Hello, I'm Julie
I help people, just like you, understand and manage their mental health.
How I got here
As a child, I was fascinated by stories. I would read them, watch them, write them, perform them. Some of my earliest memories center around my friends and me pasting images of people from the JC Penney catalog into notebooks and creating detailed family scenarios. I called it “Big Family, Little Family.”
My fascination with storytelling also extended into television. I can recall watching Sesame Street in the morning, I Love Lucy in the evening, and Saturday Night Live when I was supposed to be fast asleep. Through the dialogue, the facial expressions, the movements, the storylines, I learned about the nuance of human emotions like joy, humor, sadness, anger, curiosity, playfulness, fun, and more. Laying in bed at night, long after turning off the television, I imagined various scenarios guessing how the characters would react. As I grew up, the storylines and the actors on the screen offered comfort and familiarity each time my family moved or when life felt uncertain.
It’s no surprise that I was drawn to both media and mental health. As an adult, I have continued to follow my curiosity about what makes people tick. I immersed myself in understanding communications, psychology, and media studies.
After the birth of my children in the early 2000s, I began to work more with children and adolescents, developing social-emotional development workshops and mental health awareness programming. Having had my own traumatic experiences as well as an adolescent, I also felt the pull to hold space for those navigating their own change, challenge, or crisis. As a psychotherapist, I began using visual and expressive arts, storytelling, music, television, and more to help my clients navigate their healing process.
My love for storytelling has only increased. I am continually honing my own storytelling skills through workshops, open mic nights, and more. It also led me to pursue a Ph.D. in Media Psychology, where my research has allowed me to explore the therapeutic effects of storytelling and media messages worldwide.
Using the universal language of media in all its forms - tv, books, movies, comics, news, and more - storytelling can help us normalize the conversation about mental health. It brings a greater understanding of ourselves, our relationships, and the world. And, without a doubt, it invites us all to fulfill the most vital human need: to feel heard, seen, and understood.
This is just part of how storytelling has affected me.
How has it influenced you?
At a Glance
• 30 years in communications, human services, mental health, and family systems including experience with public and private school settings (K-12, college and university), residential nursing and end-of-life care and support.
• Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with licensure in Colorado, Washington and Oregon.
• Graduate of the FBI Citizens Academy.
• Over 100 public speaking presentations/workshops
• International professional network including 3K Facebook followers, 2K LinkedIn contacts, 7K IG followers, 4K newsletter subscribers.
• Over 9.5K TEDx Talk views.
You are free to use these photos with our and the photographer’s permission as long as you include the photographer’s credit and send us a link at [email protected] to where they are being used. (photo credit: Jennifer Brindley)