I was born and raised in Sycamore and have always thought of it as home, even when I lived further away. I feel very fortunate to be able to provide services in a community that I am deeply invested in. I knew from a young age that I wanted to support others in easing their suffering and emotional pain. I attended North Central College to study Psychology and then enrolled in Loyola University Chicago’s Master’s Program for Social Work. During my Master’s program, I was afforded the opportunity to expand my experience through my internships with a local VA Hospital to provide medical social work and at a Chicago-based hospital offering mental health services through an Intensive Outpatient Program. After completing my Master’s in Social Work (MSW) I pursued an opportunity to work internationally in London, England. During this time, I provided a multitude of social work services including hospital discharge, rehabilitation back into the community, coordinating care for adults to continue living independently in the community, and eventually managing a team of social workers implementing services in the community. Since emigrating back home, I have been able to focus on and utilize my clinical skills by providing services in community mental health and most recently providing psychotherapy (individual, couples, and family) in private practice.
I support adolescent and adult individuals by enhancing self-awareness of their thought patterns and actions and assist with exploring how these patterns may be interfering with them living the life they strive towards. To be of better service to my clients as well as for my own personal growth, I continue to engage in ongoing education for the latest empirically based treatment methods. Some of the therapeutic models I utilize are: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy, Psychodynamic Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, and components from other theoretical models. Additionally, I have completed my core Yoga Teacher Training through Prairie Yoga and incorporate elements from this extensive training to individuals whom are interested in complementary methods.
Areas of Specialty
I work with individuals age 14 and upwards that may be struggling with a variety of concerns including but not limited to chronic health/pain, oncology diagnosis, insomnia, women’s specific issues, relationships, life transitions, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and stress management.
I believe that our mind and body are so closely connected and interdependent, that many times the most effective form of therapy is addressing both of these in conjunction with one another. I will often explore with clients not only their thoughts and perceptions about their stresses but also look at how the physical body responds and how we may be able to have more influence on both our physical and mental body. By working with many individuals that have chronic health issues including chronic pain and/or cancer, I have seen how individuals feel defined by their health condition and continue to weaken both physically and mentally. My goal in working with individuals in this particular population is to listen to their concerns, begin to build acceptance of the changes, provide practical coping tools, and provide a sense of hope for their future and learn to live with their illness(es). I also aim to provide guidance on positive self-care and how this can lessen the impact on their physical health and promote emotional wellness.
I have extensive experience working with women and their specific issues related to pregnancy including: infertility, post-partum depression, difficulty with bonding, struggle with balancing certain roles (i.e., being a partner, mother, employee, family member), etc. I also support women that have experiences sexual violence and/or other forms of trauma (e.g., physical, emotional, psychological, verbal). In addition to utilizing traditional methods of treatment, I also incorporate elements from trauma-informed yoga to assist individuals to feel in control of their own bodies, begin to bring awareness to their physical experiences, and begin to build a healthier relationship with themselves and their bodies.