"Art is an articulator
of the soul's uncensored purpose
& deepest will."
-Shaun McNiff

Hello and welcome to my site!

Perhaps you are here because there has been a recent event in your life that has left you feeling uprooted and overwhelmed. Or you wish to find a fresh take on an issue. Perhaps you want to practice new skills with an ongoing struggle, or a way to resolve the burden of past traumatic experiences. Any of these paths can lead us to take the courageous action of seeking therapy.

My hope is for this site to reflect to you my dedication to your seeking a new direction toward change, growth and healing in your life. I'm grateful you have found me as a potential therapist along the way. 

Explore this site to learn a bit about myself, who I see as clients, and the therapy work we may be doing together.

 
About Myself

Becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Provisional Registered Art Therapist reflect two deep passions of mine: creative expression and supporting others. Way before gaining any fancy letters behind my name, I intuitively understood my life purpose was to understand what being a human is all about. So far, all of the days leading up to today have been nothing short of intense, heart-breaking, sobering, energizing and life-affirming. Some of the biggest peaks and valleys as part of my journey have been the touch of significant loss, illness, death and grief; taking the spiritual & eternal Bodhisattva path as part of Mahayana Buddhism; and thriving through Queer-lived hardships and traumas. The gifts of perspective, abundance, stillness, dynamism, fortitude, and passion over my 30-some-odd years alive are the very gifts to be shared with others. There is zero doubt in me that I am called to be a conduit of reverence, respect, non-judgmental presence, and advocacy for the unique needs and strengths of all those walking through my office doors.

 

Graduating from Naropa University's Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Art Therapy graduate program, I engaged in rigorous and fascinating field work informed by cognitive-behavioral, multicultural/feminist, mindfulness-based, transpersonal, developmental, and art-based therapeutic systems. I’ve had the pleasure of working in dynamic settings -including elementary schools, a bereavement center, art studios, a horse ranch- and with dynamic people -including grieving widows, single-parent kiddos, wide-eyed teens, new parents, adults of childhood trauma, queer youth of color. Since graduate work, and within my private practice work over the last six years, my clients and I have relied upon on the wisdom of Art as Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR), Transpersonal Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Grief Work, Emotion-Focused, Compassion-Based, and Relational Therapy to form a truly integrative approach to our work. My identity as an Integrative Therapist means I am continuously exploring and joining a variety of clinical and intuitive skills from various frameworks to enhance my clients' desired outcomes. Health and well-being abound when we remain curious, determined, and open!

The person you can expect in the room with you is a counselor who is present for your multi-dimensional self. I commit to drawing from many perspectives of psychology, philosophy, health, and spirituality to see the fullest spectrum possible of who you are. And in a quite pragmatic sense, our therapy together is about best serving you and your life, today, in a process of mutual collaboration and commitment. There is no question that wisdom and power is innately within you, even when or if it feels lost, skewed, stolen or dormant. To that end, our mission will be to uncover the vitality of your being and to discover satisfaction in your life. Again, therapy is a collaborative process, and it will be yours and my work together to meet goals unique, healing, and important to YOU.

 
About Art Therapy

The American Art Therapy Association (AATA) defines art therapy as "an integrative mental health and human services profession that enriches the lives of individuals, families, and communities through active art-making, creative process, applied psychological theory, and human experience within a psychotherapeutic relationship." The AATA also recognizes that art therapy is used throughout a variety of environments and with a variety of people in order to "improve cognitive and sensory-motor functions, foster self-esteem and self-awareness, cultivate emotional resilience, promote insight, enhance social skills, reduce and resolve conflicts and distress, and advance societal and ecological change."  


At times, the process of making art is the most healing or satisfying act in and of itself due to the sensory experience (the smells, textures, colors, and even our hand and body movements as we work with the materials). At other times, the healing occurs when we reflect upon the visual, spiritual, and symbolic language of the final artwork created, which often says much about our self-image, fears, desires, hopes, sorrows, and strengths. Art-making can soothe, support, surprise, challenge, and validate us and our experiences, so how we connect to our art creations is another way to therapeutically engage with art and art-making. Yet another way to think about the use of art in therapy, is the fact that sometimes words and talking alone fails us. It can be easier or make more sense to show who we are and what we are going through than it is to talk directly about complex things. However your particular use of art-based therapy comes into fruition in our work together, we trust that the more we allow ourselves to witness who we are and how we think and feel, the more empowerment, support, guidance, and compassion we may find within our specific narratives.

