About Me

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” (Mary Oliver)

Welcome to my website and my practice! My mission as a psychologist is to integrate wisdom from psychological research and practice to help people live well and love well. In my 20 years of clinical practice, I’ve worked in a variety of settings and have helped people with a wide range of life problems. One of my greatest professional joys is to help people live their “one wild and precious life” to the fullest.

My Practice

I am a Licensed Psychologist (#33161) in Texas and a partner at Waco Psychological Associates. My office is centrally located in Woodway, close to Route 84. I provide evidence-based psychotherapy for adults and couples as well as other psychological services. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please call me at (254) 751-1550.

Education and Training

I have been well-trained in the science and practice of psychology. My education includes:

  • BA in Psychology, DePauw University
  • MS in Counseling and Counselor Education, Indiana University
  • PhD in Counseling Psychology, Texas A&M University
  • Predoctoral Residency in Clinical Psychology, The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship in Behavioral Medicine, The University of Texas Medical School at Houston
  • Senior Fellowship in Behavioral Medicine, The University of Rochester Medical School

Additionally, I have completed advanced clinical training in the following psychotherapy approaches:

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
  • Gottman Method Couples Therapy
  • PREPARE-ENRICH Certification
  • Mind/Body Medicine at Harvard Medical School

Approach to Psychotherapy

My clinical philosophy goes beyond diagnostic labels to treat the whole person with compassion, dignity, and respect. I am deeply committed to providing an environment that is welcoming and affirming of individuals from all cultures and backgrounds, including those based on age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, ability level, language, and socioeconomic status.

My approach to psychotherapy is evidence-based and integrative. This means that I draw from therapeutic methods that are based on the latest scientific research, and I customize these methods to meet your unique needs and goals. Some of the psychological therapies I use in my practice are mindfulness and acceptance practices, relational and interpersonal approaches, and cognitive and behavioral interventions.

My approach to psychotherapy is also collaborative. In other words, we both take an active role in your therapy. You identify the areas or problems on which you want to work, and I use my knowledge and experience to assist you in making your desired changes. We work together throughout therapy to help you reach your goals. For more details about my commitment to you as your therapist, please read this statement.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, my approach to psychotherapy is relational. A good therapeutic relationship between a therapist and patient is essential to a good outcome. I work diligently to create a safe and confidential space to help you reach your goals. My patients describe my clinical style as gentle, authentic, and compassionate.

Emphasis on the Therapeutic Relationship

Let me say some more about why the therapeutic relationship is so important. As your therapist, I’m committed to “holding space” for you as we work together towards your treatment goals. Holding space means that I’m willing to walk alongside you in whatever journey you’re on without judging you, making you feel inadequate, trying to fix you, or trying to tell you how to live your life. When we hold space for other people, we open our hearts, offer unconditional support, and are fully present in the relationship.

Often, the most powerful moments in therapy come from the interactions between the therapist and patient; that is, when something I say affects you or something you say affects me. Therapy has more impact when you talk about your experience as it’s happening in the present moment, rather than just reporting about your thoughts or feelings from the past week. When we look at something that is happening right now, in the space between us, we can experience and understand it more fully, and therapeutic change is stronger and more immediate. 

Focusing on the therapeutic relationship is a way for you to understand yourself better and practice new behaviors. It will be helpful for us to focus on our interactions if you notice issues or difficulties that come up with me which also come up with other people in your life (such as co-workers, supervisors, friends, partner or spouse). When you can express your thoughts and feelings to me in an authentic and assertive way, you will learn more about your inner life and your patterns in relationships. This will empower you to make positive changes in relationships outside of therapy.  

For example, if you are depressed, sometimes the things you are depressed about, and your depression itself, will show up in our sessions. You may feel hopeless about your relationship with your spouse, and in turn there may be times when you feel hopeless in our sessions, with me, or about our work. That’s okay if that happens. In fact, when things like that happen and your depression shows up in our sessions, it will be very important for us to take notice. That’s because when things happen between us in the present moment, those are the times that can really help you understand yourself and make the changes you desire.

Professional Activities

In addition to my full-time clinical practice, I’m also a Part-Time Instructor in the APA-Accredited Clinical Psychology doctoral program at Baylor University. I teach a graduate course in group and couples psychotherapy and provide clinical supervision to advanced clinical psychology doctoral students.

I’ve been actively involved in research and scholarship throughout my career. This includes publishing articles in peer-reviewed journals and presenting papers at professional meetings. I recently co-edited a book on positive psychology for Oxford University Press.

I’m also actively involved in professional associations. I am a member of the American Psychological Association, Texas Psychological Association, Association for Contextual Behavioral Science, and Society for the Exploration of Psychotherapy Integration.

For more information about my professional activities, you can view a copy of my curriculum vitae.