My patients are all very special to me because each one teaches me something about life and the human condition. Often, when I tell people where I work and what I do for a living, they say, “Oh, that must be depressing,” but I find the exact opposite is true. I’m often amazed by my patients’ determination and resilience — how people can face some of the worst moments of their lives and find a way to get through them. Not every day is easy. I feel the full spectrum of emotions, just like I encourage my patients to, which sometimes includes sadness and grief in the face of loss. But every day I leave Fred Hutch feeling inspired.
I help people adapt to a new way of life, for example, facing a cancer diagnosis or dealing with a rigorous treatment regimen. Some of the patients I work with have never needed to see a psychologist before, while others have been living with mental health issues for years. Wherever people fall on that spectrum, together we sort out the connection between their mental health and physical health. Rather than doing long-term therapy, I focus on teaching coping skills over the course of approximately six to 12 sessions. In that time, I help people understand the relationship between their thoughts, feelings and behaviors so they can learn how to respond more effectively to difficult situations. I also teach patients how to be more present in their lives through mindfulness, rather than living in the past or constantly worrying about the future. My goal is to give away my knowledge of psychology so that you can understand yourself well enough that you don’t need to be in therapy forever.
I am a licensed clinical psychologist who helps people cope with the mental health issues associated with cancer and other acute or chronic medical situations. My expertise includes the management of anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), among other mental health concerns. At Fred Hutch, I work with patients in all stages of care, from those who are newly diagnosed to those who are in survivorship.
My research interests have included college student alcohol use, young adult gambling prevention, and the relationship between substance use, mental health and risky behaviors. I have been a faculty member with the UW Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences since 2009. In addition to providing clinical care and conducting research, I serve as the training director of the UW Psychology Internship Program.
All Cancer Types
We make promising new treatments available to you through studies called clinical trials led by Fred Hutch doctors. Many of these trials at Fred Hutch have led to FDA-approved treatments and have improved standards of care globally. Together, you and your doctor can decide if a study is right for you.
At Fred Hutch, you receive care from a team of providers with extensive experience in your disease. Your team includes doctors, a patient care coordinator, a registered nurse, an advanced practice provider and others, based on your needs. You also have access to experts like nutritionists, social workers, acupuncturists, psychiatrists and more who specialize in supporting people with cancer or blood disorders.
Fred Hutch accepts most national private health insurance plans as well as Medicare. We also accept Medicaid for people from Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. We are working to ensure that everyone, no matter what their financial situation, has access to the care they need.