As a Provisional Registered Art Therapist, I keep myself abreast of best art-based practices, uphold ethical standards, and use ongoing judgment and consultation when providing art-based methods and interventions. I also serve as the Government Affairs Chairperson with the Colorado Board of the AATA, committing to advancing the education, legislation and advocacy on this vital art therapy profession. Art therapy can be a valuable service for anyone, whether you consider yourself a seasoned artist or you have never picked up a paint brush or touched a block of clay before. It is valuable to children, teens, adults, and elders. Absolutely no 'talent' in art making is required to find benefits! I will continuously make art materials and the art process available to you in your therapy. Although engagement with art materials in session is never required of you, I will encourage you to experiment with various means of expression, beyond verbal, as it typically enhances therapeutic growth.

For additional trusted art therapy information, visit ArtTherapy.org or ArtTherapyColorado.org.

 

About EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing)

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The EMDR International Association (EMDRIA) defines Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy as "an extensively researched, effective psychotherapy method proven to help people recover from trauma and other distressing life experiences, including PTSD from abuse/violence, anxiety, grief/loss, chronic pain, depression, and panic disorders". EMDR is a powerfully integrative form of therapy that relies on what the brain does best -processing of events and experiences in ways that help us to naturally adapt, learn, and engage with ourselves and in the world.

 

The various regions of the brain are typically in-sync: they work together to manage stress, learn/analyze helpful information, and control our emotions and behaviors. Our brain is a truly incredible information processing system. However, even this amazing system can get "tripped" at times, when an event or experience is too much to handle (i.e. naturally processed by the various aspects of the brain) in the moment. This unfortunately makes for certain distressing memories (and all of the related emotions, images, thoughts, and body sensations) to remain "frozen in time" and literally stuck in an isolated area of the brain's neural network. As such, we often experience an unprocessed memory when we are being "triggered" by something in our present day, feeling "trapped" by traumas of our past, or being "frozen" with fear or "attacked" by panic about our future. EMDR is not about desensitization to the pain of our memory in and of itself, but rather addressing (processing) all of distressing, unhelpful material into an adaptive, informative, and helpful resolution. It is not about forgetting or disowning aspects of our memories, our brain, or parts of ourselves, but allowing the natural healing and adaptive system of the brain to resume its beautiful work.

 Using bilateral dual attention stimulation (BLS), (which can be eye movements, body tapping, or audio cues), the procedure of EMDR therapy looks like a brain-body free association; this is how we activate the brain's neural network and specific memories to be processed. Once activated, the brain already knows what to do; so we, like passengers on a train, will be noticing the scenery that comes up, making necessary stops to rest, and continuing along the ride as our brain does the work to connect us to more desirable destinations. We will find out together how your individual system responds -without forcing, judging, or censoring- any specific result. As an EMDR-trained therapist, I provide this trauma-informed therapy, which includes resourcing our bodies with meditative and empowering activities; giving supported attention to distressing imagery, sensations, self-beliefs, and emotions; illuminating the adaptive self-beliefs that were otherwise hidden or lost; and ultimately embodying hope, resolve, and action in our future.

 

For additional trusted EMDR therapy information, visit EMDRIA.org or MaibergerInstitute.com.

 
Therapy with Adults

Simply making it to adulthood is a testament to your commitment to life's gauntlets and bounties. By this fact alone, I feel every person deserves to find many moments of contentment, peace and satisfaction during her, their, and his adult life. You deserve to rejoice! However, it can very well be that your social, physical, spiritual, or psychological limits are being tested, making the support of therapy at times all the more important. My sole purpose as your therapist is to craft with you a personal toolbox of health and well-being to help you feel more resilient and empowered in your daily life. Whether your therapy with me looks like art-making, talk therapy, mindfulness meditations, trauma processing, or any combination of these, you and I will collaborate upon a therapeutic experience that honors your unique personality, history, and specific needs of today. My adult clients are rockstars: ready to engage, curious to try a new approach, open to "owning their shit" (i.e. responsibilities and choices), follow through with "occasional homework", and are honest about releasing what might no longer support their well-being today. The presentations my adult clients and I work with in therapy include:​​

  •  LGBTQAI-related needs, including sex-positivity, internalized (insert here)-phobias, gender transitioning, access to care, authentic living, and HIV+ support

  • Grief, loss & major life transitions

  • Privilege & Intersectionality (race, gender, SES, ability, etc.)

