Mental Skills Specialist
Alexandra has a passion for assisting clients in building awareness and learning adaptive coping skills to enhance their overall performance. While pursuing a professional dance and musical theater career, Alexandra studied at Robert Morris University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in sport psychology, with a minor in musical theater. She continued her studies and earned her master’s degree in Clinical Rehabilitation & Mental Health Counseling from The University of Pittsburgh. Alexandra has experience in counseling services for transition-aged adolescents with cognitive and/or physical disabilities. She also completed a clinical internship with a focus on adolescents and eating disorders, encompassing individual and family therapy components.
Alexandra has collaborated with KPEX Consulting to provide workshops and skill building to young dancers and athletes in the Pittsburgh area. She enjoys working with athletes on developing skills to support coming back from an injury, fear of failure in sport, change in motivation, and goal setting. Alexandra uses the intersection and collaboration of mental skills and psychological wellness as part of her consulting.
Alexandra is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Pennsylvania and is certified by the National Board for Certified Counselors.
When I get asked “what got you into your career,” there are two answers. Dance and the mind. I have always been fascinated with athletes and the ability to perform at high levels. It’s amazing what the body can be trained to do.
From my dance career, I learned that training your brain is as important as training your body.
If you’re wanting to whip out four pirouettes, not only do you think about lifting your knee, pulling up through your leg, using your back and spot a non-moving target…you also visualize your turns and trust your body to do what it needs to do. You focus on positive thinking. You are confident. And you are the best athlete you can be in that moment.
“Dance and the mind” have continued to be an influence in the work that I do now, and the work I plan to do in the future. Even when things appear to be out-of-sync, there is rhythm and a lifetime of performances.
My approach to peak performance is holistic and developmental. I take a solution-focused approach; “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it…but make it better!” My goal is to help athletes to develop the skills to be successful not only in sport but in life.
- Connection. For mental training to be effective, it is important for my clients to feel that they have a person that they can trust and talk to. In my interactions with clients I strive to be approachable, ethical, and professional.
- Assessment. You are the expert of your sport, and I am the expert of your brain. In order to know where to go, we have to figure out where we are starting. During the initial session, our goal is to identify an athlete’s ideal mental mindset, current strengths, and potential growth points.
- Engagement. The goal of our sessions is to teach clients how to capitalize on their strengths and overcome the mental obstacles that they may face. Skill building may involve learning to break negative thought patterns, staying focused in the present moment, visualizing success, and letting go of mistakes.
- Practice the process. Just like learning any other skill, mental training does not happen overnight. It takes practice, reinforcement, and adjustment to find out what works and what needs tweaked. My role is to encourage clients as they work on their mental training, help them to recognize the small successes, and assist them in maintaining their motivation as they develop new habits over-time.