Welcome to our blog at Authentic Growth Wellness Group! We are so excited to see you here. This blog will cover many topics related to mental health and disorders, but for our first posts, we want you to get to know the team a little better with a Q & A!
Working with teens + young adults experiencing anxiety, family conflicts, difficult life transitions. Working with new parents in the postpartum time period; birthing parents suffering from postpartum depression, anxiety, and mood disturbances. Working with toddler parents, parents of all ages, to learn/understand effective parenting strategies. Helping parents learn how to manage and cope with their triggers of stress towards the goal of achieving nervous system regulation in order to best provide their children with guidance and offer co-regulation, enabling their child to receive and learn effective emotion-regulation strategies when it is modeled healthily. Through the parenting journey, parents come to notice and learn their nervous system triggers experientially – at times without knowing prior to children about the meaning of these triggers. I would say I focus my work on helping parents notice and recognize these triggers and deconstruct/clarify what they mean and where they have come from – I usually guide clients through this via what is currently popularly known as “Inner Child Work”; which is essentially a synonym to what us therapists utilize as “parts work”/ Internal Family Systems.
There are several personal contributing factors that have led me towards this field of study/practice. I have always been interested in understanding the human condition, ever since I was a little one. I was the child that was a ‘deep feeler’, and because of that I always prioritized empathy and compassion towards others. Also, I was fascinated by child development ever since my youngest sibling was born when I was 12 years old. Watching my little sibling’s brain grow and develop was incredibly fascinating and amazing to me; my passion for understanding the minds and hearts of children really took off when I was able to take a psychology class during high school. When I was a teenager taking my first psychology class, I remember all the mental alarm bells/whistles going off and having the clear thought of: “this is everything to me!” + “this all makes sense!”. Going into college: One of the three research labs I worked in as a research assistant was a clinical child psychology research lab where I was included in a research study by a post-doc/my professor as a ‘lunch buddy mentor’ to young grade school students in Lawrence, KS. This was an incredibly impactful experience where I was able to be a support to young children aged 8-10 years old that were identified as ‘high risk’ in terms of their behaviors, socio-economic statuses, and level of parental involvement. During this experience, I was able to already apply what I was learning at the undergraduate level towards the little hearts and minds of children while being able to support them one-on-one during their lunch hour. Not only was it a gift being able to see the world through the precious eyes of a child, but I was honored to be able to provide encouragement, friendship, and social-emotional support and learning to children who were truly struggling. During this experience, it was clear to me I needed to continue my studies to learn as much as I could about how to best support children in their development; I especially became impassioned about absorbing everything I could about clinical child psychology/developmental psychopathology and family systems. Studying and understanding children, families, and effective child-rearing/parent practices has always been a strong underpinning to my work and approach to helping others as I continued onwards into my Master’s-level education; and now 10 years later, it remains the same!
I am grateful to say that I have numerous favorite parts of my job! I am just so honored and humbled to be invited on a very personal, important, emotionally intimate journey in someone’s life; this I don’t take lightly, and I love preparing tailored treatment plans for every client that decides to work with me. I also love providing supervision to our team members, and bearing witness to the amazing work our team does with their clients! Not only is it inspiring to see my own clients make courageous steps towards healing, but it is equally amazing to me to hear and understand the in-depth work our team does and high level of support each of them provide clients who are in their care.
Spending quality time with family, being outside, drinking coffee, and reading – any ounce of solitude to give my introvert part some energy!
“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.” -Dr. Brene Brown.
Italian cuisine all day, everyday: Pasta, bread, olive oil, garlic,repeat.
Tons of books, so hard to narrow down, and of course they are all psychology-related! But recently, Atlas of the Heart by Dr. Brene Brown. Podcasts: Dear Therapists w/ Lori Gottleib + Guy Winch, Motherhood Sessions by Dr. Alexandra Sacks, Armchair Expert w/ Dax Shepard, Where Should We Begin? w/ Esther Perel, How’s Work? w/ Esther Perel, Unlocking Us w/ Brene Brown, Dare to Lead w/ Brene Brown, etc, etc!
Classical/ jazz piano music all day everyday!
A hot shower, stretching/yoga, and sleep.
I grew up with dogs, but we don’t have any pets right now. Although, we love animals/pets and always have puppy fever – just hard to ‘go for it’ as my two little kiddos already bring so much energy into the home!
(1) Cognitive Neuroscience + Psychological Testing. (2) Understanding the law/IL law more when it comes to nuances related to my field, but grateful our practice has great guidance whenever we need to understand more. (3) Dance/movement therapy.
Probably the whole cast of Friends, because that show is/was just soooo great.
I was almost on the show “So You Think You Can Dance” during the short time I was a dance major in college, but decided against it once I switched majors to Psychology. I have 18 years’ dance experience in my “past life”, and have always wanted to incorporate movement into therapy with clients; someday I will bring this into my therapy work!
Hard to choose! I am not picky, but wherever I go I will find a comfort food item to order off the menu such as a burger or some pasta!
To fly!!!! Because how COOL would that be, AND I already feel I can perceive/read peoples’ emotions pretty well, ha! My sons would think their Mom is pretty cool, too, if she could fly! 😉 As a side note: I love helping my clients learn and realize the superpowers they truly have.