Prior to beginning a healthcare career, I was a public middle school teacher, teaching ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) to recently-immigrated students from over 15 different countries.
I’ve been a Masters-prepared nurse practitioner since 2007, having attended Emory University as a Helene Fuld Service Learning Fellow for my Bachelors and Masters in Nursing. I am board-certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as both a family nurse practitioner and a psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner.
My psychiatric nurse practitioner training included one semester training under the lead psychologist with the Trauma Recovery Program at the Louisville VA, and another semester training with psychiatric nurse practitioners and a psychiatric clinical pharmacologist/addiction specialist at the VA. It was through the dedicated, compassionate, mission-driven preceptors I had at the VA that I realized trauma (both “Big T” and “little t” trauma) was where my passion lay.
Specialized Experience + Training
I most recently worked as the lead clinician at a specialty mental health clinic here in Louisville for close to two years. Among my primary responsibilities in this role was thoroughly assessing patients to determine whether IV ketamine treatment (or intra-nasal esketamine treatment) was safe and appropriate for them, collaborating with their referring providers, therapists, and families during their treatment, and overseeing and following up on their response to treatment.
I have independently undertaken specialized, intensive training in ketamine use in mental health, including ketamine-assisted psychotherapy (KAP)here, with Jennifer Montjoy, PhD, whose dissertation, “Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy (KAP): Clinical outcomes and self-transcendence in depression and chronic PTSD,” can be foundhere.
Additionally, I have attended an intensive, advanced training for trauma-informed psychedelic care with Elemental Psychedelicsin Fort Collins, Colorado.
Currently, I am enrolled in a Psychedelic Therapy and Integration (PTI) certificate course with Fluenceand have been accepted into the January 2024 cohort for MDMA-Assisted Therapy.
What Sets Me Apart
I view mental health through a trauma-informed lens, and I take a holistic, evidence-based approach in caring for my clients. I strongly believe in the power of high-quality psychotherapy as an integral part of mental health care, personal growth, and healing.
I’m deeply curious – a perpetual student, and one who will “go down the rabbit hole” of investigating care options for my clients. I love the opportunity to say, “I don’t know the answer to that question, but I can find out.”
I give my clients choices – I know my science and research really, really well. But my clients are the experts on themselves. I believe when we each respect this about one another, we can find treatment options that are safe, evidence-based, and more likely to be successful.
My Expectations of You
I come from a position of “radical acceptance.” As my client, you are okay who you are, as you are, under your current circumstances. I will affirm this time and again, because I believe it to be true. We are all a work in progress. As such:
I expect honesty and transparency about your background, your current situation, and what your stuck points are. So many of us suffer because of shame and secrecy – shame thrives in shadows – healing comes when we shine light on these areas.
I expect you to work on your own healing at least as hard as I’m working to help you. I can’t “fix you,” (you’re not broken!) and medication is not the magic cure we all wish it would be. If you’re not willing to work with me to set realistic treatment goals and take steps between visits to work toward those goals, we might not be a good fit.
I ask you to come to me with an open mind about “treatment.” Treatment looks different for every person – sometimes it involves medication, sometimes it involves therapy, often it involves both. But it always involves trust, mutual respect, and a willingness to stretch, grow, and cultivate change.
I expect to involve your family (or close friends who are like family) in your care. This may be just once or twice, and always with your permission. My past experiences caring for patients who are in severe emotional distress has taught me that the presence (or absence) of family and the insights they can provide about the client help to inform and enrich the care I am able to offer.