“My practice is based on the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, and solution-focused therapy to help foster awareness and change.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I have been drawn to helping others since grammar school. I have always been a good listener, with my high school friends thanking me in the yearbook for being like Ann Landers, the syndicated advice columnist. When I got to college, I was immediately drawn to social work and received my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the field. As a child and throughout my life, I had a very close relationship with my mother and grandmother, which first drew me to my love of helping the senior population. After college, I obtained my first job as a medical social worker in a large hospital district where I worked with medically and psychiatrically impaired adults and seniors. Helping others is my identity; it is who I am, both professionally and personally.
What should someone know about working with you?
My practice is based on the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, and solution-focused therapy. It emphasizes a collaborative relationship with my clients and weekly homework assignments to help facilitate self-awareness and change. I like working with older adults and other adults going through life transitions, anxiety, depression, grief, loss, and other situational stressors.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
I have always been solution-focused in my practice. In recent years, I have worked on using mindfulness to focus one's awareness on the present moment while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations and using cognitive behavioral therapy in conjunction as a therapeutic technique. I plan to become a certified-CBT therapist and I am currently researching the best credentialing authorities in the field of CBT and mindfulness. I read publications about CBT for anxiety and depression and I look for beneficial homework assignments for my clients. My social work license involves taking 30 CEU courses every two years and I focus my coursework on the areas of aging, health, anxiety, and depression.
What is an important factor in working with older adults and their families?
Autonomy over oneself is a core value in our society; a person should be able to decide how to run their own life without outside interference. Our laws allow each of us to live at great risk and make unsafe decisions as long as we maintain the capacity to understand those choices. The concept of autonomy as a basic right is challenged in the case of neurocognitive disorders, such as dementia, and causes ethical dilemmas for caregivers and professionals working with impaired adults. Many factors need to be considered when helping someone maintain autonomy while also ensuring personal safety and dignity. Some of these factors are advocacy, assisting with communication barriers, advanced directives, and person-centered, culturally-sensitive care.
“The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes. ~ Frank Lloyd Wright”