My name is Jen, and I am so glad that you’re here. My goal is to support and guide you towards your therapy goals, whatever they may be.
I was born and raised in Ireland and completed my bachelor’s degree in Psychology in Dublin, Ireland. I moved to San Diego permanently in 2016 and earned my master’s degree in marriage and family therapy at Alliant International University.
As an attachment-based therapist specializing in Emotionally Focused Therapy, I can help you to shift from reactivity to vulnerability and create more emotional safety and a deep sense of secure attachment in your key relationships.
My job is to get to know who you are as a person and what matters most to you. Together we will explore what areas of your life are distressing or problematic and what you would like to be different. Sometimes the goals shift and change, or become clearer along the way, and that’s totally okay.
My approach is gentle, collaborative, and relaxed and I like to connect on a human-to-human level above all else. Since everybody is different, I allow some flexibility in what the process looks like. For example, some clients want lots of worksheets and reading recommendations and some prefer not to incorporate those things. I am always open to feedback and keen to know what works for you, so that I can change my approach accordingly wherever possible.
I have had a ton of different life experiences, some of them wonderful and some of them painful and traumatic. Every experience taught me something new about myself or about life and I believe all of them helped shape me into the therapist that I am today.
- Emotionally Focused Therapy Externship 2017
- AAMFT Annual Conference 2017
- Emotionally Focused Therapy Core Skills 2019
- Emotionally Focused Family Therapy 2019
- Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale Training 2019
- Emotionally Focused Therapy Unbroken Bonds 2021
- Hold me Tight Workshop Volunteer, 8 workshops from 2017-2021
Areas of Focus
- Relationship Distress
- Healthy Boundaries
- Divorce and Breakups
- Life Transitions
- Living with Lyme Disease
- Living with Chronic Fatigue
Getting to Know Couples Therapist Jen
When did you decide to go into Marriage and Family Therapy?
2015 brought a lot of unexpected changes in my life, so that was when I decided that it was the right time for me to get back on the path I had started on many years earlier and pursue my dream of becoming a therapist. I left Ireland and moved to San Diego to start my new life and begin my master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. Becoming a therapist felt like the right fit for a long time before I became one.
Do you have advice for someone who is considering counseling?
Therapy should feel like a judgment-free environment where you can truly be yourself. Your experiences in each therapy session may vary quite a lot; sometimes feeling heavy or draining and at other times uplifting or inspiring.
It takes work and consistency to achieve your therapy goals, so it is a good idea to ask yourself if you can commit to that process at this particular time in your life. Your therapist cannot do the work for you! If you are not sure what your goals are, I can help you gain clarity about that as I get to know you.
What would you say to someone who is nervous about setting up their first counseling session with you?
I totally get it! It can be daunting to enter therapy. Getting used to a new therapist is a bit like having new shoes. Just like when you are breaking in a new pair, the fit may be right, but it may not feel totally comfortable right away! It’s normal to feel a little nervous if you have never done therapy before. A good therapist is aware of this and will work on creating a therapeutic environment that feels emotionally safe and helps to put you at ease.
Do you have a special area you focus on within the therapy field?
I work with adults only and I provide attachment-based therapy for individuals, couples, and families. I have a special interest in working with clients who are living with Lyme disease or other “invisible” physical illnesses and conditions that impact their mental wellbeing and their relationships.
How do you pass your time when you are not working with clients?
I love taking walks or doing gentle hikes in nature. I practice tai chi and I enjoy a wide variety of music. I love movies, comedy, and musical theatre. I also like trying out new recipes, even when it doesn’t always go well…
If you were not a couples therapist, what would you be doing?
Gosh, it’s hard to narrow it down! There are so many other directions I could have gone with my career because I have a diverse set of interests and skills. I could picture myself as a professional musician, a lawyer, a novelist, a psychiatrist, or working in business management or IT. I enjoyed my time as a former company director in the retail sector in my previous career, so I probably would still be doing that if I hadn’t become a therapist. But who knows? Maybe I would be a tv chef or a backup singer for a rock band. It’s fun to imagine the endless possibilities.