“I believe I offer the gift of being able to see the big picture and assess need on all levels — physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
Having lost a parent at a young age to cancer, I knew as a young adult that I wanted to accompany and assist others through life challenges and have always been drawn to working in the healthcare field, specifically cancer care. I specialized in the health concentration as a graduate student and pursued work in hospitals, hospices, oncology care clinics, and integrative medical clinics. I also have experience working with a wide variety of health and mental health conditions and take an integrative approach to my work, utilizing various tools and techniques to assist my clients wherever they may be in the healing process. I believe I offer the gift of being able to see the big picture and assess need on all levels — physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. I can help navigate my clients to needed services and resources, I have a strong background and many skills related to the field of integrative medicine, and I utilize techniques of mindfulness, guided imagery, relaxation, and meditation.
What should someone know about working with you?
My personality and style exude empathy, warmth, and compassion, which allow me to build an open and trusting relationship with my clients. I have personally navigated many challenging life circumstances and utilized various healing methods on my own healing journey. I am a problem-solver and helper by nature and I utilize all the resources and skills I have to help my clients with their presenting needs. As a social worker, I am part therapist, resource specialist, advocate, educator, and care coordinator. I have studied and experienced multiple healing modalities and strongly believe in attending to the whole person. Together with my clients, we create a holistic care plan that addresses needs on a physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual level. I deeply care for my clients and am very dedicated to their wellbeing. I rejoice in watching them build on their strengths so they can better manage whatever challenges they may face.
Have you done any research-based work that you found particularly exciting? How does it inform your practice today?
I recently wrote a book for caregivers who are accompanying loved ones through cancer. My background as the breast care coordinator for Kaiser Permanente for over 12 years built the foundation for my research. I accompanied thousands of breast cancer survivors and their loved ones through the phases of diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship, working both one-on-one as well as in the support group setting. The book is a comprehensive, practical, and compassionate guide for caregivers on how to best care for themselves and their loved ones as they navigate the cancer experience. Given my decades of experience in healthcare along with my in-depth research on the topics of illness, caregiving, and bereavement, this arena has become a solid area of expertise. In addition, I strongly focus on self-care as a vehicle for healing on all levels and encourage my clients to learn tools that will help and empower them to learn and grow in their process of self-discovery.
“I can help navigate my clients to needed services and resources, I have a strong background and many skills related to the field of integrative medicine, and I utilize techniques of mindfulness, guided imagery, relaxation, and meditation.”