I love being a psychologist. It allows me the ability to connect with people at a deep level. It gives me the opportunity to truly listen and hear people’s stories. It gives me the opportunity to guide individuals towards their most authentic self and fulfilled life. I am grateful for the purpose and passion I experience in my profession and career.
Throughout my growth as a psychologist, I have learned a great deal about my own therapeutic style. I am genuine, compassionate (but I will also gently challenge you), and easy to talk to. I believe in you. I believe that humans have a tendency towards growth. Within each person, there is a drive towards creating a rich and meaningful life. Often, the life you want may feel impossible due to the variety of external stressors and struggles that come with life. These struggles do not have to stop you from living the life you want! I have developed a number of expertise and interest areas throughout my training pertaining to general mental health problems, but also more specific domains.
I got into sport and performance psychology as a result of my own experience growing up playing sports. I realized how much sport can offer in terms of one’s development: perseverance, social skills, emotional expression and regulation, camaraderie, and trust. In my own life, sport was a way I learned to communicate with and bond with others in a way that was not as accessible in everyday interactions. The context of being an athlete or high performer requires a specific set of psychological skills. Some of the skills include being able to balance sports and life; being able to see yourself as a whole person, coping with anxiety, being coachable, and being able to ask for help when it is needed.
When I was in college I first learned about mindfulness, this idea of paying attention on purpose and in the present moment. I became immersed in learning about it, realizing the power of the present moment, and how easy it is be “absent” to our lives. Stress, distraction, rumination, and our thoughts prevent us from being present. I started to understand the cost of this “non-presentness.” We miss out on life, on important moments and interactions. I decided at the end of my time at USC that I needed to learn more about mindfulness. I traveled to Nepal, trekked in the Himalayas to a small monastery, and practiced mindful meditation for the next three weeks. When I began graduate school the following fall, I decided that mindfulness would be an important aspect of my practice, I continued to study its therapeutic application, and it continues to be meaningful both personally and professionally.