Professional training and experience
I have worked in social services and health care settings for nearly 20 years. As I worked with clients, I became interested in learning what created resilience in one person compared with others who had experienced a similar challenge or trauma. I wanted to learn more about how to gain strength from adversity, and discover the strengths and gifts within.
I initially worked in patient education and advocacy, helping patients learn the skills necessary to cope with chronic illness and life challenges. During that time I was a single parent earning my Masters in Social Work at the University of Washington. My internships involved advocacy and support for women in transition from homelessness, as well as for veterans with post-traumatic stress and addiction. After, I was a Behavioral Health Specialist in primary care clinic settings. There, I collaborated with doctors to address mental health challenges among stressed technology workers, patients with new diagnoses or chronic health problems, and families with eldercare responsibilities. I also served as a Wellness Counselor for residents and fellows in medical training with life stressors including patient emergencies, rotating shifts, career dilemmas, parenting challenges, long-distance relationships, and family issues. Currently I’m full-time in private practice, where I can provide the deeper therapy services that are often necessary to create more permanent positive changes for my clients.
Because of my social work training , I view clients through a social justice lens, inside the circles of their families, political environment, work settings, communities, and support circles, I am also trained in or influenced by the following approaches:
EMDR - Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing – a kind of therapy that moves trauma that is frozen in ‘now time’ to ‘just a memory like all the others’ part of the brain and reduces triggers that cause distress.
EFT – Emotionally Focused Therapy – looks at how our early attachments to parents/guardians influence our current and future relationships
CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) – helps untangle ‘thought loops’ that prevent forward movement towards wellness and balance.
MET - Motivational Enhancement Therapy – assesses clients’ readiness to change and strengthens motivation – especially helpful for substance misuse recovery.
MBSR – Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction – Strategies to self-calm through breath and body awareness and guided imagery.
Additional specialized trainings – domestic violence survivors advocacy, mild traumatic brain injury recovery, multicultural and LGBTQ issues. I continue my education about effective therapeutic practices through professional workshops, mentorships, and activities.
I hold five credentials related to my practice:
LICSW - Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker
CCTP – Certified Clinical Trauma Professional
CMHIMP - Certified Mental Health Integrative Medicine Provider
SUDP – Substance Use Disorder Professional
MAC – Master Addiction Counselor
Clinical Social Workers Association – Washington State and National
Seattle Counseling Association
About me – what brought me to this work
I love helping others heal and become empowered and whole. I have seen how a simple intervention can change people’s lives for the better.
A lifelong learner, I have continued to seek ways to access our inner wisdom and optimal health. Studies have included philosophy, meditation, energy healing, earth-centered spirituality, shamanism, journaling, storytelling, plant medicine, and nutrition.
Throughout my life, I have navigated many of life’s changes. I have returned to college mid-life, changed careers, married, divorced, raised a daughter. I have worked as a journalist, author, organic farmer, advocate, and community organizer. I bring all my life experience and professional training to my work with my clients.
In my leisure time, I enjoy spending time out in Nature, growing organic food and flowers, visiting with my friends and family, listening to music, yoga, and watching films.