirmative Therapy, and Trauma.
Anxiety and Worry
Anxiety is basically the brains way of trying to protect us. It has great survival value for human beings because it signals us to run away from a threat or fight for survival. It is when this fear becomes prolonged or persists in the absence of a threat that it can become overwhelming, painful, or even debilitating.
No matter what form of anxiety you have, there is hope and there is help. Together we can work on building your distress tolerance skills, coping strategies, and incorporate mindfulness techniques into your life.
Research has shown that Art Therapy combined with CBT techniques can significantly help individuals who struggle with anxiety (https://www.anxiety.org/art-helps-treat-anxiety). When someone is engaged creatively in the presence of a compassionate and experienced therapist , they can gain more self awareness, process intense emotions more effectively, and find a sense of calm.
The sensory-based element of art therapy can also help move a person away from ruminating thoughts and worry, freeing up space in the busy brain and giving the nervous system a chance to self-regulate and become less stressed, less irritated, and less nervous. We can then look at the situation you are facing with more distance and perhaps even see a shift in perspective. Over time, these experiences help to become more peaceful in daily life.
Depression, Anger, Sadness
Emotion is complicated, and is best explained as a dynamic process that involves the interplay of the nervous system, relationships, and mind. People whose emotions are deregulated benefit from using a visual form of expression rather than only using language because it requires participation in different sensory modalities, stirring up responses from the sensory, kinesthetic, affective, perceptual, symbolic and cognitive levels.
Through the process of art making, confusing thoughts and emotions can be slowly retrieved, organized, and restored into one unified whole. Once we begin to know what we are working with- instead of being stuck in a loop of analyzing- it becomes easier to verbally express the inner world and develop a better relationship with self. This comes from a foundation of stillness and inner listening, as well as cultivating a compassion for suffering. Our emotions need our attention and being present to them before they can heal.
LGBTQ+ Affirmative Therapy
Basically what this means is that I am a qualified mental health professional who has familiarity and personal experience of the unique set of challenges that members of LGBTQ+ community face throughout various points in a lifetime, on a daily basis, or within micro-aggressions. I embrace a positive view of LGBTQ+ identity and relationships and address the negative influence of homophobia, transphobia, and heterosexism.
Despite the evidence of a growing cultural acceptance of diverse sexual and romantic orientations and gender variance (in some parts of the world), the LGBTQ+community still faces discrimination, isolation, and oppression. This is reflected in the disproportionately high numbers of LBGTQ+ people who struggle with addiction and trauma. Additionally someone who might seem free from these challenges can still carry the psychological scars of being the “other” in early stages of development, the coming out process, and finding a sense of self within a predominantly heteronormative environment. All these factors play a huge rule in a persons sense of self and in building happy and healthy life.