I am a psychotherapist specializing in work with people of color healing from trauma or experiencing life transitions. My passions include supporting those of marginalized populations using cultural specific strategies and techniques. There seems to have always been a negative stigma surrounding therapy or seeking therapy. In my community and relative to similar cultures, the negative perceptions still makes some people hesitant to try it out. My goal is to help dismantle this stigma so people of all cultures and race can find representation and benefits towards mental health and wellness.
I am a cisgender Black woman. I use the pronouns she, her, and hers. My family and I immigrated from Ethiopia to the United States when I was about four years old. I’ve traveled quite a bit since then, but Portland, Oregon has always remained home. My single mother was determined to finance me through private school from first grade through 12th grade. I didn’t have much passion for sports growing up but valued the arts, exercise, social sciences, and community volunteering. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Portland State University. After a few years working in my community, I sought out my Master’s in Counselor Education across the country at PennWest University, formerly named California University of Pennsylvania.
I hold a Spiritual, Ethical, and Religious Counseling certificate and I’m also a National Board Certified Counselor. Since moving back to Portland, I’ve held my teaching license and have been a K-12 licensed school counselor as well as a clinical mental health therapist. I’m the eldest in my immigrant family and the first to graduate college. On my free time, I love to paint with acrylics and watercolors, go hiking in the Columbia Gorge, and read or watch mysteries. I enjoy spending time in the sun or surrounding myself in nature and making time for family and friends. I have a cat named Leo who typically hangs out near by during my virtual therapy sessions. He is a foster-failure, which means I fostered him at 4 weeks old and just couldn’t return him back to the Humane Society because I fell in love with his cuteness 🙂
Authenticity, empathy, and congruence are paramount in my work with people. I’ve been a healer and supporter all my life – I find it rewarding helping people feel independent and worthy of taking charge of their freedom. There are multiple, if not infinite, layers and intersectionalities in ones life. My role is to help individuals examine, reflect, and explore those layers as this is essentially part of the healing journey. Counseling is a deep therapeutic relationship with the healing and the supporter. As your supporter, I promise to guide you to make realizations and choices that only you are in charge of.
Are you a generational cycle breaker? There’s no doubt that our family influence has an impact. Our parents and grandparents choices influence our own. Neuroscience research suggest that we can rewire these generational patterns thanks to neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the brain’s amazing capacity to change and adapt. Adult children of parents with who have struggled with life adversities can have the power to be instigators of significant change. I believe we have a natural desire to heal and the ability to build resilience. My goal as your counselor is to provide support as you garner skills to face difficult roadblocks that might otherwise seem too overwhelming to tackle or subconsciously hidden. Some of these obstacles can cause stress, anxiety, anger, depression, shame, insecurities, and conflicts with relationships. I strongly believe that each individual can reveal their own past to create their better future, essentially to move toward putting their mental health first and thrive.
As your counselor, I use specific styles and techniques to help you create a path of wellness. The foundation of my practice is person centered therapy. Depending on your needs, my methods may include cognitive behavioral therapy, choice theory, attachment theory, internal family systems, solution based theory, and emotion-focused techniques. I also use culturally relevant techniques to cater to those of black, indigenous, and other people of color.