I was born and raised in Rockford Illinois. I am the first member of my family to attend college and receive a graduate degree. I received my bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Sciences with an emphasis in Family Social Services with a minor in Psychology at Northern Illinois University. I went on to receive my master’s degree in Applied Human Development and Family Sciences with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy at Northern Illinois University in 2022. I have completed a certificate in Trauma-Informed Counseling received at NIU. While completing my education, I worked in homeless shelters helping families meet their basic needs, seek employment, and build literacy skills. I also worked with senior citizens on improving their social skills and interactions with other members of their community while meeting their direct needs. These experiences contributed to my interest in becoming a therapist and assisting couples, families, and individuals on their path to healing and management of their issues.
As a marriage and family therapist I work with a plethora of different dynamics. Couples, families, teens, children, and individuals dealing with a variety of issues such as abuse, marital discord, grief, anxiety, depression, men’s issues, etc. As a Marriage and Family Therapist, I continually work to be culturally competent and work with clients of different races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and gender expressions/identities.
When I work with a client, my goal is to achieve safety, trust, and understanding. Therapy may be uncomfortable and nerve-wracking in the beginning and my goal is to understand my client’s unease in therapy. Once we have established and addressed these core principles, I push my clients to become aware of dynamics, behaviors, and responses in their everyday lives. I also believe a person’s past experiences influence their current behaviors and interactions. I offer a safe and warm environment to process these experiences and the emotions attached to them. In conjunction with this, refining reactions to these experiences is pivotal in healing.
My therapeutic approach will change depending upon the issue, person, and dynamics being presented in session. I use the following therapeutic orientations, including Bowen Family Systems Theory, Attachment Therapy, Structural Family Therapy, Emotion Focused Therapy, Emotion Focused Couples Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Narrative Therapy.
Areas of Specialty
I am a certified Prepare/Enrich Facilitator. This assessment tool is used to help couples build a strong foundation in their marriage by enhancing each partner’s communication and conflict resolution skills. This teamwork based approach highlights areas of growth individually while learning how to express differences within each other’s personalities. By increasing awareness of these skills, the relationship continues addressing these dynamics and couples becomes stronger together.
For couples struggling in their relationships and want to explore deeper emotional issues, I use Gottman’s Couples Therapy, Emotion Focused Couples Therapy, Bowen’s Couples Therapy. I coach and guide couples to understand how their emotions, reactions, and responses are influencing their communication. I help couples understand their unmet needs and build a bridge of connection to strengthen their relationship.
Families function as a system. Each member contributes a unique perspective and enhances the experience for all family members. While working with families, I examine their family of origin, patterns of engagement and reactions. These factors play a vital role in the health of the system. I coach and challenge each member to express their emotions and feelings about issues while coaching other family members through their responses. I provide support and understanding for each member to fully express their experiences.
Certificates and Supplemental Trainings
- PREPARE/ENRICH Facilitator
- Gottman Method Couple Therapy (Level 2)
- Trauma-Informed Counseling Certification