Phone: 724-777-1433 Extension: 29
they / them / she / her
(Clinical Supervisor: Moira Ryan)
Gender Identity + Sexuality
Private Pay: $40
Vanessa is a graduate level student at the University of Pittsburgh, working towards their Master's in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling. She is in the final stages of their Master's program, which allows them to see clients on a low sliding scale under the direct supervision of Open Space CCW's Moira Ryan and our Clinical Director.
Who I Help
I have a sincere passion for working with the LGBTQIA+ community, especially adolescent and transition-age transgender, nonbinary, and gender expansive individuals.
I grew up in an area where people weren’t allowed to be queer. I know what it’s like to feel like there is nobody in your corner--like the only way to find yourself is Alone. When you’re so used to keeping everything in, it can be scary to be your authentic self. I don’t want other people to feel that Aloneness. I love that I can help people explore who they are and find compassion for the person they’ve become. I love that people can leave this experience knowing what it’s like to have purpose, to feel worthy of the space they occupy, to feel alive.
I also love working with folks struggling with ADHD (both adults and adolescents), anxiety, behavioral issues, Bipolar Disorder, depression, stress management, oppositional defiance disorder, trauma, and life transitions.
What Can you Expect?
As a nonbinary, bisexual person, I am able to bring the unique combination of lived experience, and clinical skills into the room, if you are open to that. I'm a peer. I don’t just talk-the-talk when it comes to wellness and recovery--I walk-the-walk, too. I know what it’s like to live with mental illness, and I have experience with the ins-and-outs of the treatment process. I know how daunting it can be to start working with someone new, or to face those big feelings that you haven’t known how to deal with. We can walk through it all together.
I see you as a whole, not as a person who needs to be fixed. It’s not always about making a problem go away. I want to work together so you can learn the tools to make it through. You don’t need to go from 0 to 100 to live a meaningful life. Going from 0 to 1 is progress, too.
I’m not a fancy Formal Clothes and a Clipboard kind of person. Want to sit on the ground together and chat instead of in a chair? Let’s do it! Don’t ever expect to see me with both feet on the floor. I’m an avid supporter of doing whatever you need to do to stay focused--fidget with something, move your body, draw, walk in circles if you want to. I want you to feel comfortable being your authentic self. Laugh, cry, brag about your victories. Don’t be afraid to talk about things that are uncomfy. Bring up those big emotions. I’m always down to unwind with a mini dance party before you go. Not vibing with something during a session? Let me know! Let’s work together to make it better. We’re a team--I’m in your corner. I am a firm believer in treating people with kindness (that means yourself, too!).
My hope for you is that you leave our sessions feeling supported, understood, and worthy of living a meaningful life.
When I'm not at Open Space CCW, you may also find me...
Rearranging my rock collection, watching the entire Forged in Fire collection on Netflix for the 8376th time, eating cheese raviolis, playing solitaire, and repeatedly cycling through the Twilight series with my roomies.
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