About Me... and You!

Hi! I’m Jessica.

I could spend my time and webpage space here talking about my qualifications, expertise, and education, but let’s cut to the chase. When you’re looking for a therapist, the credentials might be of some importance, but without the right personal vibe, nothing else matters. And you deserve to have a therapist who you vibe with – after all, therapy is a vulnerable, emotional experience, and feeling safe in the relationship is fundamental.

So I’m going to do things a bit differently here. First, a little about me, on a more personal level. Because while I’m a therapist, I’d bet that I also know something about what it’s like to be in your shoes.

Then, a little bit about you, the potential client.

(And lastly, a quick overview of my experience – just in case you do want those details).

About Me

Well, for starters,
I’m a Highly Sensitive Person (Highly! I score 25 out of 27 on Elaine Aron’s quiz).
Before I knew what that was, I thought I was just the most impatient and emotional person on earth.  I had no idea that other people didn’t experience the world like I did.  I thought they just knew how to live their lives better.
It led to a LOT of self-criticism and people-pleasing, especially with people who reinforced my belief that I was flawed (funny how that works, huh?).
I wish I could say that once I discovered I was Highly Sensitive that I instantly had better relationships and communicated about my trait and how it affects me effectively.
But I didn’t.
It took several more years and a couple more crummy relationships to recognize the patterns that weren’t serving me and to do the work that’s allowed me to step in to and fully live with what I know now.
Which is this:
My sensitivity is my strength. My superpower, even.

And now that I know that, I can use that superpower for good…
And forgive myself when things don’t go as planned.

Is it always rainbows and butterflies? Nah.

Life is SO much easier this way, when I view the world and myself through a lens of compassion.
And for that, I am incredibly grateful. And I’m equally grateful and honored to care for others on similar journeys.

About You:

You’re tired of living in Black and White Land – it does you no favors. You’re ready to see and think in the gray, even if you’re not sure how.

You know that you’re not perfect, and that no one else around you is either, but you can’t help trying to live up to impossible standards, and the idea of making a mistake? No thank you.

You care about others – a LOT. But you’re stuck in an impossible cycle of giving to everyone but you. Your cup is empty – there’s nothing to pour from. But these people have come to rely on you. You can’t let them down now!

You feel like the world is and always will be overwhelming – too loud, too bright, too messy. And other people? Talk about messy! Not to mention that YOU feel like a mess, too, even though you try to make it appear you have it all together.

You want to be seen, heard, understood, “gotten” – deeply and intuitively. You want connection, empathy, and love. You feel things deeply, too, and that can leave you feeling alone and lost.

Sound familiar?

I’m here to support you, with warmth, humor, directness, and a collaborative spirit. We’ll tackle your patterns and programming so you can strike a balance between you and the world, and feel empowered to take up space in the world just as you are.

Will it all be rainbows and butterflies for you? Nah. It isn’t for anyone. But those emotions won’t feel so big and scary anymore.

When you work with me, you’ve got someone in your corner who gets you, and you’ll learn how to get that from others, too. I’ve been told that therapy with me is like “talking with a wise friend” (with professional therapeutic boundaries, of course!).

The absolute best way to see if I’m a fit? Contact me to schedule a free 20-minute consultation here.

My Training:

Oh yeah. I’m a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in a bunch of states (California, Oregon, Nevada, Ohio, North Dakota, and Virginia — oh, and I also work with people in other countries, depending on their location). I graduated from Pepperdine University with a Master’s in Clinical Psychology in 2008, and have worked in a variety of mental health settings ever since (treatment programs, hospitals, coaching/consulting roles, and private practice). This work, however, lights me up most of all. I’m intensively trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy, but don’t use it exclusively in my private practice work – though I certainly incorporate aspects and skills that can be helpful while we root out those patterns I mentioned above. I’m also certified in Brainspotting, which is an innovative treatment for trauma (click here for a quick video about it).  Ask me if either of these treatment types would be a good fit for you!

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