My Approach to Helping
I understand dealing with tough times. Getting help at the right time can keep a rough patch from becoming a long-term problem. Whether you are dealing with loneliness, depression, anxiety, relationship issues, drug /alcohol problems, sexual compulsivity or coming out, having a professional to help guide and support you along the way can make the growing easier.
Counseling is a collaborative experience. Making the decision to begin therapy can be scary, overwhelming or exciting and cathartic. I respect that decision. My job as your therapist is to create a safe place for you to be real, share your vulnerabilities and work with you to create a congruency between your feelings, thinking and behavior. When those three parts of self are in alignment, your potential for happiness and self awareness increase.
Together, we will work to build on your strengths and achieve life goals. I value and honor the relationship between therapist and client, and uphold the highest ethical and legal obligations within each relationship.
More Info About My Practice
I have been working as a psychotherapist, administrator, educator/trainer for over 25 years. In addition, I have worked with the Dane County District Attorney's Office, Crime Response Team, helping victims and witnesses of violent and traumatic crimes. I am licensed to practice in Illinois, Michigan, Texas and Wisconsin and am available video therapy to residents of those states.
I am a certified facilitator (CDWF) of The Daring Way and Rising Strong processes, powerful work pioneered by Brene Brown, which focuses on healing shame, understanding vulnerability and living a whole-hearted life. I facilitate individual sessions and workshops with this new, groundbreaking curriculum.
I am a certified facilitator of Couple Communication Skills, Collaborative Team Skills and THRIVE Sphere (a couple communication assessment tool) through Interpersonal Communication Programs.
What I Love about Being a Psychotherapist
Becoming a therapist, for me, was a very organic and natural decision. I think the experience of sharing your most personal thoughts and feelings to someone you don't know is incredibly courageous, and I am humbled each time a new client walks into my office for this process.
Because I believe most of the answers are within the client, I see my job as a navigator, a safe harbor, a place to put everything on the table without judgement. Being able to explore the issue with me allows you to experience vulnerability and curiosity. I love when a client has an 'aha' moment and experiences something new within their feeling, thinking or behavior that impoves the quality of their life.
Passion, for me, is about experiencing the client as they are and allowing them the safety, comfort and guidance to step closer to that ideal self while still embracing their humanness. For some, the process of understanding happens quickly and for others it may slowly trickle out. There is no "right" way to do therapy. It is a process of which you are in control and I am the guide.
On the Fence About Going to Therapy?
Remember you are a consumer buying a service. If you have ambivalence, empower yourself with basic information about your clinician and don't be afraid to ask questions before you walk into the office about what the process might look like.
Ask yourself what the ambivalence might be about. Fear? Resistance? Anger? Embarrassment? Simply understanding the ambivalence may help dissipate it's power.
You may start therapy and see it isn't for you. That is OK, too. If you are ready for it, the part of you that is seeking change will be stronger than the part of you that is resistant. If you stop, this is simply a part of your life journey.
My goal is to help you feel better. Hopefully, you can feel safe enough to talk about the ambivalence with your clinician and the clinician can help you explore it without judgement and simply be curious about it. When we are curious, rather than judgemental, we can truly grow and learn.