More than any other service, I engage in individual therapy sessions with clients. My therapeutic style is informed by many modalities and is informed by my personality and values (see the philosophy page for more info about that). The short version, though, is that I am the kind of therapist that will be straightforward and goal focused much of the time. My goal is to learn something at every session, teach you something at every session, laugh with you at every session, and connect with you in a genuine way that works well for both of us.
How well you connect with your therapist has a lot to do with how much you will get out of the therapy experience. We call it “goodness of fit” and it has been proven to be a more important factor in the recovery process than any modality ever is. Some of it is about rapport or trust or values – the rest is different for everyone.
Most of my clients fall into one of these specialty categories:
Eating Disorder Treatment
I am a certified eating disorder specialist and supervisor (CEDS-S) through iaedp™, and have been working with clients struggling with eating disorders for decades. That often means that I work with clients who have, in addition to issues with eating and body image, other mental health concerns like depression and anxiety. I also work with clients with histories of traumatic experience and issues of over control or dysregulation. I prefer to work with individual clients age 16 and up who are motivated to come to therapy and work through whatever issues are most pressing.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
Certified Dialectical Behavior Therapy Specialist (C-DBT)
Since 2004, I have been using DBT in my practice – I really like the philosophy of DBT – more on that here. I’ve developed groups, higher level of care curriculum, and been a trainer in DBT, though I only got around to getting certified in 2017. To some degree or another, I use DBT in my practice every day.
Trauma Informed Therapy
Certified Trauma Clinical Professional (CCTP)
There is a fairly significant overlap between people struggling with eating disorders and those with a history of traumatic experience, and this is the biggest reason why I decided to add this certification to my repertoire in 2022.
I want to make sure to provide the most up-to-date, ethical services to all of my clients, which means attending continuing education. All of the certifications I have make sure that I take a certain number of continuing education on each topic every year.
Though I have trained as a couple’s counselor, I do not specialize in family or couples counseling outside of eating disorder education and therapy. In the course of treatment, though, it is sometimes useful to have couples or family therapy sessions with my existing individual clients, so I do provide those session when clinically appropriate. I have also facilitated several types of groups, but do not offer that currently.
*a note about the team approach to eating disorder care
To treat clients struggling with eating disorders well, you need a team: this consists of (minimally) a dietitian and a doctor you can work well with. I have worked hand in hand with many dietitians over the years and they have an immeasurable impact of recovery success. Having a doctor you trust (an OB-Gyn, psychiatrist, PCP, or NP) is a huge part of managing medical stability, which is absolutely necessary in this type of work. I will help you find a dietitian and a doctor, preferably ones you can see in person, so that you have that support. You may also need family or couples therapy, medical specialists, higher levels of care, or other therapy specialists during the course of your recovery and I will help facilitate that whenever possible. Once you find providers, we will sign the appropriate releases of information so we can communicate as a team, and we’ll work together for you to receive the most accurate and comprehensive assessment, productive treatment plan and positive recovery outcomes.
Sometimes, providers need someone to evaluate the extent of someone’s eating disorder to determine the appropriate course of treatment and level of care. I enjoy collaborating with other providers, and often provide consultation based on the provider’s presentation of the client or conduct a consultation session (much like an intake interview) to try to help the therapist, client, and other members of the team decide on the best course of action for a client. The fees for this type of consultation are the same as an intake interview with a client, and usually takes 60-90 minutes.
Speaking, Seminars & Education
Over the years, I have presented on eating disorders, DBT, and compliance numerous times with local and national organizations. I love to do webinars of all types because I love to connect with others in the community. Also, because I think education about mental health, and eating disorders in particular, is imperative to getting adequate and appropriate care for those with these issues.
I have been training other providers in large and small groups since 2003. These presentations and workshops are related most to eating disorders, ethics, and compliance. Since 2021, I have been focusing on 2-3 hour online workshops focused on eating disorders, weight stigma, and DBT/RO-DBT.
Depending on your organization’s needs, I will develop and facilitate anything from small lectures and round-tables to large full day seminars. These presentations (as all of us know) generally take many more hours to prepare than they do to present, and I always tailor my presentations to my audience and topic. Despite this, and in order to make myself more accessible for smaller practices, I only charge for the presentation (and travel time, if not online), which is the same as my hourly client rate. My main goal is to provide information and interact with other professionals!
If you think your staff needs more information about eating disorders, weight stigma, DBT, RO-DBT, HIPAA compliance, or general mental health, please email me so we can connect – firstname.lastname@example.org.
I love to work with new clinicians and help them figure out what they really want out of their careers, whether it is a certification, specialization, or something else. As an iaedp CEDS supervisor and a certified supervisor in Virginia, I have worked with students, interns, new clinicians, and clinicians seeking a specialty in eating disorders. The fees for this service are generally the same as my self-pay rate for clients. Please email me if you are interested in CEDS or LCSW supervision – email@example.com.
There are a couple of areas for this outside of my clinical work: compliance and feng shui.
Since 2010, I have been a Compliance Officer for private practices in North Carolina and Virginia. I have learned so much about HIPAA, Joint Commission, state regulations, documentation compliance, security, and technology that has been simultaneously helpful and daunting. I understand how difficult it is to manage all of these complicated, sometimes contradictory, details. Though it was never what I had planned to focus on when I became a therapist, I am happy to help other behavioral and mental healthcare professionals, especially those who focus on eating disorders, with the process.
In 2009, I also became a feng shui practitioner – hence the name of my business. I have intermittently provided feng shui services as a side gig and really enjoy doing that work as well. I find the role of a feng shui consultant to be somewhere between therapist, decorator and personal organizer. But with all of these, the most important thing is to listen to what my clients are saying with compassion and to meet them where they are in their lives with mindful attention.
I am a member of the following organizations – please click on the links to learn more about my specialties, treatment approach, and the various organizations.