Hi, I'm Heather! My pronouns are she/her/hers. Thanks so much for taking the time to learn about me and my practice!
The therapy I provide is uniquely tailored to the needs of the LGBTQ+ community. I have experience in and passion for working with the spectrum of sexual orientations and gender identities. My clients often come to me for support with coming out to family and friends, developing self-acceptance, or planning social and/or medical gender transition. I am also skilled in working with you through many life circumstances and mental health issues that may impact your functioning, including depression, anxiety, stress management, unresolved trauma, and self-esteem.
I currently work with LGBTQ+ adolescents (ages 13+), adults, and seniors. I provide supportive therapy to family members of LGBTQ+ individuals as well.
My philosophy is sex positive.
You can learn more about how I identify by checking out this blog post.
Transgender Affirming CARE
I worked with my first gender-diverse client in 2007. Since opening my private practice in January, 2016, have worked with over 60 gender-diverse people. I trained in transgender mental health at the National LGBT Health Education Center, part of the Fenway Institute in Boston.
After assessment, I provide referral letters for transgender individuals seeking Hormones and Gender Confirmation Surgery. I believe that therapists should never be the gatekeepers to medical treatments for Gender Dysphoria. Because of this, I do not require a certain number of sessions before I'm "convinced that you are ready" for your next steps. When we meet for a hormone or surgery assessment, I will not be assessing whether you are "trans enough" -- you are the expert on you and your identity. Once I am able to complete an assessment of the medical necessity for treatment and your ability to consent, and once you say you are ready for a referral to a medical professional, I am prepared to support your access to treatment.
I am knowledgable on the WPATH (World Professional Association for Transgender Health) Standards of Care, Version 7, which is followed by most doctors who prescribe HRT and surgeons who perform gender affirming surgeries. Part of my assessment process with transgender individuals who want to pursue medical transition is educating my clients on the Standards of Care as well. If you aren't familiar with what WPATH is and the purpose of the Standards of Care, you can read about it at this link, pages 1-2. When clinically warranted, I am flexible in using an Informed Consent approach in referring you for HRT and surgeries.
Bachelor of Arts - Psychology
Florida Southern College, 2003
Master of Arts - Mental Health Counseling
University of South Florida, 2009
Specific research and studies in LGBTQ+ counseling needs
Safe Zone Trainer
Florida Licensure as LMHC, 2012 - present
Created and presented LGBTQ+ ally trainings to hundreds of professionals across Florida, 2011 - Present
Certified Addiction Professional (CAP), 2015 - Present
Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC), 2016 - Present
Community Mental Health experience
Peace River Center, 2003 - 2014
LifeShare, 2014 - 2015
Private Practice, 2016 - present
American Counseling Association
ALGBTIC - Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues in Counseling
Florida Counseling Association
FALGBTIC - Florida Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Issues in Counseling
WPATH - World Professional Association for Transgender Health
Open Path Collective