For the last 20 years, I have been privileged to accumulate skills, knowledge, and expertise in different domains. My extensive work as an LGBTQ clinic director, a residential substance abuse and mental health counselor, a high school therapist, a felon re-entry specialist, and a private practioner has largely informed me in areas:
Struggles with sexual self-concept are common and can occur at any phase in life. Sexuality tends to be fluid over time rather than fixed, as well as multi-dimensional in terms of orientation, desire, expression, and community. Common feelings that block us from examining our sexual identity include confusion, shame, and fear. Understanding the pieces of our sexuality can lead us on a path to coming out more fully, be it just to ourselves or to family, friends, and society as well. I work with a wide range of sexual identity issues, and I am kink and poly aware.
Gender is on a spectrum, non-binary, and socially constructed. It is something we learn, and it is different from biological sex. You may find that your inner experience of gender does not match the gender role you have been taught to play. Gender identity--as well as gender expression--is often useful to explore on the path to wholeness. I work regularly with trans and gender non-conforming folks, and have particular expertise in trans-masculine identity. I communicate with medical teams toward transition if and as necessary.
Recovery from Addiction
You may be seeking therapy because you're losing control over a drug, habit, or behavior. Perhaps you recognize that your impulses increasingly have a hold on you, thus resulting in lost time, relationship problems, and lowered self-esteem. Though you may feel bad about yourself, addiction is not a personal reflection on you. Rather, it is a response to disconnection and untapped feelings. The process of recovery will be to first manage the addiction, then to uncover what is beneath it, then to heal.
Living with Chronic Illness
The diagnosis and development of a chronic illness frequently leads to depression and significant grief. As treatments and limitations become impositions on one's life, now comes a time to be angry, to mourn losses, and to re-examine hopes, dreams, and sense of meaning. My experience with chronic illness is rooted in my work with HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C. Other illnesses I work with include cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and others related to contraction, genetics, or aging. I collaborate with medical teams if and as necessary.
The teen years are of the most important and formative of one's life. They can be exciting and expansive, but also frightening and disorienting, depending on what one is going through. Helping youth heal from emotional wounds, develop healthy coping strategies, and discover their inner compass can be key to how they enter adulthood. This is especially the case for LGBTQ youth, who suffer from disproportionate rates of depression and anxiety. I work with youth ages 13 and up, and involve parents as mutually agreed upon.