I think I was made for a helping profession. As I near my 40s, I have come to realize that my diverse lived experiences have prepared me for this career in a way I am just now learning to appreciate in full. Some people have said of me, “Jen, empathy is your superpower.” Humbled, I am starting to embrace the beauty of this gift. I have compassion that is soul-deep and acceptance that never runs out. I want nothing more in the world than to help someone find healing, find direction, and find that they are far more capable, creative, and motivated than they think they are.
Working with clients who have grown up in a religious context and are trying to sort out what exactly that has meant for them, and how it has impacted them, is where my passion lies. The church, although meant to be a place of safety and a source of love, acceptance, and care, has missed the mark on many occasions. Religious upbringing is complex and sometimes it can leave people hurt, alienated, confused, sexually and emotionally repressed, shamed, and abused. What does it mean to find a way through this betrayal and into healing? As I see more and more people leaving the church and religious institutions with deep wounds, it has become clear that there is a need for therapists that understand the nature and complexities of faith based systems and their potential damage. This work requires sensitivity and compassion and I am confident that I bring both those things to the therapy room.
In my own life, my desire to be a religious-trauma informed therapist is born out of an acknowledgement that I myself have experienced psychological injuries as a member of the evangelical christian tradition. I recognize that my healing journey has led me to an expression of faith that looks much different than it has in the past. I am a proud ally to the LGBTQQIP2SA community and passionate about safety for vulnerable populations.
You can expect an open heart, and an open mind. You can expect a safe space where you are honored as an autonomous individual with unique stories that make up the narrative of your life. Your family history, your past relationships, your stories of joy and hurt, your desires and dreams – it all helps make sense of the way you operate, the strengths you have, and the struggles you face. You’ll find me curious about what you wish to work towards, and how you want to get there. I believe that every client comes with inner resources that can help them produce change. I want to help you choose change if that is what you desire. I want to help you process your grief if that is what you need. I want to help celebrate your small wins and your big progress if you want to share them with me. Above all, you can expect a consistent and dedicated therapist who wants to journey with you.