About Staj

Why did you decide to become a therapist?

I am honored and privileged to have grown up as a child of a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) and MFT supervisor, and to have been raised by many thoughtful, insightful, and kind people in the profession. As a child, I loved to hear stories about how therapists worked with interesting people and hard moments. I loved to hear about people's lives, about their "problems" and what was keeping them stuck, and to hear about how people experienced change and healing.

At the beginning of 2021, I enrolled at Capella University for my M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy, thinking "I'll just try one quarter and see how it goes." Well, I loved it. It felt like "me", like exactly where I wanted to be, and exactly what I wanted to be doing. Every day, I feel a deeper appreciation for the therapeutic space, the work I do with clients, and the opportunity I have to witness people as they are.

I am especially focused on serving clients who are figuring themselves out on a personal, romantic/sexual, and relational level. I believe that not only are relationships—to our families, our loved ones, and ourselves—hard work, but that that work is often very unseen and chronically underappreciated. I want to offer support & encouragement, as well as perspective, resources, and techniques to engage clients in their relational work in a way that is authentic and meaningful to them. 

What therapy approaches do you work with?

I primarily work from an Internal Family Systems (IFS) approach. The IFS model reflects how I see people—as beings who sometimes "contradict ourselves" and "contain multitudes". We all contain many diverse, complicated, & unique parts, and I fully follow the belief articulated by Dr. Richard Schwartz that we have "no bad parts", only parts who are doing the best with what they have. IFS therapy brings you into a fuller awareness of and connection to parts of yourself which appear in conflicts, and provides a compassionate and open approach to working with (not against) these parts).

I have unwavering belief in the ability for things to change. However, I am not here to push for things to change rapidly. Instead, I am here to look with you for the parts of you that are afraid of change, that are still hurting, and ask "How do we care for this part of you? What does this part need to feel safe, understood, and loved?" From there, we work together to find interventions, approaches, and ways of being with that part that will help it to heal and feel stronger.

Other therapeutic modalities I draw from are: Experiential Family Therapy, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SBFT), Collaborative Therapy, Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), Intergenerational Family Therapy, & Narrative Therapy.

What can I expect from working with you? What's your therapeutic "style" like?

My main therapeutic approach (IFS therapy) teaches that the best way to be present in the therapy role is to ground oneself in compassion, curiosity, creativity, and openness . These tenets are always my primary focus, and define how I orient myself to my clients.

That being said, I am neurodivergent, and almost all of my clients have seen me at some point or other tell them "I need to take a pause real quick", at which point I'll stare at a point on the wall for a good ten to twenty seconds and gather my thoughts. I also do love to laugh and treat my clients (and myself) like real people. At the end of the day, I want the therapy space to feel authentic and real, as well as focused and intentional .

Do you take insurance or provide sliding-scale services?

Ginkgo Grove Counseling PLLC does not currently take commercial insurances or bill through Medicaid. I do have a limited availability of sliding-scale spots—please reach out and inquire directly for more info!

What else do you do in the world?

I am part of the American Association of Marriage & Family Therapy's "Queer & Trans Advocacy Network" (QTAN), and am receiving supervision and consultation regarding advocacy in the mental health field for sexual and gender minorities. In the near & far future, I am hoping to expand my role as an advocate for the rights of trans and queer people, as well as for relational minorities such as Poly and kinky folks.

Otherwise, I like to be a homebody with my primary/nesting partner, and our one beautiful, gorgeous child (a cat whose name is Rhea). I love to cultivate queer & polyam community, and love to gather, share art, share meals, and take little journeys with friends. Other interests include making collage art, playing guitar, reading, stand-up comedy specials, & listening to a lot of Dungeons & Dragons podcasts.

Rhea The Cat
First of her name, Queen of Tortitude, The Panther Princess, Killer of the Great Snake (Shoestring), Goblin of Trash,  Patron of Cardboard, Duchess of the Side Yard,
Protector of the Realm (Apartment), Sweet Little Baby Angel

Office Administrator

Reach out with more questions, or to book your free 15-20min consultation!