Self-Esteem & Empowerment

Society gives us so many conflicting messages: “Be the best you can”, but “don’t be egotistical”.  “Be a strong, assertive female”, but “don’t be off-putting”.  “Man up”, but “be sensitive”.  “Be the perfect son or daughter, boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife, mother or father, sister or brother, student or employee (or both!), and friend”, but also “make sure you take plenty of time for self-care”.  It’s enough to make anyone doubt themselves!

This self-doubt is a normal thing that most people experience, but at extremes it can be paralyzing.  If you feel bad about yourself, it is hard to assert your needs or accomplish things, which can lead to debilitating depression and anxiety.  When you like yourself, believe that you are worthwhile, and are empowered, your relationships are more positive, you are more productive, and you feel better.

On my About Therapy page, I explain my strength-based philosophy of therapy.  This theoretical orientation is a perfect platform for self-esteem work.  I genuinely like my clients, who I see not as lists of problems but as multifaceted people with a myriad of strengths.  If you’re struggling with the way you feel about yourself, the work of therapy will center largely around reframing thoughts, setting realistic expectations, forgiving yourself if you fall short, and helping you to see the good in yourself that I see.

Work/Life Balance

Self-care is vitally important to mental health, whether you’re a student, an entry-level professional, or a seasoned veteran. It’s easy to get caught up in work and neglect yourself when your job is demanding and the expectations are high. As a business owner, I understand that it can be challenging to turn off “work mode” and engage in activities that are strictly for my enjoyment, but as a therapist, I understand that my relationships and interests are what help me thrive both personally and professionally.

In therapy, I will approach issues of work/life balance with a sensitivity to and understanding of the demands that your career places on you, as well as an emphasis on ways that you can set boundaries or grab snippets of “me time” while climbing the career ladder. We will work collaboratively to create realistic ways of managing your stress so that you can be a more productive employee as well as a happier person.

Overcoming Perfectionism

We overachievers hold ourselves to such a high standard.  Accustomed to recognition and success, we can find it hard to tolerate that being perfect is not always possible.  On the contrary, it’s our imperfections that yield growth, new knowledge, and creativity.  Learning to be vulnerable, learning to be authentic, and even sometimes learning to be “good enough” are vital elements of wholehearted living.

In therapy sessions where perfectionism and authenticity are concerns, I draw largely from the research and writing of Brené Brown.  If perfectionism is something you’re struggling with, I highly recommend her TED talk called “The Power of Vulnerability”.

Gender, Sexual, and Relationship Minorities

I am an LGBT-affirmative therapist.  What this means is that rather than just “accepting” those who identify as LGBTQQIA, I approach my work with members of gender and sexual minorities from the perspective that your experiences, families, and identities are equal in value to those of more “mainstream” heterosexual and cisgender people.  I also take a non-binary, fluid approach to questions of gender and sexual orientation.  I have worked extensively with individuals who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, queer, transgender, genderqueer, questioning, intersex, and asexual, as well as friends, family members, and allies of these communities.

As with any kind of minority status, people who identify as LGB and T often face many internal and external struggles.  In therapy, we can address a myriad of these challenges, which may include those related to coming out, internal questions or conflicts, reconciling your identity with your religious, cultural, or family belief system, a search for supportive people, being faced with homophobia, transphobia, and discrimination (both internal and external), and a litany of others.  In therapy, I help you to work through these challenges, to overcome adversity and live the life you want, and to be comfortable with who you are.

Additionally, I have extensive experience working with clients who have nontraditional relationship structures, including polyamorous and kinky relationships.  In some cases, I have helped clients to navigate the intricacies and complexities of polyamory and find safe resources to learn about and practice BDSM; in other cases, clients who are members of relationship minorities have come to talk about unrelated concerns in a safe, affirmative environment.  Regardless, I offer a safe space to talk about nontraditional relationships.