“One of my core values is to create a caring, warm and accepting atmosphere.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I was formerly a preschool teacher though my Bachelors was in Psychology. My CEU requirements helped me learn about mental health issues of children. Other people commented on my effective counseling skills and urged me to pursue an MSW. Having an interest in children and families I became interested in the effects of divorce after my own divorce. I have worked in an outpatient clinic for 14 years which allowed me to interact with clients exhibiting a variety of presenting problems. I am constantly updating my knowledge and currently pursuing an Advanced Clinical Degree at Boston College in Children and Families.
What should someone know about working with you?
My intake process includes both the present and the past. I assess holistically including medical history, family history, history of the presenting problem and former mental health treatment. I generally urge clients to take action on steps towards goals and provide accountability. Further problem solving may be necessary if obstacles to achievement are discovered. Progress is indicated when clients feel increasingly able to manage without continued guidance. I enjoy families: children, mothers with children, divorcing families, reunification, adoption, and foster children. I also enjoy Christian faith based counseling as an adjunct to traditional clinical treatment.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
I continue to be interested in how the mental health field is creating more opportunities to engage children. I just completed the Mass. CBHI Assessment course. I recently took a play therapy course and am scheduled to take both a motivational interviewing and a narrative therapy course for children (all at Boston College). Each provider I interact with has their own unique wealth of information, and I listen carefully, take notes, and further pursue ideas that would help me be a better clinician.
How do your core values shape your approach to therapy?
One of my core values is to create a caring, warm and accepting atmosphere. As the oldest of 4 children with a mother who had both medical and mental health issues I understand the impact problems in the family of origin can have on a child’s sense of safety. I did foster care with my first husband when my daughter was young. I wanted to provide the kind of loving environment I wanted as I grew up. I went through a divorce when my daughter was 16. I remember how difficult it was for her and that has fueled my desire to help other children of divorce. I remarried and we fostered a teen whom we then adopted when she was in high school. I pursued counseling as a second career late in life and supported my husband as he moved from the corporate world to becoming a minister. I recognized the role that faith played in my ability to weather adversity and celebrate blessings and added a second major in order to learn how to guide others to use their faith in difficult times.
“I recognized the role that faith played in my ability to weather adversity and celebrate blessings and added a second major in order to learn how to guide others to use their faith in difficult times.”