  • Depression / Hopelessness

  • Anxiety / Panic

  • High-functioning Autism

  • Anger management

  • Career stress

  • Chronic illness & pain

  • Traumas from childhood

  • Traumas from adulthood

  • Parenthood stress

  • Spiritual crises

  • Lack of self-love & self-compassion

  • Guilt vs. shame

  • Communication issues within significant relationships / family of origin 

 
Therapy with Young Adults

Young adulthood is filled with exciting and sometimes overwhelming growth and breakthrough. Being able to make sense of one's shifting roles, social identities, romantic life, spiritual nature and career goals are frequent areas of focus at this period of life. Often times art-making provides a crucial outlet for processing and understanding the theme of "how can I come into my own?" Ideal therapy for budding adults allows for creative expression, value and skills development, learning effective communication, and meaningful engagement with one's community. My young adult clients are courageous, honest, curious, at times hilarious, and highly motivated to work on becoming masters of their lives. Some sessions may be all art-making and other sessions may be all talking. No matter what each hour looks like, my clients actively engage in a variety of personal experiences, including: 

  • LGBTQAI-related needs, including gender transitioning, bullying/discrimination, coming out and healthy dating

  • Privilege & Intersectionality (race, gender, SES, ability, etc.)

  • Developmental disabilities (Autism Spectrum Disorder)

  • Depression & isolation

  • Sociopolitical concerns

  • Anxiety & self-esteem struggles

  • Grief & loss

  • Traumas from childhood

  • School & college stress

  • Individuation / family of origin conflict & estrangement 

  • Existential / spiritual anxieties

 
Resources

Literature is a dynamic resource, one that is filled with countless voices which bring us hope, inspiration, and clarity into our own experiences and challenges. Although a book cannot truly replace the therapist, and reading the book cannot truly compete with a life-changing therapeutic relationship, therapeutic reading (called bibliotherapy) is an excellent supplement to any well-engaged therapy work. Here is a handful of resources my clients and myself have found helpful to assist in articulating one's concerns, supporting personal growth and giving evidence to not being alone in hardship. While no one book can represent a catch-all for any single topic, these moving reads offer glimpses into the ideas of gender, race, sex, love, death, acceptance, life purpose, grief, faith, and more:

  • Darkness Before Dawn: Redefining the Journey Through Depression

  • The Body Keeps The Score

  • Witnessing Whiteness: The Need to Talk About Race and How to Do It

  • Siddhartha

  • The Transgender Child / Teen

  • Man's Search For Meaning

  • When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

  • Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love and Liberation

  • Black Imagination

  • The Art of Loving: An Inquiry Into the Nature of Love

  • In The Buddha's Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon

  • Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity

  • Being With Dying: Cultivating Compassion and Fearlessness in the Presence of Death

  • All About Love: New Visions

  • The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man's World

  • Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha

  • The Prophet

  • The Sacred Cauldron: Psychotherapy as a Spiritual Practice

  • The Gift of Therapy: An Open Letter to a New Generation of Therapists & Their Patients 

  • The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships & Other Adventures

  • Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment

  • Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

  • The Language of Emotions: What Your Feelings Are Trying To Tell You

  • The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child

  • Dare To Lead

  • Darkness Visible

  • The Book of Symbols, from the Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism

  • The 5 Personality Patterns

  • Wherever You Go, There You Are

  • Religions, Values, and Peak Experiences

  • Six Names of Beauty

  • The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays

  • Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism

  • Awakening the Heart

  • Praying Dangerously: Radical Reliance on God

  • Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle

  • The Body Is Not An Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love

 
Contact Me

My office is located in the Santa Fe Art District of Denver, Colorado, and I serve people throughout the Greater Denver Area.

Due to the current global COVID-19 crisis, all therapy sessions are held electronically via real-time internet video calls until further notice.

The private pay rate for a 50-minute therapy session is $120.

Use the contact form below to reach me. I offer a free 20-minute phone consultation to share preliminary info and to get an idea for if we will be "the right fit" for therapy. If we are, we will then schedule our first appointment to start working together. And if we are not, I can provide you with personally-trusted referrals.

I look forward to hearing from you!

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**Please note that email, telephone, and this contact form are for initiating contact and for scheduling purposes only. As virtual communication is generally not HIPAA compliant (meaning - it is not confidential), I will only provide therapy services in person. Sending a message through the contact form above DOES NOT constitute that we are in, or guarantee that in the future we will be in, a client-therapist relationship.**

**For all life-threatening emergencies, please call 911 or Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners' 24/7 crisis number at 1-844-493-8255(TALK) for immediate assistance.**

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