One of the most important aspects of my formal education was as an undergrad at the University of Minnesota where I was a Women’s Studies major. It was an exciting time to be a student interested in equality, particularly in regards to LGBTQ individuals. Beyond my undergraduate studies, I’ve been fortunate to have had two psychotherapy training experiences outside of my formal education at the University of St. Mary’s in Minneapolis. The first experience was at the Center for Grief, Loss and Transition (CFG) in St. Paul (http://www.griefloss.org/). There I completed my graduate practicum as I provided psychotherapy to individuals coping with grief, major life changes and traumatic loss. I felt honored to be a part of the healing process for women and men who were in a great deal of emotional pain. To be entrusted with the very personal and unique stories of my clients, at such a tumultuous time in their lives, taught me far more than any textbooks ever had. My gratitude for that time is something I will always carry with me.
In addition to my experience at the CFG, I was also fortunate to have been one of the clinical fellows who helped launch the Minnesota Psychoanalytic Society and Institute’s Psychotherapy Center (MPSI-PC) in Uptown Minneapolis (www.mpsi-pc.org/). As one of the three members of the psychotherapeutic team, I provided low-fee Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (referred to by many as Psychodynamic Psychotherapy) to individuals who would have otherwise been unable to receive this type of therapy. Through MPSI-PC I had the opportunity to expand my academic knowledge, as well as the opportunity to further hone my skills as a therapist. During my time with MPSI-PC I learned a great deal about Psychoanalytic Theories. Also during that time I was fortunate to have received tremendous guidance from numerous talented Psychoanalysts in the community. Once my one year fellowship was complete, I began my private practice in Minneapolis. Again, I will be forever grateful to my teachers, supervisors, mentors and clients at MPSI for the opportunity they provided me to grow and learn as a therapist, and as an individual.
Here’s a quote that I love and speaks to the way I try to approach my work.
“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.”
~ Henri Nouwen