As a psychotherapist, I offer a range of specialties:
Ketamine Assisted Therapy
Ketamine is a legal prescription medication, a “dissociative anesthetic” that can create neuroplasticity. Research shows ketamine can provide rapid and long-lasting antidepressant effects, and the medicine has been used to treat suicidal ideation, treatment-resistant depression, addiction, among other symptoms. Dr John Krystal, chief psychiatrist and researcher at Yale Medicine, called ketamine a “game changer.” Click here and here to learn more from Yale Medicine.
Additionally, Harvard University published a 2023 report showing that ketamine is effective for treatment-resistant depression and had no major side effects compared to the previous gold-standard treatment for treatment-resistant clients. See the Harvard article here for more information.
I hold certificates in ketamine-assisted therapy for both individual and group facilitation through the Psychedelic Research and Training Institute. I trained under the leadership of integrative psychiatrist and researcher Scott Shannon, who authored a seminal 2023 article on ketamine-assisted therapy accessible here.
I collaborate with local medical providers and Journey Clinical online to screen clients and prescribe ketamine when appropriate. Ketamine can open the door for us to do powerful therapeutic work, but it is only a tool for the healing process. As an analogy, a hammer is only a tool for building a new house, it does not create the house on its own. As such, I place a strong emphasis on preparation, proper set and setting for ketamine journeys, and the essential process of integration over the long term.
Ketamine can be used by individuals, couples, and in group therapy settings for optimal therapeutic effect. See a recent Smithsonian article to learn more here.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) is one of the most powerful tools available for healing past traumas as well as for present-day maladies. Research by the Veterans Administration here has shown EMDR more effective than medication for post-traumatic stress disorder, and EMDR carries the VA’s highest recommendation. I hold a certificate in EMDR and am continually updating my training with the modality to treat a wide range of mental health symptoms.
EMDR is effective not only with trauma, but also with a wide range of other mental-health challenges such as anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, etc. Learn more about EMDR here.
I employ cutting-edge EMDR treatments in an effort to provide clients with fast and long-lasting relief. Ketamine and EMDR is one example, click here to learn more.
Internal Family Systems (IFS)
IFS is a groundbreaking evidence-based therapy modality that works with our internal system to recognize and heal the root causes of our mental-health challenges. The modality is revolutionary in that it helps us address the underlying causes of, say, depression or anxiety, rather than trying to tamp down the symptoms. IFS has demonstrated through hundreds of thousands of client sessions that, no matter how difficult our earlier life experiences have been, we all have access to an undamaged core Self that can serve as our inner healer and guide. IFS can be used by individuals, couples, families and groups for deep transformation.
Psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Body Keeps the Score, called IFS the single most effective therapy modality. Additionally, the addiction expert and palliative care physician Dr. Gabor Maté called IFS “one of the most innovative, intuitive, comprehensive, and transformational therapies to have emerged in the present century.” I am one of the few therapists in western Colorado formally trained in IFS, holding level 2 certificates as well as advanced training in ketamine and IFS. Learn more about IFS here.
Addiction and Recovery
I welcome clients struggling with addiction or compulsive behaviors, and it is my honor to help you in your efforts to break free of addiction. Dr. Gabor Maté describes addiction succinctly: “Addiction is neither a choice nor a disease, but originates in a human being’s desperate attempt to solve a problem: the problem of emotional pain, of overwhelming stress, of lost connection, of loss of control, of a deep discomfort with the self. In short, it is a forlorn attempt to solve the problem of human pain. Hence my mantra: ‘The question is not why the addiction, but why the pain.’ And the source of pain is always and invariably to be found in a person’s lived experience, beginning with childhood.” Learn more on his website here.
I work with a range of modalities and community resources to help clients frame their addictive behaviors in a new light and to bring healing to their tumultuous internal and external landscapes. IFS, EMDR, mindfulness and, when appropriate, ketamine-assisted therapy are some of the interventions I employ. I worked as a clinical mental health intern at Jaywalker Lodge inpatient addiction recovery center in 2022 and I continue to engage in advanced trainings to help clients step forward into a lasting recovery.
Our relationship to others begins with our relationship to ourselves. With this perspective, I work with clients to be the change they wish to see. This does not mean we tolerate poor behavior or abusive relationships. Rather, we become clear, we develop self-awareness, and we gain insights into how we may have co-created the situations we find ourselves in. With this knowledge, we can employ skillful and wise action to create the relationship of our dreams or to untangle ourselves from stuck relationships.
I bring expertise and heartfelt support to your journey of upgrading your relationships and, most importantly, your relationship to yourself. I work with individuals, couples and families.
Life Transitions and End of Life Grieving
Whether we are struggling with a divorce, the death of a loved one, or a life-threatening illness, these major life shakeups provide a potent opportunity to go inward and to discover the healing potential waiting for us on the other side of the pain. Often, fear is the doorway that we must walk through to find liberation. I incorporate the latest healing modalities to help you safely explore fear, loss, and pain. When these challenges are approached mindfully and with expert support, we can discover new levels of courage, compassion and strength within ourselves.
The poet Rainer Maria Rilke wrote, “Maybe every terror is, at absolute bottom, only something helpless, wanting our help.” I use IFS and other modalities to bring healing to those tender and deeply scared aspects of ourselves that are seeking a higher sense of safety and comfort. While we may not be able to escape life’s transitions themselves, we can heal the anxiety, the fear, the depression and the sense of isolation that can accompany these major events.
With the decriminalization of plant medicines in Colorado including psilocybin, DMT, mescaline and ibogaine, many people are experimenting with psychedelics. As a trained and certified psychedelic-assisted therapist, I specializes in helping clients prepare for and/or integrate psychedelic experiences. I bring decades of experience in mindfulness, interfaith spiritual study and neuroscience research to my role as a psychedelic-assisted therapist. My goal is to work within your personal value system and help you unpack the realizations, resurfaced memories, or life-changing questions that can occur during psychedelic journeys.
Related to psychedelic insights and the study of consciousness, the 2022 Nobel Prize in physics was awarded to researchers who shook the foundation of reality by demonstrating that consciousness is not something that arises from inert matter, as we have traditionally been taught through biology classes, but rather consciousness exists prior to matter. Essentially the research revealed a powerful therapeutic insight: our thoughts can create our experience of the world, and the universe is participatory with consciousness. Learn more about the groundbreaking Nobel Prize research in a Scientific American article here and in a video interview with cognitive science professor Donald Hoffman at the 39:00 mark here. At whatever level you choose to explore psychedelics, I can serve as grounded therapist to help you integrate your journeys.