My Approach to Helping
My passion is helping people heal from childhood trauma by teaching them how to move past the hurt into a more stable and peaceful experience. This requires the person to truly understand who they are and what they need in order to heal themselves. As an advocate for the relentless pursuit of individuality and well-developed self-identity, I work with people to reconnect to their true selves. When people are living in service of who they are, they become best positioned to use their strengths and engage in a more meaningful life. Through the work that I do, I hope to make the world a better place by helping people feel confident in being who they are and share that with the world. I help you move towards a life in service of who you are and a BETTER tomorrow.
More Info About My Practice
Early on in my career many of the patients I treated in the hospital for severe depression and anxiety were really suffering from childhood complex trauma symptoms. Because of the nature of the level of care in the hospitals, I couldn't address the core of their problems. The best I could do is help them identify that the past was more than likely affecting their present day. This led me to become trained in EMDR (eye movement desensitization reprocessing) an evidence-based technique to treat trauma. EMDR is now used for a variety of concerns and issues with great success. Additionally, peer support can be an add-on to therapy therefore I studied Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families (ACAD), a twelve-step program and grandchild of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) which allows me to introduce clients to peer support and a welcoming community for ongoing support. As an ACAD supporting counselor, I am able to help clients who choose to work the steps of ACAD as an add-on to recovery work.
I have been trained in trauma-informed care and use several other theoretical frameworks including acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), and EMDR (eye movement desensitization reprocessing). I am in the process of becoming a NeuroAffective Relational Model (NARM) therapist. NARM works on addressing attachment, relational, and developmental trauma by exploring how we relate to the world as adults. This form of therapy is a complement to trauma-informed interventions. Clients gain a deeper insight into themselves and improve their lives and relationships.
Equally important to training is the philosophy a counselor brings to the room. The most important part of therapy is that the client is the focus and the relationship built between the counselor and the client is one where the client feels they can be their whole self without fear of judgment. And this is even more important to an adult child of complex trauma… to be without judgment or shame.
Specific Issue(s) I'm Skilled at Helping With
Not only can I help with depression, anxiety, and trauma I am also a small business consultant. Working in several non-profit leadership positions I noticed businesses also had some of the same concerns as my private practice clients did? Frustration, a lack of direction, and sometimes, straight up chaoz! I returned to study organizations because I saw a need for assisting leaders, business owners, and teams thrive and navigate the challenges organizations face. As a result I earned a Ph.D. in Organizational Development (It's like a counselor for businesses and leaders) from Benedictine University in 2021. Small Business and leadership coaching is another passion of mine.
How My Own Struggles Made Me a Better Therapist
As a child growing up I struggled in school a lot, particularly with spelling, grammar, and math. Despite the struggle I wanted to be a Meteorologist! However, I wasn't given the opportunities because how could I be a Meteorologist if I can't spell or do complex math?? It was really frustrating not knowing how to move past these limitations. Teachers were so focused on my weaknesses that they were not able to see how to bring out my strengths. This created feelings of not good enough, shame, and a lack of confidence. I often felt trapped.
Luckily, I had some really great people enter my life including a high school teacher, a leadership mentor, and a great supervisor. They were able to teach me how to identify and tap into my strengths. That is when I learned non-judgemental support allowed me to accept what I had been fighting against for so long. These supportive relationships allowed me to accept myself as I am. Acceptance gave me back my freedom and allowed me to move towards my values.
It wasn't easy learning how to accept my shortcomings and often embarrassing. I experienced anxiety anytime I had to write a paper or even present in front of people with a powerpoint in fear I was going to have spelling or grammar mistakes. Writing a professional email dread, I felt shame when teachers and professors would point out my errors.
Turns out...I have dyslexia...Who knew?! I didn't find this out until I was an adult. So I went a long time struggling with ?Am I good enough? thoughts. It was then when I accepted that while I am really horrible at spelling and grammar, I have relentless perseverance, otherwise known as resiliency.
My experience of living with dyslexia and a close family member?s recovery from alcohol led me to what I am most passionate about: working with people to help them reconnect to who they were meant to be. I love working with people to navigate the challenges of life focusing on adult survivors of childhood abuse, by teaching them how to move past the hurt into a more stable and peaceful experience with confidence.