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My Approach

My Approach

The overarching aim of my work is to help people grow and thrive. My approach is rooted in a theory of motivation and personality development called Self Determination Theory, which is based on the principle that people have an innate tendency toward growth, health, and integration. However, this tendency requires ongoing support for our basic psychological needs (see figure below). A vast body of research suggests that supporting these needs results in autonomous motivation, meaning we engage in behaviors primarily because we find them enjoyable or meaningful. This in turn tends to lead to feelings of enjoyment and vitality, as well as improved persistence, performance, and deep learning. Likewise, when our basic psychological needs are frustrated, this results in forms of ill-being, including anxiety, depression, and disengagement. This theory has been shown to apply to people of all ages, of different cultures, and in diverse settings, including healthcare, behavior change, education, industry, and sports.

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Areas of Clinical Specialization

I have training and experience working with clients on commonly presenting concerns such as anxiety, depression, and relationship problems using a variety of evidence-based therapies including:

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

  • Motivational Interviewing

  • Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy

  • Interpersonal Therapy

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (including CBT for insomnia and CBT for ADHD)

I use what I refer to as Self Determination Therapy, which blends techniques from these and other therapies, using Self Determination Theory as a guide.

 

I have a particular interest and specialized training in these areas and populations:

Behavioral Medicine

Behavioral medicine strives to improve both physical health and psychological health, with the understanding that the two are intimately tied together. For example, when depression and heart disease are both present, treating each one independently is often ineffective because they mutually reinforce each other. Effective treatment usually requires a team approach that includes a mental health professional who understands the subtle ways that physiology and psychology interact with each other. I have extensive training and experience working with physicians in medical settings to address these kinds of complex problems. Behavioral medicine also targets health behaviors that strongly affect both physical and mental health, such as physical activity, diet, and sleep.

Health Care Professionals and Trainees

My experiences teaching and training medical students, resident physicians, and faculty physicians provided a window into the unique kinds of personal and professional challenges faced by healthcare professionals and trainees. I find it particularly rewarding to help these providers who often sacrifice their own wellbeing for the sake of the rest of us.

Athletes

During my time as faculty at the University of Washington, I had the opportunity to work with many Division I athletes to address their mental health challenges and/or improve sports performance. I approach my work with athletes of all levels using a blend of evidence-based clinical and sports psychology techniques.

 Services

Individual Psychotherapy

I offer individual psychotherapy sessions, usually 60 minutes long. Sessions are online only, though I may open an office in San Diego in the future. Due to telehealth laws, I am able to provide therapy only for clients who initiate services in California.

Coaching

I use my background in behavioral medicine to provide evidence-based coaching to those who want to focus on health behaviors (e.g., physical activity, diet) or general life improvements, rather than addressing a mental health concern.

Consulting

I offer consultations to businesses, healthcare organizations, and educational institutions to harness intrinsic motivation and improve satisfaction at all levels of an organization. This includes brief presentations and skills building workshops.

MyTraining

My Training and Professional Experience

I received an M.S. in Exercise and Wellness from Arizona State University in 2006 and then a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Kentucky in 2014. I completed an APA-accredited internship with a concentration in Behavioral Medicine at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University, and stayed at Brown for a two-year post-doctoral fellowship in Integrated Primary Care Psychology. I then accepted a position as Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Washington, where I taught family medicine residents, saw primary care patients, and served as Assistant Program Director of the Family Medicine Residency. I moved to San Diego in 2020 to be closer to family and sunny weather. I am licensed to practice in California (PSY33047). For more details about my training and professional experience, see my CV.

Rates and Insurance

Rates

My rate for psychotherapy is $200/hour, though I reserve a limited number of spots for a sliding scale fee. Some of these spots are specifically for healthcare trainees and professionals. I do not accept insurance, but I may be able to provide paperwork so you can seek reimbursement from your insurer for out-of-network providers.

For coaching or consulting rates, please contact me using the form below.

Rates and Insurance

Contact Me

If you are interested in learning more about me or my services, I invite you to contact me via the link below. We can set up a time for a complimentary phone call. Please do not include anything in the message below that you wish to remain confidential as it is not a secure medium.

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