The Focus: To offer clean drinking water (therapeutic mindfulness & minimalism ), as a means to stop pathologizing human experience.
Experience is the keyword. I give people the chance to step into the arena of their life, experience it —not run from it, and learn to be skillful with it. They get the experience of being alive and capable— it’s great medicine. In regards to mental and behavioral health, I like to think of it as offering clean drinking water as opposed to a diagnosis.
Therapeutic Mindfulness Instructor. Observational Writer. I hold a Master’s Degree in Counseling and I am a fully trained mental health therapist and addiction counselor. As a former traditional therapist, and former mindfulness instructor at The University of Virginia School of Medicine, I have found non-conventional means of support for my clients to be more useful, skillful, and sustainable.
I continue to specialize in therapeutic mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) practices for mental and behavioral health. I currently maintain a private studio in Charlottesville, Virginia at the Center for Wellness and Change, where I work with an amazing medical team. I also contribute to Psych Central World of Psychology, The Fix, No Sidebar, and Psychology Today.
For the past 10+years, I’ve been invested in mindfulness more specific to the male population in addiction recovery, opioid abuse, tapering from medication-assisted treatments (MAT), addictiveness (attachments & non-chemical addictions), and in clarifying the difference between traditional therapy and mindfulness. More recent work includes the value of minimalism to improve mental and behavioral health.
Education & Self-Inquiry. As a former psychology teacher, I have a strong focus on education; and as a mindfulness instructor, a strong focus on self-inquiry and stress management. It’s all stress: the stress of not knowing how to respond to the pain of being human and the struggle to be ourselves.
I specialize in evidence-based mindfulness interventions (MBI’s), research-based therapeutic lifestyle changes (TLC’s), and minimalism to help clients maintain a lifestyle of their choosing, and to create new habitats within themselves.
As much as I appreciate my university education, years of clinical requirements for licensure, and various employment experiences within “the system” – I prefer to maintain footing outside of systematic protocols for mental and behavioral health in order to support people who need more than the status quo.
I am more influenced by my formal mindfulness training with Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli, my Christian foundations, lessons learned from regular Vipassana meditation retreats, and my direct experience being a beautifully messy human.
Other specialized training includes; motivational interviewing, rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT), cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), dialectic behavior therapy (DBT), appreciative practice, work with Dr. David Mee-Lee, neurological science, acupuncture detoxification, mind-body medicine, personal nutrition, and organizational psychology.
Prior to Charlottesville, I worked in a private substance abuse treatment center for professionals, taught at University, and ran a wellness program in N. Florida/S.Georgia offering mindfulness to organizations, universities, and integrative health centers. I participated in a two-year project focused on introducing mindfulness at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital under the direction of Mike Healy, founder of Mindful Living in Athens, Georgia. My beginnings were supported and inspired by Dr. John Mansberger (founder of Archbold Integrative Health) (currently retired) who specialized in the stress aspect of fibromyalgia.
As an Advocate:
I advocate for change in the current healthcare system (specifically mental & behavioral health) due to zero, poor, or lengthy outcomes. My mission is supported by science and a deep desire to make sure people are given more options in regard to treatment. I continue efforts toward a healthcare model that reduces pharmacology and empowers patients’ self-reliance over their own mental and physical well-being.