I am an interactive therapist who strives to be very attuned to your feelings, thoughts, beliefs, etc. I listen deeply and pay attention to your words, actions and body language. This is so I can help you uncover both conscious and unconscious mental states that you might be unaware of, or that might be blocking you from feeling better and moving forward with your life goals. I specialize in attachment and family trauma. I find that many adults who come to therapy have a history that involves a difficult childhood. I can help such adults understand their own trauma, how it has impacted them and how to move through this pain. If you are a parent, I can help you understand your emotional reactions to your children and help you deal with the stress of parenting. For you children, I can help them learn how to regulate their emotions and as a result, regulate their behaviors. I generally practice psychoanalytically-informed, attachment-based, relational therapy. When I work with children/adolescents and families, I frequently employ Mentalization-Based Therapy, an evidenced-based treatment approach.
I started my career in child welfare and have 20+ years experience working with foster/adoptive families and children with emotional/behavioral issues. My deep passion to help these families and understand family trauma led me to study in London at the world-renowned Anna Freud Center, a non-profit that specializes in treating fostered and adopted children and their parents. As a result, I have a deep working knowledge of family trauma and the emotional challenges of traumatize children, including understanding their behavior. I am also an attachment expert and this frames much of my work with adults as well as families. Attachment and relational issues with parents impact us the rest of our lives, in all areas of life. Understanding these issues and working through them can be the key to healthy, long-lasting relationships.
I have a BS in Psychology from Texas A&M University and after graduating, began my career in Child Protective Services and then went on to work in foster care agencies. I knew I wanted to further my education and obtained my MA in Professional Counseling from Texas State University. My work in child welfare sparked my desire to learn more about trauma, attachment and dysfunctional family dynamics. As a result, I obtained an MS in Developmental Psychoanalytic Psychology and a PhD in Theoretical Psychoanalysis, both from University College London and the Anna Freud Center in London, under the mentorship of Dr. Peter Fonagy, who I continue to publish and work with. While in London, I received training in Mentalization Based Therapy and the Parent Development Interview. I am currently a Research Assistant Professor in the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at University of Texas at Austin, and specialize in creating and evaluating trauma informed, attachment-based parenting interventions. My work has resulted in the development of an evidenced-based parenting intervention called Family Minds that is gaining international attention.