My primary role as a psychology pre-intern at Simms/Mann is to provide psychological and emotional support to patients and families who are navigating the range of stressors and challenges related to cancer. I work with patients and families to assess their needs, and tailor and provide interventions that are specific to those needs. I also work closely with other members of the Simms/Mann care team, which includes other licensed psychologists, social workers, and chaplains, as well as with nurses and physicians within Oncology.
After graduating with my BA in Psychology from the University of California, Riverside, I chose to continue my academic career at Loma Linda University, where I am currently in the 5th year of my Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program. I began my clinical training at a college counseling center, but quickly realized that my greatest interest lies in working in integrative health settings. That interest continued to grow throughout my second year of clinical training at the Loma Linda VA, where I worked with veterans who were attempting to change certain health behaviors, and with the Palliative Care team at Loma Linda University Medical Center, where I provided bedside psychotherapy and end-of-life care to patients with advanced disease. Between my experiences at the VA and LLUMC, I learned many therapeutic techniques and approaches that proved useful for many patients, and I ultimately found that my passion lies in working with people to achieve a sense of whole-person wellness in the face of extraordinary physical challenges. UCLA Simms/Mann provides the opportunity to do just that, and I look forward to the many rewarding experiences that are to come during my time here.
Personal Interests and Perspectives
Though I do have a passion for therapy, I recognize that some of life’s questions do not have definitive answers, and sometimes stretch beyond the boundaries of physical and mental health. Cancer can bring some of these questions to the forefront, making spiritual health and a quest for meaning and purpose all the more important. I wholeheartedly believe in the healing power of approaching these questions proactively and without judgment of self or others. That is what makes this work unique: the ability to witness spiritual healing manifest in a clinical setting. Still, these questions can feel overwhelming at times — luckily I find myself in beautiful Southern California, where the self-care opportunities are bountiful. In my free time, I enjoy catching some sun at Newport Beach, watching action movies with my two dogs, and playing pick-up basketball and video games with my friends. I am also a SoCal sports fan through and through, so you can also almost always find me watching a Lakers or Dodgers game.