About My Clients
I work with adults of all backgrounds whose central shared experience is having a diagnosis of a chronic medical illness. Most people I've worked with live with a digestive condition, such as Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, eosinophilic esophagitis, and irritable bowel syndrome. However, I have seen people with other autoimmune diseases and conditions that are poorly understood by the medical community (dysautonomia, MCAS, fibro, CFA).
My Background and Approach
Most of my training in graduate school focused on health psychology or behavioral medicine. I trained in the division of gastroenterology at Northwestern University medical school and at Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago. I'm an Associate Professor at NU, where I do a lot of research on digestive diseases including the first studies on medical trauma in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. My work with clients informs my research and my research informs my approach to treatment. I look at therapy is a collaboration where I share my knowledge while simultaneously learning my client's story. I use a strengths based approach versus over-pathologizing the human experience.
My Personal Beliefs and Interests
I consider myself a secular humanist and focus on the here and now, and how we treat each other as human beings. While I was raised Catholic, I do not consider myself religious. But for clients I see who are, I meet them wherever they are in their own faith should they want to incorporate it into their treatment. I am also an advocate for recognizing the mental health impacts of chronic digestive illness, specifically IBD since I have a personal connection to Crohn's disease. Humor is an integral part of my personality and I use this in therapy where appropriate.