Katie’s Specializations

You Are Welcomed with Empathy, Authenticity, Warmth and Support

I am an integrative, strengths-based, and person-centered therapist, who works with individuals, children, couples, and families. I work to create a warm, inviting, and supportive environment for each and every client I see, and I value empathy, authenticity, and genuineness as a part of the therapeutic process.

Specialized Services

I specialize in gender and sexual identity, giftedness, and high sensitivity, although I still do see clients from various backgrounds and experiences. I have vast experience working with families and children who are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and commonly work with that population as well.

I often work with people who struggle with isolation, hopelessness, emotion regulation, anxiety, low self-esteem, and identity development, and I strive to help every client I see reach their therapeutic goals.

Look more closely at the tabs below to learn more about my approach to psychotherapy, giftedness and high sensitivity, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and gender sexuality, in order to learn more specifically about what I can offer you.

To learn more about my theoretical approach and what methods I draw from to guide my practice, click here.

 

Psychotherapy

Therapy with individuals, couples, children, and families are all approached in a unique and different way. Below are details about common reasons people seek services, and what certain services can offer you. Please click below to learn more.

Individuals

See Yourself In A New and Brighter Light

Whether you are feeling anxious, depressed, angry, or simply overwhelmed with life or a life event, individual therapy can help you learn to manage and cope with what you are experiencing. When beginning therapy, I will help you identify and explore important parts of your life, and note themes or patterns that may be present.

Significant events from our past can perpetuate into our future, forming the way we view the world, and it is my goal to help you process these experiences while beginning to see your life, and yourself, in a new and brighter light.

Couples

Relationships are difficult, especially the intimate ones we tend to focus on the most in our lives. If you are in a committed relationship, newly engaged, partnered, or have been married for years, couples therapy can help you both learn better communication skills in order to begin listening, understanding, and bonding with your partner at a higher level. Furthermore, couples work can begin to tease out how our attachments in the past inform the way we attach to our significant other in the present. We will work to process past attachments and misattunements in the relationship in order to build a more secure and loving connection with your partner today.

Children

Play Therapy Helps Children Explore and Heal

Whether they are a young child, adolescent, or teenager, your child may be struggling with how overwhelming life, relationships, and expectations are. Young children may need play therapy to explore their attachment to their family, to explore their emotional world, or even due to a traumatic event in their life.

Teenagers Benefit From Expression, Exploration and Connection

Adolescents and teenagers often need space to express the anxiety, sadness, and frustration that may come when beginning to develop into an adult. Our world places a lot on children and children often feel very powerless, therefore in therapy I will work to help your child connect to their emotions, identify their strengths, explore their life goals, and develop strategies to achieve these goals.

Families

Become Better Connected as a Family

Nowadays, families come in all different shapes and sizes, and may seek therapeutic services due to a significant event, such as a death, a marriage, or a divorce. Families often seek therapy to also increase communication and the feelings of connectedness within the family unit as a whole.

Learn To Express and Manage Feelings in The Family

When seeing a family, I work to process and explore how the family has functioned in the past, and what rules, boundaries, and patterns the family has in order to better understand the family as a unit, and each member individually. In therapy a family can learn how to better express their feelings to one another, how to manage anxiety, and how to function in a way in which each member feels cared for and listened to.

Giftedness

When We Feel Disregarded and Misunderstood

In our world today giftedness is often overlooked and many do not truly understand what being gifted means or entails. Giftedness is commonly seen as being academically advanced, or being a high achiever, but in reality gifted can come with as many difficulties as strengths.

 

I am Here

This is where I come in. I enjoy working with the gifted population because I use my authentic approach to truly connect with and understand each and every one of my clients. Many gifted individuals may have past experiences of being dismissed, ignored, or treated younger than their intellectual mind actually is, and with me this will not happen. I will help you explore a possible misdiagnosis or a missed-diagnosis from a past provider, and work with you to discover your needs, and your goals.

 

The Quirky and Unique

Gifted individuals sometimes feel quirky or odd, especially due to society’s idea of what people ought to typically be like and how typical development should go. Those who are gifted are not typical though, and therefore often do not fit into societal norms (let me help you learn how wonderful this can actually be and feel!).

