I was born and raised in Iowa where I developed a deep appreciation for family, community and spirituality. While earning my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Iowa, I had the opportunity to do research in a Child Development lab that focused on the social-emotional dynamics between parents and children. As a volunteer, I participated in Big Brother Big Sister and was fortunate enough to help rebuild an impoverished community for families in the Dominican Republic. To support myself through college, I worked as a nanny and daycare provider which enriched my understanding of multicultural family dynamics. These unique experiences influenced me to become a Marriage and Family Therapist.
I received my Master’s degree in Applied Family and Child Studies with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy from Northern Illinois University. As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), I utilize systemic thinking, which is looking beyond an individual and observing how their surrounding environments/relationships are impacting them. I find this approach to be highly effective in therapy as it allows me to understand my clients in a more cohesive manner.
I have experience providing therapy at a community mental health facility to a wide variety of clientele, as well as at a psychiatric hospital where I worked collaboratively with a team to treat high-risk patients with chronic mental illness. I have worked with children, adolescents and adults and am trained in individual, couples, family and group therapy.
I believe that everyone is worthy of being able to share their story in a supportive, non-judgmental environment and I feel privileged to be a part of someone’s therapeutic journey. The therapeutic approaches that I utilize most often include: Bowenian/Transgenerational Therapy, Structural Therapy, Attachment Therapy, Gottman Method Couples Therapy, Internal Family Systems (IFS) and Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR). I also employ Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) when appropriate. When working with children and adolescents I often utilize expressive approaches through art, play and music. My Christian faith has been the foundation of my own personal healing; I encourage my clients to teach me about their own spiritual beliefs and practices in relation to their mental health.
Areas of Clinical Focus
My clinical focus includes, but is not limited to: anxiety, depression, complex trauma, relationship struggles in couples and families, grief/loss, self-injury, communication issues, narcissistic abuse, life transitions, parent education, low self-esteem, stress management, separation/divorce and behavior modification. I am currently the Family Specialty Team Lead.