As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, I feel so fortunate to have chosen this field and so privileged to help people understand the journey that brought them where they are today. To teach people to accept and nurture their own painful emotions and learn new skills to cope with life's challenges is a beautiful opportunity! I believe that therapy, in its' truest form, is really about providing compassionate support and guidance so that people can have a safe place to explore and express their deepest thoughts and emotions. Sometimes people just need a quiet, accepting space in which to develop a plan for moving forward and making changes happen. It is from this strength based philosophy that my journey as a therapist began.
Early in my career, I received training in attachment based child and family therapies, from which I still draw incredible inspiration today. Having a foundation of knowledge regarding the development of the brain and the important aspects of bonding and social learning from the beginning of the life span allows me to have a broader perspective regarding each person's presenting concerns or struggles. During my previous experience as a supervisor and program manager, I had the opportunity to develop community based suicide prevention and intervention programs as well as training programs for new therapists. I still enjoy giving trainings and being involved in community systems as much as possible. In the past decade, I have managed programs serving individuals experiencing the entire continuum of challenges from those who were dealing with low level stress and anxiety to those coping with life threatening mental health conditions.
It was in my position as a manager of a busy, impacted crisis department that I received intensive training in the evidenced based model, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). To me, DBT is an ideology created by clinician and researcher, Marsha Linehan, PhD that combines cognitive behavioral foundations with skill sets for acceptance, change and mindfulness. I am a firm believer that DBT skills can be a positive, life changing learning experience for individuals struggling with emotional dis-regulation caused by Depression, Anxiety, Eating Disorders, Addiction or numerous other life stressors. I also feel that the concepts of DBT are applicable to even 'normal' stressors as tools for coping effectively. I feel that therapy can be the right choice for anyone who is ready for a change in their life. As we all know, skills for changing your life sound simple but they aren't easy, so getting emotional support is key to moving forward.