Therapy will be a different experience for everyone. I believe one of the most important aspects of successful work in therapy comes from the strength of the therapeutic relationship. Together we will work to create a safe therapeutic environment to explore where you came from, where you are, or where you want to go. My work is influenced by narrative therapy, feminist theory, intersectionality, parts work, mindfulness and trauma-informed work.
Welcome! I’m Naomi, and I am a therapist, writer and researcher.
My journey to becoming a therapist started at a very young age. For a good portion of my life, my father was a minister. As a kid, I observed generous support and compassion for people who were having a difficult time with life. I also observed the judgment and marginalization of people who were not like us.
My exposure early in life to the process of helping people led me to pursue my training as a therapist. This training helped me understand the connection between emotional well-being and the relationships and experiences we have in our life. Over time, my experiences working with individuals and families led me to pursue my doctoral degree and explore the individual and relational well-being of marginalized groups of people.
I have always had a love of stories. The stories we tell of our experiences shape our behavior and influence our emotional, mental, and physical well-being. When we tell our stories, we begin to find new ways to meet our needs and the needs of our family, society, and community.
I have a master's degree in Counseling Psychology from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota and a Ph.D. in Family Social Science from Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, CA. As a licensed marriage and family therapist I see clients, and I also provide supervision to counselor trainees as a Minnesota Board of Marriage and Family Therapy approved supervisor and a nationally recognized American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy Clinical Supervisor Candidate. I am also certified as a transformative Divorce & Family Mediator.
The experience of therapy is not always easy. It’s a process of exploring past and present relationships, behavior, and mental and emotional well-being. It takes a lot of courage and commitment to start the process of therapy, and it’s worth it!
First, it's important that it is a good fit between us. I spend a lot of time at the beginning of therapy getting to know people, making sure they feel heard, and building trust through consistency, curiosity, and empathy. Research shows that the therapeutic relationship is the number one factor in client success.
Second, I listen for themes in people's stories and provide feedback as well as challenges. This feedback and these challenges support people in re-imagining their stories and making behavioral changes to heal their emotional and mental well-being.
Third, I use a variety of approaches in my work with people. Along with building a strong therapeutic relationship, I listen for themes in people's stories from a Narrative, Psychoanalytic, and Systems perspective.
I am passionate about communication, stories, and relationships. My clinical work focuses on helping people tell their stories, identify problematic communication patterns, and build stronger relationships in their life. This often involves providing tools for clients to use to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression and make adjustments to challenging life events as well as grief and loss.
Additionally, I work with physicians, nurses, and mental health professionals and support them in navigating the stress and pressure of their jobs as well as navigate relationships in their personal and professional lives.
I also have a love of science and research. My past research has examined the individual and relational components of well-being within the context of legally recognized relationships among same-sex couples. Currently, my research examines individual and relational components of well-being among socially marginalized groups. My work focuses on questions related to how emotional, mental, and behavioral well-being is influenced by relational, professional, social, cultural, and physical changes.
In my spare time, you will find me navigating life with my partner, Nathan, traveling back and forth between Minnesota and Wisconsin visiting family, enjoying one of the 10,000 Minnesota lakes, volunteering to support the ongoing research to cure Parkinson’s disease and study brain tumors, and reading the most recent published memoir.
Clifton Strength Finder: Responsibility, Restorative, Achiever, Belief, Futuristic