I absolutely love being a therapist! I am so grateful to have the opportunity to help my clients have happier, more fulfilling relationships and living the lives that they desire! Anyone who knows me will easily tell you love and relationships are my favorite topics to discuss! But, just having a passion for this isn’t enough to effectively help you. Below I’ve included how I am also qualified through my training to help you:
My education, licenses, and certifications:
I hold a Masters Degree in Family Therapy from Northeastern Illinois University and a Bachelors Degree in Rehabilitation Services and a Minor in Music from Penn State University. I am dually licensed as an LMFT (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist) and an LCPC (Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor). I am board certified as an NCC (Nationally Certified Counselor) through the National Board for Certified Counselors.
I am certified in Prepare/Enrich , where I can work with couples seeking pre-marital counseling. Within the Prepare/Enrich model, I am able to work with couples from a standard approach or a biblical or Catholic approach. I have also attended Levels 1 and 2 of clinical training in Gottman Method Couples Counseling, which is an evidence and research based approach on what makes relationships work.
My Style and Approach:
My style is more conversational and collaborative in my work with clients. Although I have training in being a therapist and on what makes relationships work, my stance is that my clients are the experts on their lives. We will work together, through the lens of my training and your life experiences, to create treatment goals to help you live the life you desire. I don’t decide what you will be working on, it is a collaborative effort.
I see therapy as a way to promote self-awareness, growth, and change in a safe and comfortable environment. It is not a place to simply vent about life problems, but instead figure out how and why you are affected by your life problems and what you can do about it.
I also believe “therapy” is what takes place outside of the session and I work with my clients on identifying skills they can practice in between our meetings, “therapy homework”, as the implementation of the skills is where change happens. At the end of the day, the change that happens in your day to day life is much more important than what we discuss one hour per week in the office.
Some of you may want to know what counseling models I use. Many of the theoretical orientations you will find me gravitating towards in our work together include: CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy), Solution Focused, Strategic Therapy, Psychodynamic Theory, Emotionally Focused Therapy, a variety of Family Therapy methods, Attachment Theory, and Gottman Method for Couples Counseling. The theories that guide my work are different for each client and each situation. I don’t like to stick to just one theoretical orientation as I don’t believe just one is effective at all times.
I often use assessment tools such as the comprehensive Gottman Relationship Check-up and The 5 Love Languages in my work with couples. The 5 love languages is based on understanding how you and your partner receive love. We often show love based on how we like to receive it, but imagine the difference when showing love based on how your partner likes to receive it.
I have worked in the mental health field since 2000, have worked with couples since 2011, and have been providing clinical supervision since 2014. My work began as a case manager with adults who were diagnosed with a severe and persistent mental illness. I enjoyed this work so much, which is what inspired me to attain a masters degree to be able to provide therapy, which I received in 2011. Throughout my work history, I’ve worked with children, adolescents, adults, individuals, couples, and families. I’ve worked in settings including outpatient day programs, residential settings, community outpatient mental health centers, private practice settings, and in an emergency room. I’ve had roles including clinical case manager, group facilitator, crisis worker, psychotherapist, supervisor, and clinical director. I’ve worked with people with severe and persistent mental illnesses through those coping with abuse or trauma, through those who are struggling to adjust to a new life situation.
In addition to my current work in private practice at PeoplePsych, I also provide online therapy through Talkspace. I also mentor and supervise new therapists who have just attained their masters degree to help them provide more effective therapy while they work towards obtaining their license.
I am a Clinical Fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) and a member of the Illinois Affiliation of Marriage and Family Therapy (IAMFT).