Hi, I’m Emilea (She, Her, Hers). I'm so glad you're here. I have something I want you to know:
YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS
Hard things are scary, I know! I know this, because I've been there. I've had to do a lot of hard things. Things I hadn’t expected, planned for, or wanted. More about that below.
My job is to support you as you do the hard things. I work with people who are pretty well adjusted. Who’ve worked hard their whole life. Had a plan. Had a vision. Felt ready for the next step.
And then, nothing.
Or, a something that was taken away from them.
Or, a something that required a lot more emotional, physical, psychological, and perhaps, financial labor than expected.
LIFE DOESN’T ALWAYS HAPPEN AS PLANNED
We spend a lot of our time believing it will, though. I believe this is often when meaningful change occurs. When we come up against an incongruency between how we envision ourselves, the world around us, our futures and how our reality actually unfolds. We desire congruency. We can handle the disconnect for only so long, before it becomes dysfunctional and distressing.
I WANT TO HELP YOU BECOME UNSTUCK
I can’t work miracles. I won't promise that you won’t get hurt again. And I can’t bring back loved ones you’ve lost, whether loved ones you’ve held, carried, or dreamed of. Losing a pregnancy or newborn, struggling for years to even get pregnant, exploring or moving forward with adoption, trusting another surrogate womb with your baby, delivering your baby prematurely, or parenting a kid that is behaviorally challenged are incredibly hard things. I get it.
YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE
Nor is your life. It’s hard not to feel like that when your life deviates from the intended course. When your peers are progressing along that course without the same obstacles before them. When they’re holding babies the same age as what you had expected to be holding too. When their children are developing and thriving in the ways you had envisioned yours would be too. But, just because your path is not what you had envisioned, does not mean your path cannot be a meaningful and joy-filled one. We’ll work to find your meaning, to honor your losses, and to enhance your joy.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO WALK THIS PATH ALONE
Whether you’re needing support as you grieve, guidance as you navigate options, or space to express the feelings you don’t feel up to sharing with others, I want to walk alongside you as you create a new life trajectory. It may not be the same one you had envisioned or hoped for but we can create a new one that still aligns with your values and goals.
LET’S WORK TOGETHER TO GET YOU UNSTUCK
Even though I pull from my own personal experience of multiple pregnancy losses, infertility treatment, using a 3rd-party surrogate, delivering a micropremie, and raising an immune-compromised infant, I recognize that I still can’t truly know what it’s like to walk in your shoes. To know the depth of pain and grief you carry. I’ll look to you to bring your expertise on surviving your lived experience and to your expertise on the strength and courage it took to get you to this point. I’ll bring some of my own personal insight and my professional training. Together, let’s build a relationship in which you can feel heard, understood, recognized, and seen.
If you're ready to do the hard things, I’m ready to support you doing them.
READY TO GET UNSTUCK?
Want more specifics about my training and experience?
Read on below:
I received my BS, MS, and PhD in Psychology at Duke University. At Duke, I developed skills in numerous empirically validated treatments such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Trauma Focused CBT, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Motivational Interventions (MI), and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT). As part of my training, I took part in national studies examining the effectiveness of psychotherapy. I also was an assessor in these studies and trained to administer various evaluative tools. As my interests in psychology have evolved, I have sought out additional training in Infertility Counseling, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Perinatal and Postnatal Anxiety and Depression, and Culturally Competent Counseling with LGBTQIA communities. I enjoy expanding my skill set and staying current with the latest research.
MY THEORETICAL APPROACH:
My approach is one that values establishing an authentic relationship with the client so that the client will feel understood and validated. From there, I target building motivation, acceptance, and commitment to determine goals for the individual or couple. I then call on all those acronyms in my education to help us work towards those goals and process both what is obviously in the way and what comes up along the way. Treatment looks different for each individual and can be as targeted and linear or as complex and winding as needed.
I love to stay busy. I enjoy playing tennis and doing yoga, which has taught me the beauty of being present and quiet. When possible, I like to experience new and different cuisine. Mostly, I am content to be surrounded by my family and friends. My personal perspective is that we are all trying our best and, when possible, laugh!
My favorite quote is “What if I fail? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?”
I am a Licensed Clinical Psychologist (NC #4009).
I see my experience as multifaceted. First, I have had research experience working on large clinical trials for individuals with substance use, individuals with heroine addiction and borderline personality disorder, and individuals struggling with eating disorders. I have a large assessment background and hope to quickly understand the main areas of concern so that we can dive deep into the therapeutic work. I also have conducted and published my own research on the co-occurrence of eating disorders and substance use among college students.
Second, I have had a very diverse range of clinical experiences over eight years. I worked in a variety of mental health settings from private practice, medical centers, state hospital, schools, nursing homes, domestic violence shelters, and university health centers. I have worked with children, adolescents, young adults, adults, and elderly individuals providing appropriate counseling and evaluative services. I am very excited to return to private practice and work with individuals struggling with infertility.
Third, I have personally experienced wanting to grow my family and having those dreams derailed by infertility, miscarriage, and pregnancy complications. This third part might be the most relevant training experience to date.