I started my professional career at an agency that provided HIV support services in metro New Orleans. I spent several years as a case manager, helping people navigate the medical and social landscape of living with a highly stigmatized chronic illness. Later, after meeting the requirements to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in 2007, I began providing mental health counseling at the agency. I think my therapy work had the most significant impact on those who were newly diagnosed with HIV or who recently found out their children were born with HIV. I was often one of the first and sometimes the only person they openly discussed their HIV status with. It was complex and rewarding work helping people adjust to living with HIV and all it brings to them and their families. I was able to help kids manage the complications of adolescence and HIV. I watched some of those children grow into young adults, and during their many struggles, I witnessed their resilience.
I’ve worked as a therapist in an adolescent inpatient behavioral health hospital and at a public mental health clinic, providing counseling and therapy to people with severe mental illnesses. More recently, I’ve worked at an insurance company reviewing the insured’s medical records to determine their ongoing mental health treatment needs. I provide professional services to businesses as a consultant and supervisory instruction and guidance to social work graduates desiring to become licensed at my level. I’ve always been deeply interested in how other people experience the world, and I’ve sought to learn what I can from the lives of others. I’m drawn to work as a therapist not only because I find it meaningful to help people relieve suffering and conflict in their lives, but because my time with clients allows me to continually grow and evolve alongside them. Advocating for underserved populations and helping people learn how to heal has given me pleasure and purpose.
My mission is to eliminate the stigma associated with mental health treatment. I want mental health care to become an everyday phenomenon. Just like we go to our primary care physician to take care of our physical health, we all need to take active steps to care for our mental health, too. Therapy is just a process clinicians use to help people become more aware of the impacts of their life choices. Therapy also involves learning how to make adjustments that contribute to a healthier and more fulfilling life.
You don’t need a mental health diagnosis to benefit from therapy. Sometimes people have symptoms that feel very close to what a person with clinical depression or anxiety might feel, or sometimes they need help getting their life back on track. Sometimes having the proper support can keep things going well. I can help with these things too.