“Every experience has increased my level of compassion, my understanding, and my wanting to "be there" for those who are hurting emotionally.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
This is a second career, perhaps even a third career. I began as an accountant with a bachelor's degree in accounting. I have worked in real estate as a residential manager. I have worked as a high school math teacher, working specifically with high school boys at risk of leaving school. I have worked as a director of residence for pregnant teens. I have also worked in a residence for developmentally-delayed young adults. I have been a school social worker. In addition, I have been involved in private practice with children and adults. I have always had compassion for helping. I have always thought of the why, what, and how of a person in pain. I have worked in schools, with agencies, and in a private office. Every experience has increased my level of compassion, my understanding, and my wanting to "be there" for those who are hurting emotionally.
What should someone know about working with you?
Someone working with me should know that I am committed to working with them. I am committed to listening and not judging. I am calm, easy-going, and I have lived long enough to not be easily shocked. I have taken many, many specialized trainings. These have shaped my practice because I have had the privilege of only taking training on topics I am interested in.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
I tend to look for courses on topics in which I am interested. I am currently very interested in grief and loss, which is a very personal topic for me. My daughter and my son both died within a year of each other, and I am now the guardian of a teenaged boy and a young woman with special needs. I am also interested in trauma-focused treatments.
How do your core values shape your approach to therapy?
As an African American woman of a certain age, my core values have not changed significantly but how I think about them and how they relate to others have changed. I don't compare, and I try to understand how another person's core values have shaped them in becoming who they are today and what that means to them. Cultural sensitivity is very important to me based on who I am and the injustices that I feel African Americans have endured.
“I don't compare, and I try to understand how another person's core values have shaped them in becoming who they are today and what that means to them.”