Squirrel Hill Office
Phone: 724-759-7500 ext. 122
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I am a Pennsylvania and Michigan licensed psychologist who joined NHPA in January 2023. Previously I was a postdoctoral fellow in professional psychology at Counseling & Psychological Services of University of Michigan, and before that, a doctoral intern at Counseling & Psychiatric Services of Michigan State University. I received my doctorate in clinical psychology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. My dissertation was titled, “Sexual Minority Stress, Fatalism, and Suicidality.” It was a regression analysis of an archival dataset, looking at whether higher levels of self-reported fatalistic cognition was associated with higher levels of risk for past-year suicidal thoughts and behavior, and whether this association differed across heterosexual and non-heterosexual cohorts. Prior to my graduate education, I worked in youth services for community mental health agencies in Vermont.
I work primarily with adolescents and adults. My therapeutic style is eclectic. In clinical psychology, it is presumed that specific diagnoses are best treated by specific evidence-based techniques, and so I have received training and supervision in several modalities of evidence-based therapy, including cognitive-behavioral (CBT), interpersonal, psychodynamic, emotion-focused (EFT), interpersonal neurobiology (IPNB), and existential therapies. I have received training in Critical Incident Stress Debriefing, and have responded to specific communities in the wake of incidents such as school shootings and death by suicide. In addition to outpatient settings in university counseing centers, including Chatham and Duquesne, I have also worked in behavioral medicine settings, including the Adolescent Clinic of UPMC, and STAR-Center, UPMC’s intensive outpatient program for suicidal teenagers and young adults.
While my background in clinical psychology focuses on diagnoses and treatments, I also believe that in most cases, the primary change factor in psychotherapy is the therapeutic relationship itself, which takes certain amounts of intangible elements like warmth, trust, credibility, openness, rapport, alliance, and authenticity. When the relationship is there, it becomes easier to find the most vital therapeutic targets and priorities, and match them with appropriate techniques.
I specialize in comprehensive sexual and gender minority mental health services. In this line of work I have provided psychotherapy to individuals, couples, and families. Examples of therapeutic goals have included identity exploration, deprogramming internalized stigma, family reconciliation, healing from LGBTQIA+-specific trauma, navingating tensions between sexual or gender identity and religion, and long-term management of psychiatric symptoms in an LGBTQ+ affirming environment (maintenance care). I welcome clients who are seeking letters of support for gender-affirmative medical care.
I also specialize in ecopsychology and eco-therapy, or climate-aware therapy. I understand “climate stress” as an umbrella term that encompasses a wide range of reactions to the ecological dysregulation of the current era of climate change. Clients have presented with a variety of symptoms provoked by climate stress: uncontrollable anxiety, sleep disruption, difficulty concentrating, unresolvable guilt, various forms of grief, vicarious trauma, difficulty maintaining daily routines, and difficulty maintaining relationships. Even positive emotional reactions related to the climate can lead to climate stress. Many of my clients reported feeling a powerful, pleasurable sense of calling, fulfillment, and self-actualization around engaging with strategies to adapt to and mitigate climate chaos, but their self-care and other psychological necessities began to seem less important by comparison, which led to a cascade of self-neglect, stress, burnout, and functional impairment.
Appointments are available in our offices near Pittsburgh in Squirrel Hill and via telehealth.