I graduated from the University of Washington, Magna Cum Laude, with a Bachelor Degree (1992) and a Master’s degree (1994). I’m a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, a Child Mental Health Specialist and an Eating Disorder Specialist. In addition to Social Work, I has extensive training in psychology and child development. I’ve worked in non-profit agencies and hospital settings for many years before going into private practice in 2005.
I am a member of the National Association of Eating Disorders and the National Association of Social Workers.
My belief is that we can improve our lives with the help of an understanding, compassionate and wise listener who can provide feedback and make suggestions. I enjoy helping people develop their personal growth and to gain understanding of all the different parts of themselves. I am empathic, supportive and look to people’s strengths that have helped them get this far.
In my office you are offered an emotionally safe space in which to explore inner thoughts, feelings and behaviors and the consequences of those behaviors, either good or bad. Therapy is an unfolding process where you can shed old hurts and habits, move beyond negative self-talk and develop a personal relationship where you are your own best friend. Sometimes our old patterns keep us down, and we need someone to help us find a new direction. Therapy can provide relief but is not easy, and there are no promises or guarantees in this work.
My background in psychology has lent me many therapeutics orientations in which to work. I incorporate the use of Narrative Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Transactional Analysis, Internal Family Systems and Developmental psychology approaches among others. I interweave the educational components with intuition born of many years of experience.
I tend to be interactive with clients. I want to get to know and understand you. I ask questions, offer observations, get clarification and verbalize what I believe you are experiencing to see if I have a correct understanding. This can be an opportunity for shared ideas and can bring awareness to a new way of looking at a situation and ways to release pain.
I like to use imagery and metaphor to conceptualize and make concrete the often elusive nature of emotions. If we feel it, then we need to find a way to express it. There is no one way of healing. Some clients benefit from doing Inner-Child Dialog work, using a journal to track thoughts, feelings and behaviors that address anxiety, depression, disordered eating patterns or parenting challenges. Writing, drawing and other art forms can help express what talking does not.
I have a lot of games, wooden puzzles, cards, puppets and a variety of other things to play with. It is through play that children can find a voice, gain trust and learn about how their thoughts and feelings lead to actions, especially around frustration tolerance.
There are lots of options available , but it is always the client that decides what they are open to. You will never feel pressured to try something you are unsure of or uncomfortable with.