My Approach to Helping
I consider myself a compassionate, non-judgmental, and empowering counselor. My objective is to empower individuals to experience themselves as whole beings and create the life they want. As a therapist I focus on helping people find their own answers and gently guiding them to connect with and trust their own inner wisdom. I help people find and heal the blocks to have that inner connection happen. My approach is mindfulness. Mindfulness is “present moment awareness”. It’s training oneself to become increasingly aware of one’s own thinking in the moment and seeing the connection between one’s own thinking and life circumstances and becoming much better at being able to release thoughts that keep unwanted beliefs active. I believe that our thoughts create our reality so becoming aware of our underlying systems of negative thinking and negative emotion that are feeding our distress is important. It’s about becoming more self-aware and discovering your ability to take control and responsibility of your life and creating the life you want.
I have worked for some 25 years giving counseling and support in a variety of settings. I enjoy being able to combine my body-mind approach with my strong sense of personal integrity and professionalism to my work in helping others. I have considerable experience in helping those who are experiencing depression, trauma, anxiety, relationship conflict, and confusion about identity and general direction in life. Past clients have often remarked they find me to be friendly, caring, and easy to talk to. I have an undergraduate degree and graduate work in urban studies from San Francisco State University and Cleveland State where I focused on community development work and urban social legal issues as a graduate and law student but eventually felt more drawn to the healing arts, psychological and spiritual sciences.
I have a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health from the University of Akron and am licensed in the State of Ohio as an independent licensed clinical counselor. I did professional skills training at the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland where I specialized in individual and couple therapy. I have worked as a counselor in a number of diverse settings ranging from an inner-city juvenile detention center to an inner-city outpatient clinic to working with special needs population.
I am extensively trained in mindfulness and MBCT (mindfulness-based cognitively therapy), EMDR(eye movement de-sensitization re-processing), EFT (emotional freedom technique) and certified in clinical hypnotherapy. I focus initially with clients on mindfulness and being "present moment centered" and being more focused "inward" before moving onto the identifying of negative thinking. Identifying negative cognitive patterns helps to identify negative core beliefs and their corresponding distressing emotions. Allowing ourselves to finally feel and be present inside our bodies to these emotions allows us to re-process them. So much of our anxiety and depression stem from unprocessed trauma earlier in our lives.