Welcome! My name is Ashley, and I'm excited to meet you. As an ENFP Enneagram 4, retired Goth with an eternal love for Halloween, I bring a unique blend of passion and creativity to my work as a therapist. I've wanted to be a therapist since my teenage years, and I feel incredibly grateful that I get to live this fulfilling life. I would be honored to be your co-captain as we navigate the uncharted territories of what makes you YOU, uncover what's holding you back or causing distress, and guide you back to your destined path.
My main areas of expertise lie in working with teens, sexual issues, and LGBTQIA2-S+ issues. I have a background working at Community Mental Health, where I specialized in parenting and adolescent care. Additionally, I held a position as an outpatient therapist in a high school/middle school setting. I established a rural drama therapy theater program to provide creative teenagers with an outlet for their talents and a chance to connect with like-minded individuals. Throughout my career, I've assisted teens through dealing with self-esteem and self-confidence issues, oppositional defiance, self-harm, suicidal ideation, LGBTQIA2-S+ issues (especially transgender difficulties), and sexual trauma.
The LGBTQIA2-S+ community has held a special place in my heart for the past 20 years. I have been closely involved with LGBTQIA2-S+ individuals and organizations, starting from my time as an undergraduate at the University of Michigan in the progressive town of Ann Arbor. I'm proud to call Ann Arbor my home, and it has shaped my values and commitment to advocating for marginalized communities. From participating in Black Lives Matter marches to Me Too rallies and LGBTQIA2-S+ pride parades, I always strive to stay on the cutting edge of social movements. However, the LGBTQIA2-S+ community remains particularly close to my heart. Witnessing the struggles they faced, such as the lack of marriage and adoption rights for gay individuals and the misrepresentation of transgender people, motivated me to specialize in sex and sexuality therapy. I wanted to provide the LGBTQIA2-S+ community with the latest research and therapies that they rightfully deserve.
As your therapist, I will collaborate with you to develop a treatment plan that is carefully crafted to incorporate the modalities that will best support you in reaching your goals! I utilize various cognitive-behavioral and dialectical-behavioral techniques to provide structure and a tangible course of action. I possess a wealth of CBT and DBT resources tailored to address specific issues like self-harm, anxiety, and bullying. To gain deeper insights into your unique personality traits and their impact on your worldview, motivations, and emotions, I often employ the Myers-Briggs and Enneagram tests. Many clients have found immediate relief and self-awareness through these assessments.
In therapy, I believe in going beyond just talking. I enjoy incorporating nature into the process by taking walks during sessions, allowing us to benefit from the beauty of Traverse City's surroundings. I strive to make therapy feel organic and natural, something you will look forward to. For individuals who are interested in creative expression, I offer drama and art therapy techniques. Additionally, I'm experienced in teaching Emotional Freedom Technique (aka tapping), meditation, breathing, and yoga techniques. As a holistic practitioner, I believe in the interconnectedness of mind, body, and soul.
Therapy should be more than just a weekly appointment—it should be a life experience that you enjoy most of the time. I understand that serious challenges have brought you to seek therapy, and together, we will embark on a journey to explore uncharted territories and unravel the mysteries that hinder your personal growth and fulfillment. I have witnessed miracles happen before, both in the lives of my clients and my own life, and I bring that spirit of hope and excitement to every session!
To read Ashley's Psychology Today profile click here