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about therapy with mags

Should you choose to undertake therapy with me, you will be asked to dedicate time not only to attending weekly (or in some cases, bi-monthly) sessions but also, you will be asked to find time and focus energy to a process outside of those weekly sessions; this time and energy on your behalf is likely to improve your sense of well-being and balance as you continue through your life interacting with others and fulfilling your responsibilities and obligations, professional and otherwise. In order for you to attend what’s going on with respect to your thoughts, beliefs, and matters, you’ll be asked to engage in a dialogue among your body, mind, brain, and spirit.

You will have the opportunity to recognize and investigate the patterns that you have developed. As you’ve progressed through life thus far, you’ve developed many strategies that have enabled you to get through obstacles and continue living. Some of these strategies may continue to serve you; others may be less beneficial, and some may even prevent you from achieving your goals. Some of these strategies are things we tell ourselves that either propel us to engage in actions or prevent us from even considering actions. It’s helpful to identify each and consider it based on where you are now and what you seek for yourself at this time.

 

In terms of what you can expect when we meet, you will likely be asked, if you’re open to it, to engage in brief mindfulness practice at the start of each session. Research has shown this is effective and increases your focus during our time together. It helps you to notice what is happening in your body and what thoughts continue to return to your consciousness. Also if you’re open to it, you may engage in some movement. This could resemble yoga. What else we do during our time together depends on for what you’re looking. I utilize a variety of therapeutic modalities: some of these are based on improving your insight, and some are geared at changing your thoughts and behaviors. The therapeutic approaches or types of therapy I often integrate into my work with clients includes: Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (or MBCT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (or ACT), psychodynamic therapy, existential therapy, feminist therapy, and narrative therapy. I also incorporate aspects of positive psychology and eastern thought and philosophy into my work with clients.

 

Outside of meeting with me, I’ll likely ask you to engage in this process of change and development on your own. I will encourage you to develop your own mindfulness practice, one that fits with everything you’re already being asked to do. For some, walking your dog can be meditative; for others, chopping vegetables as you prepare your body’s nourishment. You may also be asked to track bodily sensations, emotions, thoughts, and otherwise, so we can examine what occurs during our time together. Using specific details and examples increases our ability to work together on what is actually occurring for you.

 

You might be wondering who I am that I think I can help you. Here's what you may want to know.

I'm an analytical thinker with a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from The Family Institute at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Before starting my training as a therapist, I worked as a litigator in San Francisco. In addition to the law degree, I have a Master of Arts in political science from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, with a minor in Women's and Gender Studies, from Middlebury College. And, I've completed my yoga teacher certification. With this background, I know it’s possible to alter one’s direction and course of life. Sure there may be some consequences (hellooooo, student loans!), but I know first-hand I could have stuck with the status quo where I was miserable or create a new path. Now, I'm fortunate to have a small private practice while I spend my days working at the University of Washington. I also drink *a lot* of coffee, which—by the way—is thought to cleanse the olfactory palate. Even though coffee beans may not actually perform this function, the metaphor is helpful: sometimes, we need to cleanse our palates, our thoughts, and our minds to recognize what’s already there. If we’ve habituated to our patterns without even knowing it, we need that “wake up call” to re-orient ourselves and re-sensitize us to what is present.

Under Washington law, I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (License number LH60525845). My training has included working with teenagers, college and graduate school students, and adults experiencing sadness, loneliness, anxiety, career changes, “quarter-life crises,” relationship issues, and struggling with the aftermath of trauma. I’ve worked with individuals in crises, individuals with suicidal ideation and/or who have attempted suicide, and chronically mentally ill individuals in community mental health settings and at the Crisis Clinic. I am committed to working with individuals of all races, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, or socioeconomic backgrounds.

I believe in both the science and art of counseling. In other words, I rely on evidence-based techniques while accepting we–therapist and client–are engaged in a creative endeavor.