My Approach to Helping
My passion for helping others and belief in the power of empathy, compassion, and connection to transform lives led me to enter the counseling field. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist Associate. I have an 18 year history of working in the mental health and human services field with children, adolescents, adults, and older adults in home, community, and office settings. I have experience in the areas of crisis management, developmental and behavioral therapy, psychotherapy, case management, trauma treatment, substance abuse and mental health counseling, inpatient and intensive outpatient therapies, group therapy, family and couples therapy, comprehensive clinical assessment, grief counseling, counseling for coping with medical conditions and terminal illness, etc. I am passionate about supporting clients in their recovery journeys from mental health and alcohol or substance use disorders. I have experience treating clients with dual diagnoses and complex recovery needs. I use evidence based practices and tailor the therapeutic modalities that I use to specific client needs and desires. I primarily use the modalities of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), solution-focused therapies (SFT and SFBT), mindfulness-based therapies (MBCT, MBSR, etc), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and Motivational Interviewing (MI).
I enjoy the arts and using my creativity and artistic gifts to help others explore visual, written, and expressive arts as an outlet for self expression, exploring identity, and processing emotions and life stressors. I love animals, have two rescue dogs, and have experience using animals in a therapeutic capacity and exploring the use of emotional support and service animals to help clients make progress in their recovery from trauma, anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions.
Additionally, I have experience working with individuals who are grieving and have experienced losses or dramatic changes in their lives. I have a passion for helping these individuals process their grief, find meaning and purpose in life post loss, and discover new joys in a life that is different from that which they had planned. Furthermore, I have experience working with individuals with chronic illness, terminal illness, and significant health conditions. I am passionate about helping these individuals access supports and community resources to meet their needs while coping with medical and health stresses. Such illnesses are isolating, can induce significant depression, and often result in traumatic, acute, or chronic stress that makes it necessary to find help to gain coping skills. I find great fulfillment in facilitating these individuals in learning to cope and finding small joys and purpose that bring renewed satisfaction, peace, and pleasure in life.
In my career, I have also enjoyed working with the LGBTQIAPK community. I believe strongly in social justice and fighting for human rights for people of all gender, racial, ethnic, cultural, spiritual, and sexual backgrounds. I have experience working with clients transitioning, exploring their sexuality, gender identity, and--or desiring to improve their sexual health. It is a pleasure to support clients in this journey and to share their joy in embracing their sexual and gender identity and meeting their sexual health needs.
In addition, I enjoy exploring spiritual health with clients who may have experienced trauma in religious settings in the past or wish to better meet their spiritual needs. I believe that spirituality is deeply personal and is very different from religion. I define spirituality as a sense of purpose and connection to others and the world around a person. It may or may not involve belief in God, religious teachings, or a supreme being but typically individuals finding a connection with something bigger or greater than themselves. Individuals may find a higher power in nature, a supportive group or sponsor, the universe, or belief in positivity, love, or goodness that exists in everything and can be harnessed for personal growth. Furthermore, I have experience with counseling from a Christian, Buddhist, or mindful perspective, and enjoy supporting clients in exploring religion and their personal faith as a tool to help facilitate their recovery.