Kristen is trained to assist with a wide variety of issues. Please see below for practice focus areas.
Kristen has considerable experience working with teens and young adults with bipolar disorder. Though there is a learning curve in living successfully with bipolar disorder, teens and young adults can create a rich and meaningful life while living with the disorder. Treatment is focused on gaining insight into triggers of symptoms, enhancing self-awareness, learning to change the environment for optimal functioning, developing consistent sleep patterns, and medication adherence. Living with bipolar disorder challenges individuals to dive deeper into understanding themselves so they can create a great life.
Kristen has extensive experience working with children adopted out of foster care and from international adoptions. Families who have adopted children from hard places often learn quickly that love is not enough. Following interventions developed by TBRI® and other resources based on attachment theory, sensory models, and neuroscience, families are guided on specific parenting principles that create a safe, loving environment that allows the child to no longer operate from a chronic fight, flight, or freeze cycle. Treatment takes time and consistency, and for families who stick with it the results can be life changing.
Kristen has considerable experience working with clients experiencing suicidality including youth with past attempts and current suicide ideation. Kristen works closely with families to support clients moving from a place of uncertainty and risk to finding a life that is meaningful and worth living.
Kristen really enjoys working with LGBTQ youth who may be at different points in exploring their sexual and gender identity. Kristen is a gender-affirmative therapist who works with clients to create a life that is genuine and authentic for the individual. Kristen understands the uniqueness of sexual and gender identity concerns and provides a safe and accepting space for clients to explore and grow.
Reducing and eliminating the use of self-harming behaviors can be a tough process because it’s virtually impossible to compete with the effectiveness of the behavior. Kristen has heard youth consistently describe the power of self-harming behaviors. After engaging in the self-harming behavior (frequently cutting), they feel quick relief from overwhelming strong emotions or they can finally feel something after inescapable periods of numbness. While it can be helpful to develop alternative coping strategies, Kristen finds that client’s really move beyond the use of self-harming behaviors when they are able to develop a life that is authentic and valuable.
Being a teenage girl these days is tough. With the considerable influence of social media, the sexualization of girls from a young age, and with the power of gender stereotyping, teenage girls often find themselves feeling lost, depressed, and anxious. By the time girls become teenagers, they often have forgotten their own voice and an understanding of their power. Teenage girls frequently don’t value their intellect nor see themselves as leaders. In order to cope with this instability and gain peer acceptance, teenage girls often place unhealthy importance on beauty and status. This can often lead to them no longer seeing themselves as agents of change in their own lives. Kristen provides a place for teenage girls to find their identity and change unhealthy patterns so they can shed their insecurity and emerge whole and empowered.