I am licensed psychologist with a specialty in health psychology. After graduating with a psychology degree from Vanderbilt University, I worked in corporate America where I gained firsthand experience with workplace stress and its impacts on quality of life. Those experiences led me to pursue a PH.D in health psychology, which has enabled me to assist others in creating a more balanced healthy lifestyle by considering the influences of biology, psyche, behavior and the social environment.
My clinical experience and training include work in adult and pediatric hospitals, integrative medicine programs, outpatient rehabilitation programs, and private practice. I have worked with heart disease and cancer patients, adults and children coping with stress-related disorders, and individuals with neurological disorders, such as Traumatic Brain Injury and Stroke. In addition, I have extensive experience working with individuals of all ages with chronic pain. My private practice experience allows me to help individuals learn coping skills for mood disturbances and life stressors, and to apply my experience with mind/body therapies to the general population.
Support is a critical ingredient to leading a healthy, balanced life. Support can come from many sources, like family or friends. But sometimes in life we need extra support, and that of a trained professional who is removed from your specific situation can be helpful and necessary. My therapeutic approach is rooted in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and developing a collaborative relationship with my clients is of primary importance. I utilize mind-body therapies, including mindfulness, relaxation, guided imagery, and biofeedback to build on skills learned in CBT.
I have extensive experience using biofeedback as a tool to teach people stress coping, which can lead to improvements in many areas of life. Biofeedback is a computer program paired with simple finger sensors. The program displays a picture which shows how your body is responding to a certain stimuli, such as a stressful thought or deep breathing. With this information and simple therapist-guided techniques and exercises, individuals are able to gain more control over their stress response, thus improving a variety of symptoms, such as mood, pain, racing thoughts, poor concentration, sleep disturbance, anger/frustration, anxiety, and at times, physical symptoms in which stress may be a contributing factor.
I am passionate about helping others discover the power they have in the mind-body connection; leveraging mental processes to influence physical symptoms (such as stomach ache, illness, or sleep) and vice versa; altering physical states (such as with relaxation, exercise) to make positive changes in mental and emotional states (such as depressed or anxious mood). I believe in and have seen how increased awareness, simple skills and lifestyle changes applied consistently over time can create radical change in one’s life. It is my goal for the individuals I work with to leave our time together each week with something they can apply to their lives immediately.
Areas of Specialization
- Therapy for children, adolescents, and adults
- Depression, anxiety, stress
- School and test-taking anxiety
- Self-care, particularly for mothers
- Sleep disturbance
- Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction
- Chronic medical illness benefiting from lifestyle change and stress management (cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, traumatic brain injury, stroke)
- Chronic pain in all ages (tension and migraine headaches, abdominal pain, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), fibromyalgia, injury-related pain, back pain, muscular and nerve pain)
- Biofeedback for increased attention and focus, improved mood, pain management, blood pressure management, and many other benefits
- Collaboration with other healthcare providers
- B.S. – 1998, Vanderbilt University
- M.A – 2003, Alliant International University
- Ph.D. – 2006, Alliant International University
- Licensed Psychologist, Texas, #36409