Giftedness commonly comes with asynchronous development, or advanced development in one or more areas while there is less development in another, and many do not recognize or do not even understand how this development can impact a person. I truly understand asynchrony, and can meet you where you are at in all different areas of development. I can also support and validate you while you continue to grow in your strengths, and work on your areas of growth as well.

 

Intensity and Depth

I thrive when working with gifted individuals who may be trying to manage how they are read in the world versus who they truly are. Existential concerns, meaning-making, and discovering your sense of purpose are all areas I support clients in and explore with them.

Those who are gifted may have an intense drive to find a purpose and change the world, and it is this drive that guides how they may identify and what they value, which can feel extremely overwhelming at times. I work to support individuals in finding ways to manage and cope with their deep emotions, rather than becoming overwhelmed with their current struggles. We aim to stay balanced and focused on our life goals and dreams, while also devoting some much needed time on reflecting, processing, and exploring our present concerns and intense emotions.

 

Embracing Who We Are

Perfectionism, anxiety, and depression are also all fairly common with those who identify as gifted, and I am here to help you feel better. We will put effort into finding coping skills and utilizing strategies to help you feel more connected, more relaxed, and more at ease with who you are.

I enjoy working with those on building up their voice and advocating for themselves, and together, we will embrace our strengths and positive qualities. Some may view gifted individuals as already knowing how advanced or intelligent they truly are, but isolation, hopelessness, and feeling like we are not enough can still be a lived experience for gifted people; I will never dismiss those feelings, and we will collaborate to resolve these feelings together.

 

Learn More

To learn more about TheraThrive and our specialty in gifted click on our counseling-for-gifted Link, highly-profoundly gifted Link, and our page on gifted traits.

Also look into our Groups for our Gifted Teens, Parenting, and Gifted Adults Group.

“To be nobody but yourself in a world doing its best to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle any human can ever fight and never stop fighting.” ~E. E. Cummings

High Sensitivity

I Understand

Living with high sensitivity can feel intense, overwhelming, and even scary at times, and I am here to support you and discover ways to manage and even thrive in your sensitivity.

I understand struggling with the worry that no one will believe you when you describe your sensitivity, fearing that you will be pathologized or stigmatized due to your experience, and questioning if anyone can even empathize with you and your struggle, and I plan on being the provider who honors your experience and reminds you that high sensitivity can still be seen as a gift.

What does high sensitivity mean?

The term “high sensitivity” can help us describe intense feelings and experiences, and allow us to explore our senses and processing. When I use the term high sensitivity, I am including experiences such as Sensory Processing Disorder/Dysfunction (SPD) and overexcitabilities.

Sensory Processing Disorder/Dysfunction

SPD is neurological misinterpretation of sensory input and this disorder can affect specific senses such as sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste, as well as possibly having issues with movement, balance, and muscle control. People who struggle with SPD may feel misunderstood and have difficulty functioning in many environments due to their experience of sensory input.

Overexcitability

I often describe overexcitabilities as having a surplus of energy in one or more areas, and sensing input that others do not even acknowledge, recognize, or notice. Polish psychologist Kazimierz Dabrowski coined the term overexcitabilities and he created five different sensory experience types, which are quickly detailed below:

  • Emotional: having an intensity of feelings, experiencing complex emotions, and having a deep sense of empathy
  • Sensual: sensually excitable and intense experience of senses (sound, touch, sight, smell, and/or taste), extremely impacted by sensory or aesthetic pleasure
  • Psychomotor: having a surplus of energy, struggling with impulsivity, and experiencing nervous tics or habits at times
  • Intellectual: having an intense passion for learning and solving problems, intense concentration, and is often a “deep thinker”
  • Imaginative: having a creative and lively imagination, day-dreams often, and has intense visual memory
  • To learn more about sensitivity please see our High Sensitivity page under our Specializations link.

How I Can Help

People who live with high sensitivity experience things with more intensity and depth than others, and can struggle with feeling overwhelmed, overstimulated, and isolated or alone in their lived experience. Each form of overexcitability and/or SPD is treated differently in therapy with the goal often being to better a person’s daily living and emotional health.

We will work to explore and process your experience, while finding strategies to increase your functioning and care for the sensory input you take in. I am here to remind you that you are not alone and help you discover coping skills to manage your sensitivity.

I can also offer you resources on sensory issues, as well as strategies to reduce and manage common symptoms of SPD and/or high sensitivity, including and not limited to: anxiety, irritability, frustration, hopelessness, depression, and academic or behavioral difficulties.

