Critical consciousness put into practice builds liberation.
We are influenced psychologically, physically, and socially by the systems we exist within. The cumulative psychological toll of injustice impacts people differently and disproportionately - and ultimately iniquities harm everyone. The mystification of systemic injustice distorts origins and causes, tricking many to believe it stems from within individuals. Too often psychology has reinforced individualizing pathology, perpetuating systems of domination. Applying critical investigation to that perceived as inherent or inevitable can dislodge their naturalization. Holding the tension that social constructions are also material realities, we can ask who made the definitions, who benefits from them, and challenge existing power dynamics. Critical introspection can allow creativity, wisdom, and clarity to come forth, helping to build previously unimagined futures.
i believe in the power of language and the necessity of context. i believe in aligning with complexity, uncertainty, and doubt. i believe in the necessity and strength of darkness and quiet. reorienting to what has been denigrated can reveal strength in what has been maligned. i believe in paradox, multiplicity, and inherent perpetual change. i place my hope in disruption, subversion, and the power of collective resistance. our discontent, unease, and maladjustment can guide us towards what needs transformation. integral to my practice is skepticism towards quick fixes, essentialism, and determinism. i orient from humility, self-reflexion, and the need for structural changes.
my education, and training:
i received my graduate degree in Counseling Psychology from John F. Kennedy University in 2014. i completed a specialization in Somatic Psychology, which highlighted the inter-relatedness of our physical, physiological, psychological, and social experiences. i have an undergraduate degree from Antioch College in Cultural Studies, with a focus on gender and sexuality studies, which informs my critical feminist framework. my formal and informal education has explored the historical, intergenerational, political, and interpersonal implications of social structures.
areas of focus:
Growing awareness of climate devastation brings anxiety, despair, hopelessness, and resignation. Attempting to ignore the urgency propels cycles of fear and denial. Fossil fuel companies are funding the denialism pervasive in neoliberal policies. The effects of global warming impact our bodies, psyches, relationships, while having societal, economic, and existential ramifications. Processing the emotional and psychological consequences of the climate crisis can be a vital part of determining a course forward that is courageous and sustainable. Expanding the capacity to tolerate and cope with fear and uncertainty, developing clarity, and locating ways to contribute to change, can transform fear into courage and collective action. Clinging to hope to evade fear is fragile, but allowing grief can relieve the desperation of trying to escape it. Turning towards the reality that our lives are inevitably entwined with the water, air, land, other humans and species can inspire creative and collective reckoning. In ecosystems, evolution fosters resistance; we can learn from the necessity of ecological adaptation.
Gender and sexuality are historically located, infinitely complex, personally specific, socially crafted, and deeply embodied. They are distinct, yet interlaced. As a queer therapist, I’m personally and professionally invested in the lives, survival, and flourishing of folks everywhere along the spectrum of sexual and gender diversity and categories. Aspects of gender and sexual identity may be peripheral, central, or fluctuating in the focus of our therapeutic work.
Depression and Anxiety:
Mandates of relentless optimism and reductive happiness contribute to shame, incongruence, emptiness, and avoidance of sadness. Layers of neurobiological, environmental, and societal stimuli affect how our minds and bodies respond to stress, uncertainty, pain, sadness, and fear. Contrary to tales of simplistic causality, there are numerous intricacies to the experiences of dis-ease we call anxiety and depression. Loneliness and isolation are rampant; alienation contributes to disconnection from self, others, the natural world, our time; distraction is becoming default; and neoliberal ideology promotes extreme self-sufficiency, individualism, and consumption. Anxiety and depression contain resourceful responses to otherwise unbearable experiences. Attending to the messages within distress can illuminate where healing can begin. Questions of how to bear despair and hopelessness, in tandem with critical inquiry of how to create a more just and sustainable world, can lead to sources of solace and fortitude.
Artificial divisions between bodies and minds are entrenched by colonial and capitalist ideologies. Distrust towards our bodies underlies foundational aspects of systems of domination, which plays out on and in our bodies, and in relationship to food and eating. The regimenting, commodifying, objectifying, problematizing of bodies and eating are inextricably woven into how we experience our physical selves. Profit, disconnection, and disorder create a diet culture that insidiously slithers into public and intimate spaces. Appetite and hunger, food and eating, taste and nourishment are bound up with social and political conditions. Bodies are visceral and symbolic, tangible and subjective, sites of expression subject to (mis)interpretation. Bodies mediate the juxtaposition of our interior and exterior realities, occupying the nexus of intergenerational histories and present moment sensations; defiantly indomitable, insistently equilibriating, expansively irregular.