I grew up in the beautiful Green Mountains of Vermont which cultivated my deep connection to nature and love of the outdoors. I am an avid hiker and have hiked in the Green Mountains, the Adirondacks, and the Himalayas both in Nepal and India. I came to Rochester to pursue my college education over 20 years ago and have since made Rochester, NY my second home. I have a love of travelling and of cross-cultural communication which was inspired by my international work with students in community college where I worked as a therapist for the past 13 years.
My passion is inspiring people to maximize their life potential by helping them release the ties that are binding them to unhappiness and suffering. Many people look at counseling as a place they go to obtain help with their problems, and sometimes this turns them off to the process because it suggests that there is a deficit of some sort within themselves. The heart of counseling is not to help or to fix, the heart of counseling is to create the natural conditions for growth wherein the client (that’s you!) evolves beyond the problems they are experiencing and discovers the depths of their own personal power that they can bring to any life challenge.
My counseling philosophy is influenced by positive psychology, the scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals to thrive. It is founded on the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within themselves, and to enhance their experiences of love, work, and play.
My approach is also deeply rooted in yoga philosophy which is an ancient tradition of self-healing and personal realization. I fell in love with yoga nearly 10 years ago when I embarked upon yoga as a means of dealing with chronic back pain. What I discovered in my first year of practice is that my back pain was much deeper than physical. My back pain was also connected to emotional pain and tension that I had been harboring for years, and yoga helped bring that to the surface. This was the beginning of a true awakening, and significant growth. It is through my personal practice of yoga that I have found the greatest therapy tool—the body! Our bodies hold so much wisdom and the practice of tuning into the body is a powerful instrument for transformation unlike any other. Therefore my approach to counseling has a strong focus on using the body’s wisdom and teaching clients how they can learn to pay better attention and tap into this great resource.
A couple of years ago I was diagnosed Celiac Disease which is an auto-immune disease that effects the digestive system. Living with Celiac Disease means that I have to follow a strict gluten-free diet, as well as avoid dairy. My physician sent me out of the office with zero resources on how to manage a gluten-free diet. The first year of this journey was difficult for me, because my symptoms were extreme and I had difficulty figuring out what food was safe to eat. It was also seriously challenging to find food that I liked and to cope with the loss of all of my usual comfort foods. I cried in the Wegmans pastry isle on my first post-diagnosis trip to the grocery store! It was completely on me to figure out this new lifestyle.
It was a bumpy road, which is one of the reasons that I was inspired to open this private counseling practice. In addition to providing counseling services in general, I wanted create a practice that provided specialized services for those navigating the challenges of unexpected dietary and lifestyle changes due to illness, so that they would not have to face it all alone.