When I found the Marriage & Family Therapist program, it was exactly what I was looking for when I decided to go to graduate school. I wanted to help people reach their full potential and excelled in the systems approach training. I place a strong emphasis on a strength-based perspective, which believes we are all inherently created for a constructive purpose. Since graduation, It is my dedication to continued education and research in cutting edge treatments that demonstrate my commitment to providing best practices for my patients. I do my best to provide the most innovative treatment approaches available today.
My training and experience focus on three areas:
I so enjoy the dynamic of working with couples. I am aware of the uniqueness of each couple and recognize that by being in my office patients are inviting me into a very intimate relationship. I strongly believe a monogamous, committed relationship is made up of two people, sharing their lives, and each person has a valid perspective. During a couple’s session, I listen to each perspective, guide, share my perspective, and help with communication, intimacy, and interaction.
I also have extensive training helping couples with issues of infidelity. Using various strategies, the couple can process the infidelity and work through the stages to rebuild trust and support each other. These strategies are also effective for other various inappropriate behaviors such as lying. Many couples progress through their challenges and remain committed to their relationship.
I work with adolescents age 14 and older. I think the time of adolescence, often defined as from ages 12-24, is an enormously exciting time in a person’s life. Connecting with an adolescent, then building rapport, is my goal for best therapeutic engagement. Adolescents want to be heard and understood; I can provide them a safe environment to get both. As a mother of 2 adult children, I so remember the adolescent years as thrilling and exhausting. When I work with teens, I also work with parents, as each is part of the family system. Using my Family Systems training, I recognize how changes in one part of the system affect the whole system. Family therapy can also include extended family and friends. Each family is unique, and all are welcome.
I am so grateful for my experience as a parent of both a daughter and a son; I cannot imagine my life without them. And, I’ll admit, being a parent is the most rewarding and challenging job I have ever had. I guide my patients through their parenting challenges emphasizing an understanding of their child’s developmental stages and encourage an Authoritative parenting style, which is assertive, fair, firm, and clear.
Despite how I am licensed, I also have years of experience working with individuals. In my way of thinking, each individual is a part of a system, whether it’s their extended family, a marriage, a work environment, etc., and thus I can use my education and training to provide support and guidance. I have a long history of helping my patients with issues of anxiety, depression, and trauma.
My additional training as a substance abuse counselor allows me to offer guidance to those individuals struggling with addiction. I facilitated adult and adolescent substance abuse groups for years, both for issues of dependence, abuse, and use of alcohol and drugs. I have the ability to share how I experience life as a rare social drinker, not needing substances to experience joy, frustration, grief, etc. Addiction is not limited to drugs and alcohol, thus I am competent working with individuals and their families struggling with eating addiction, shopping, and gambling.
I am proud to support those individuals in the LGBTQ community. I have many years experience helping my patients become comfortable with their sexuality, share their experience with their families, and coordinating additional support as needed. This therapeutic support can be helpful for adolescents, adults, and parents who may struggle with their child’s sexual identification. My practice provides Individual, family, and couples therapy for anyone in the LGBTQ community.