I can also collaborate with parents, family, friends, spouses, teachers, employers, and more to help you advocate for your sensory needs and educate those who are a part of your life on what high sensitivity is and the impact it can have.

Being highly sensitive can feel unbearable at times, but together we can work on overcoming the unbearable moments, and embracing ourselves and our sensory experience.

Autism Spectrum Disorder

I Have Experience with ASD and I Understand Where You Are Coming From

As a past therapeutic instructor for those diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), I have worked with children, parents, and siblings in their homes, addressing target symptoms of ASD. As an instructor, I implemented ABA therapy, yet spent a lot of time observing the family system and the effects of having a child with Autism. Currently I now work with high functioning children on the spectrum, parents, and siblings who have been struggling with the reality of this diagnosis, and want to explore ways to manage their life and the lives of their loved ones.

Support and Healing in the Family

Many of those who struggle with ASD, or are family members of an individual with ASD, often feel grief over the “life lost”, or the life they never fully had. When one is diagnosed with ASD, it changes the family system, and I am here to provide support and healing for those who are affected.

You Are Not Alone: Let’s Manage These Challenges Together

Loneliness, hopelessness, anxiety, and grief are only a few of the symptoms I commonly see with family members of ASD. Parents often grieve the child they imagined they would have, while becoming overwhelmed with all they must do seeking treatment for their child diagnosed with ASD. While on the other hand, many siblings then struggle with seeking attention and validation from their parents, who are now spending a lot of necessary time focusing on their child with ASD. It feels like a vicious cycle the family cannot break, yet I can help you learn to manage this cycle, and even change it.

When providing therapy to high functioning children diagnosed with Autism, I tend to focus on social skills training, identifying and managing emotions, and exploring coping skills for behaviors. Working with the individual diagnosed with ASD provides me with an opportunity to also assess what other services they may need, and I can help build those connections for the child and family.

As a mental health professional, I know how difficult it is to find someone who understands ASD and can provide help. I am here to fill that disparity in the therapy world, and can assure you that help is available.

Gender Identity and Sexuality

The Complexity of Identity

Identity is both an important and complex component of who we are, and we truly are the only ones who experience and know how we identify. While the outside world may judge, disbelieve, or even critique our identity, working to understand ourselves is a gift and something we can relish in.

As humans, we are constantly developing and exploring our identities which can change, intersect, and deepen, but living in our world today, this exploration can be seen as unnecessary or even shameful, but with me it won’t ever be seen that way.

Feel Accepted and Understood

If you identify as LGBTQ+ and/or are questioning and exploring your identity, it can be difficult to find mental health clinicians who accept you for who you are, without judgment or criticism. In addition, the mental toll of living in a society that has only recently begun to value being open-minded and striving for equality can feel both overwhelming and isolating for those who do not identify as heterosexual or cis-gendered.

I am someone who enjoys working with those open and brave enough to explore who their authentic self is, and what would make them most happy in life. I feel honored to be able to work with those who identify as LGBTQ+, and/or are questioning their gender and sexuality, and I work to help clients address any mental and emotional difficulties they may experience, including trauma, internalized shame or stigma.Feel Accepted and Understood

A Safe Place

I believe in the necessity of safety, and the feeling of acceptance while in therapy, and I am a therapist who will never judge your identity. I will provide you with a safe space so you can explore who you are and become your most authentic self.

Build Your Resiliency and Find Yourself

It is important to note that people who identify as LGBTQ+ and/or are exploring their identity do not need therapy due to their identity, and yet sometimes when we are questioning who we are and living with a stigmatized and marginalized identity therapy can help us.

I can support you in exploring your identity and how it impacts you, and I can also help you build up your resiliency and voice to advocate for yourself. I work with clients to help them learn how to cope with and manage their environment, while also learning to combat any internalized shame or stigma. I also provide guidance on how to widen our support networks, and connect with community. Self-acceptance, self-worth, and self-love are all goals we will strive for together.

Embrace Who You Are

All individuals deserve the gift of loving who they are and having pride in all parts of their identity, experience, and journey. I celebrate the fact that we are all unique individuals from unique backgrounds, and I hope to help you discover the beauty of who you truly are.

If you wish to learn more, please click on our Gender & Sexuality page.