Twenty years ago I was making plans to go to college for physics; today I own a private practice specializing in holistic mental health and spiritually-informed counseling. My passion for healing and transformation through therapy unfolded over years of listening to my instincts and embracing that feeling of aliveness when another piece of the future just clicks into place.
When I started at Dartmouth College, I planned to major in physics as a step towards a career in astronomy and astrophysics. After a year of continually avoiding science classes (to my physics professor advisor’s befuddlement) and landing again and again in religion classes, I had to listen to my instincts. By the time I graduated, I had taken 18 courses in the religion department - nearly two majors’ worth. In retrospect, I’d been heading in that direction for awhile. Even my high school interest in astronomy tended more towards the philosophical implications rather than the hard science.
Sometime around my junior year, I started reading Freud. Freud argued that religion is a sort of mass neurosis, a group fantasy that allows humans to manage their destructive urges well enough for us to build functioning civilizations. I hit the books, studying religious and neurotic ritual in depth and eventually presenting my culminating research project laying out my argument for exactly how Freud had missed the proverbial boat.
After college, I worked in quality assurance for a software company while I struggled to find my calling and what to do with that religion degree. The quiet voice of my instincts spoke to me about my undergrad research time and again. I considered applying for PhD programs in religion in order to continue that work, but that was only half the equation. I knew from my own experience that therapy changes lives and realized that it was a field where my passion could meet a great need in the world.
At the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology (now William James College), I learned to put that passion to work. I also dove into researching the intersection of religion and psychology again, this time from the clinical perspective. My capstone research project examined ways that therapists can differentiate between mystical experiences and psychotic symptoms, providing a framework for counseling that is sensitive to clients’ spiritual lives and needs.
Since graduating with my MA in Counseling Psychology, I’ve worked with hundreds of clients in a variety of settings and every one of them has taught me something about human suffering and resiliency. Years working at a group therapy practice focusing on holistic counseling showed me the endless healing possibilities of therapy that embraces the whole person. Along the way, I've learned to nurture myself through making art, spending time in nature, reading, and doing yoga. My private practice allows me to share my expertise and passion with you today so that you can build the vibrant, healthy, fulfilling life you dream of.
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