“My kind of client is one who is willing to do the work to help themselves with any issue that is making their life more difficult than it should be.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
For over 20 years, I worked in customer service before I completed my master's degree in counseling at Capella University. While working in customer service, I learned quite a few coping skills that helped me deal with anger, depression, and anxiety. These coping skills along with several years of education in human emotions have given me the skills to help my clients today with a variety of challenges. I have worked in two different group practices, one of which dealt with clients who had been hurt on the job and one geared toward clients who experienced anxiety, anger, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, eating disorders, and relationship struggles. I have worked with clients who have had schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder. I am ready to help any client who wants to work on whatever is keeping them from experiencing their best life.
What should someone know about working with you?
My intake process is pretty simple: The client and I have a conversation and together, we fill out the intake paperwork. My kind of client is one who is willing to do the work to help themselves with any issue that is making their life more difficult than it should be. I assign homework because I want the client to take what we have talked about in the session and apply it to their lives outside of the session. It is easy to remember all we have talked about in the session but not so much once you are out of the session and homework helps with this. My idea of progress for the client is when whatever coping skill the client is learning actually works in everyday life and gives the client some relief from their problem.
How do your core values shape your approach to therapy?
I grew up in a chaotic household. My mother was diagnosed with what used to be called manic/depressive disease and is now bipolar disorder. My mother was always extremely happy (manic) or extremely depressed; there was never an in-between. My mother never went to a therapist to learn how to coexist with her disease and the mental health medications back then did not seem to work. I watched my mother get dismissed because her symptoms were so severe she could not verbalize what her symptoms did to her. She could only use rage or severe depression as a means of communication. I grew up knowing I wanted to help people with mental health problems learn how to work with their problems instead of against them. I knew I wanted to teach people healthy coping skills as well as educate people on the latest treatments. As a therapist, I listen to my clients.
“My idea of progress for the client is when whatever coping skill the client is learning actually works in everyday life and gives the client some relief from their problem.”