I am a social worker, trained in a systems-based approach, meaning that I view humans as a part of a complex system of internal and external parts. What this means in my work with clients is that I see how the influence in your external environment in addition to your internal experience, both past, present, and future impact your mental health and overall wellbeing. For individuals living outside their home country, the impact of the environment can be notable as it interacts with experiences from the past and hopes for the future, and can create very unique challenges. For you, this interaction can be the reason for presenting for therapy. The goals for many individuals living abroad are to find better ways to manage these unique stressors. My main areas of focus are adjustment-related stress, anxiety, depression, trauma, identity issues, and cross-cultural relationship issues. Due to the limitations of online-based psychotherapy, I cannot assist clients with active suicidal ideation.
I have unique post-graduate training in Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB), a unique approach that blends attachment science, recent research on the brain and nervous system, and other scientific disciplines into a unique framework for fostering well-being, and Polyvagal Theory, a framework for understand our bodies stress response. I bring this into my work in providing my clients with education on their experience,
For some clients, the impact of environmental stressors bring about strong associations with past experiences, and despite learning ways to manage their stress response, the symptoms persist. To help clients with a persistent stress response, I use Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR), an evidence-based mind-body approach to treating trauma, as well as symptoms of anxiety and depression. As a complementary or alternative approach, I may help you deeply explore your past through an attachment lens, meaning that we explore past relationships and how they have influenced present relationships and thoughts about the future.
In my work with parents, I use the Attachment-based Developmental Approach which also views the parent-child relationship through the lens of safety, security, and connection.
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I started my career in education, as a coordinator of international education at the University of Michigan, a private English tutor for Japanese expats living in Michigan, and an instructor of Japanese Culture and History. Four years later, inspired by my work with the Japanese expat families, I started a Masters of Social Work. My graduate education and internships helped me develop therapeutic and community-building skills that have since been widened with continuing practice, and deepened my knowledge of the challenges faced by certain populations. Following graduation, I worked as a psychotherapist and case manager for the Post-Traumatic Stress Clinic at the VA Medical Center (VAMC) in Detroit, MI. After becoming a parent, my interest shifted primarily to developmental psychology, early learning theory, attachment science, mindful parenting, and learning practical parenting skills based on evidence-based practice. When my son was just over one year old, my family moved to Istanbul and I became a leader in the expat community, organizing events to foster connection and build relationships to ease adjustment and expat stress; working therapeutically with expat mothers and families locally; started an Attachment-Based Parenting Group and virtual support group following the pandemic, primarily for support and resource sharing. Now, I have been able to convert my entire psychotherapy practice online and reach clients globally. I am less involved in the attachment parenting community these days, and instead have focused on engaging in mindful learning experiences with my children and sharing parenting tips with other expat families here.
Clinical Social Work through University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (2012); Licensed Clinical Social Worker through the State of Michigan, USA; EMDR Training through the EMDR Institute; Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) courses through the Beck Institute; Interpersonal Neurobiology and Attachment Theory through the Mindsight Institute; A basic course in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional Training Course in the treatment of trauma, a basic course in the treatment for grief and loss, and a basic course on using the mindsight approach to treating anxiety in children and teens through PESI; Attachment-based Developmental Psychology Intensive Program through the Neufeld Institute; Clinical applications of Attachment Theory and a Mindfulness Certification for treating Kids and Teens through the Psychotherapy Networker; Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) through University of Massachusetts; Mindfulness basic course and Mindful Communication through Mindful Schools; Prolonged Exposure Therapy through the US Department of Veteran's Affairs; and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Basics through the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor