Anna’s Take on Treatment
"A perpetual state of anxiety makes us feel like we don’t have control over our lives, which causes us to avoid what makes us feel anxious. Once we are in this pattern of avoidance, it is very difficult to get out of it. That is where therapy comes in. In therapy, we learn about avoidance, what is maintaining avoidance, and how to change avoidance into approach. By learning how to engage in approach behavior over avoidant behavior, we turn anxiety from something that feels out of our control into something we can manage."
Approach to Therapy
Anna uses a cognitive behavioral approach, with consideration for the needs of her individual clients. With children who have anxiety, she uses behavioral approaches, such as exposures in different settings to expose them to their fears, while providing positive reinforcement in the form of rewards. Simultaneously, Anna educates and trains the children’s parents and teachers on the processes of approach and avoidant behavior. With adolescent and adult clients, Anna utilizes a combination of these behavioral methods and cognitive approaches by adding discussions of thought processes. Depending on what is beneficial for individual clients, she may also incorporate aspects of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy or Dialectical Behavior Therapy.
Experience and Training
Anna is pursuing her Ph.D. in clinical psychology with a focus on children and families at Northern Illinois University (NIU), where she received her Masters degree in psychology. As a clinician at the university’s Psychological Services Center and private practices in the area, Anna has had experience providing individual and group therapy to children, adolescents, and adults. Anna has a particular interest in anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders, and she has worked with clients who have social anxiety, generalized anxiety, separation anxiety, and selective mutism, to name a few.
Before beginning her graduate education, Anna graduated from Hope College with a BA in psychology and secondary mathematics education. As a certified teacher, Anna has had experience working with children and adolescents in a classroom setting, which informs her perspective when working with children and their families in a therapeutic setting.
More About Anna
Anna was born and raised in southeast Michigan in a small town near Ann Arbor. In her free time, she enjoys watching TV or movies, making crafts, and dancing.