About my practice...
As a psychologist, my overarching mission is to help people who are experiencing distress and dysfunction. As a means to that goal, I use therapeutic techniques demonstrated to be effective by scientific research while maintaining the flexibility and sensitivity needed for them to be effective for each unique individual. More often than not, this means using some version of a therapy called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). As the name implies, CBT utilizes a combination of "cognitive" (how we THINK about things) and "behavioral" (what we DO) strategies to influence how we feel and, in turn, how we think and behave in future situations. CBT is a "here and now" kind of therapy, focusing on what is going on now with goals for the future, rather than focusing on what may have happened in the past. CBT is a very active and collaborative approach, in which the therapist and client work together towards the client's goals.
I have specialized training and experience in working with children, adolescents, parents, and mothers struggling with depression following the birth of their child. I help people of all ages with many different issues, including problems with mood, anxiety, behavioral disorders, adjustment to change, loss, and trauma, physical difficulties, and self-injurious behaviors such as cutting. Additionally, I work with parents both on how to best help their children, as well as issues they may be struggling with, such as postpartum depression .
I am dedicated to working collaboratively with physicians,teachers and schools, family members, and other important people when the situation calls for it. However, since confidentiality is of utmost importance to making the therapeutic process a successful one, contact with others does not occur without permission.
Regardless of the therapeutic goals or approach, perhaps the best predictor of success in therapy is having a good relationship with the therapist. If you believe I may be a good fit for you and your needs, I look forward to working with you. I hope this quick sketch of my background and approach to my practice has been informative. But it is only a start -- if you would like more information, please feel free to contact me.
After moving often throughout my childhood, my family landed in the Pittsburgh area when I was in high school. I went on to attend Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. Although I knew I wanted to pursue a career in child psychology, I chose to major in English, figuring I'd have the rest of my life to study psychology. Ironically, I soon came to realize that I learned more about human nature through reading novels and plays than through the science of psychology.
After graduating, I returned to the area to attend the University of Pittsburgh, where I earned a Ph.D. in both Clinical and Developmental psychology. I was attracted to Pitt's unique "joint program" in both disciplines because I thought it was important to have an understanding of normal development (the focus of developmental psychology) to more fully appreciate difficulties (clinical psychology) and the pathways to recovery.
I completed my clinical internship and a postdoctoral fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychology at West Virginia University.
I reside in the South Hills with my husband and two children. In what little free time that leaves me, I enjoy volunteering for my kids' athletic organizations, taking advantage of the great outdoor amenities the area has to offer, exploring new things with my family, traveling, cooking, and reading.
I am an in-network provider for Highmark, Aetna, and Optum / United Behavioral Health products ( policies vary - please contact your provider for details). For other policies, you may check with your provider to see if they offer out-of-network benefits. And, of course, you always have the option to pay for services yourself without going through an insurance provider.