I’m Samantha, and I’m so excited to start my counseling journey here at The Imago Center!
Ice Cream! I worked at Baskin Robbins in high school, and everyone told me I was going to get sick of eating ice cream after a while, but I never did.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend! Sometimes, when the world feels completely broken, I remember that a TV show that’s a musical about mental health exists, and both the theater nerd and the counselor within me are soothed.
I have a pet axolotl! Axolotls are Mexican salamanders that are mostly extinct in the wild but are widely studied within the scientific community because of their ability to regenerate their limbs. Once scientists finish with their experiments, the axolotls are often euthanized unless they are adopted by good-hearted salamander lovers. My axolotl is named Albus because he looks like an old and wise wizard, and I’ve had him for almost 5 years now.
I have a specific interest and expertise in working with youth and adults in areas including exploration of gender and sexual orientation, healthy sexuality, identity development and integration, and religious trauma and sexuality. I also work with people with chronic illnesses, including chronic pain.
Last Book I Read That I Would Recommend:
It’s been almost five years, and I still can’t get over how good The Power by Naomi Alderman was. I still constantly recommend it to people.
Last Series I Binged:
The Deuce on HBO, by the guy who created The Wire (David Simon). I don’t think more than about 20 people watched it, but it was so, so good. It follows the rise and fall of the sex trade industry in the heart of NYC in the 70s and early 80s.
Most Valuable Thing I’ve Learned from My Mentor:
Sometimes, the most powerful counseling tool you have at your disposal is silence. I previously worked at a youth detention center, where I mostly worked with mandated clients who had very little interest in talking to me. The center was really chaotic and loud, and I had one client who would come into my office and, within a few minutes of our sessions, would fall asleep, because it was the one time each day that he felt safe enough and calm enough to relax. Our work together certainly wasn’t based on a traditional counseling modality, but it was a much-needed lesson for me that sometimes the best thing to do as a counselor is provide a safe, calm, and affirming space for clients.