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 all improve our lives with the help of an understanding, compassionate and wise listener. When using a professional making sure that the person is licensed and has good credentials is a must and should be easy for the therapist to provide. Feeling comfortable talking and spending time with the therapist is very important as building trust is the beginning of the therapeutic relationship. This is a special and unique relationship where you are the center of attention. 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 instead of your own worst enemy. Sometimes our old patterns keep us down and we need someone to help us find a new direction.
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, 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, so that I can be most helpful. I ask questions, offer observations, get clarification and verbalize what I believe what you are experiencing to see if I have a correct understanding of your experience. This can be an opportunity for shared ideas and can bring awareness to a new way of looking at a situation.
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. There are lots of options available to use, but it always the client that decides what they are open to. You will never feel pressured to try something you are unsure or uncomfortable with.