Kristen’s Specialties

Gestalt Therapy

An awareness-based, relational, experiential, and existential approach to the therapeutic process between therapist and client. As quoted from Wikipedia: 

Gestalt Therapy focuses on process (what is actually happening) over content (what is being talked about). The emphasis is on what is being done, thought, and felt at the present moment (the phenomenality of both client and therapist), rather than on what was, might be, could be, or should have been. Gestalt therapy is a method of awareness practice (also called "mindfulness" in other clinical domains), by which perceiving, feeling, and acting are understood to be conducive to interpreting, explaining, and conceptualizing (the hermeneutics of experience). This distinction between direct experience versus indirect or secondary interpretation is developed in the process of therapy. The client learns to become aware of what he or she is doing and that triggers the ability to risk a shift or change.

The objective of Gestalt therapy is to enable the client to become more fully and creatively alive and to become free from the blocks and unfinished business that may diminish satisfaction, fulfillment, and growth, and to experiment with new ways of being. (

Kristen completed a 3 year Gestalt Therapy training program with the Appalachian Gestalt Therapy Institute in Asheville, NC.

Somatic Experiencing®

A body-based approach for treating varying symptoms resulting from traumatic experience(s). Symptoms may manifest from shock trauma, surgeries, developmental or relational trauma, intergenerational, or societal trauma. As quoted from the “SE” or, Somatic Experiencing website:

The SE approach facilitates the completion of self-protective motor responses and the release of thwarted survival energy bound in the body, thus addressing the root cause of trauma symptoms. This is approached by gently guiding clients to develop increasing tolerance for difficult bodily sensations and suppressed emotions. (

Kristen is in her final year of training in Somatic Experiencing and is expected to complete the program by the end of 2019.

Expressive Arts Therapy

An intermodal treatment approach, which incorporates music, visual art, movement, and writing to deepen one’s experience, broaden awareness, and increase understanding. Not all of these modalities may be used, however, it is often through the progression of one modality, or form of creativity, to another where new states of being, awarenessnesses, and insights emerge in the present moment. Artistic skill is not required.

Expressive Arts Therapy was one of Kristen’s concentrations in graduate school, and she obtained a certificate from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC.

Additional methods

Motivational Interviewing and other CBT (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy) strategies.

As quoted from Wikipedia:

Motivational Interviewing is a directive, client-centered counseling style for eliciting behavior change by helping clients to explore and resolve ambivalence. Compared with non-directive counseling, it is more focused and goal-directed, and departs from traditional Rogerian client-centered therapy through this use of direction, in which therapists attempt to influence clients to consider making changes, rather than engaging in non-directive therapeutic exploration. The examination and resolution of ambivalence is a central purpose, and the counselor is intentionally directive in pursuing this goal.  MI is most centrally defined not by technique but by its spirit as a facilitative style for interpersonal relationship. (

Kristen was trained in Motivational Interviewing during her graduate school internships and continued advanced training afterward. This method is effective in treating addictions and potentially other compulsive behaviors. Addictions Counseling was Kristen’s other concentration in graduate school and she obtained another certificate in this from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC.