I grew up in Sugar Gove and it was during high school that I discovered my passion for Psychology. I’ve always had a deep sense of empathy and a strong desire to help others, which is what led me to pursue a career as a mental health therapist. I earned my undergraduate degree from Rockford University where I majored in Psychology and minored in Human Development. After graduation, I started working at a local treatment facility that provided residential addiction treatment services. It was during my time there that I realized becoming a therapist was not only my chosen career path, but that addiction treatment was what I wanted to specialize in.
After two years of working in the addiction treatment field, I earned my certification as an alcohol and other drug counselor (CADC). I then went on to work for eight more years at a community mental health agency that provided intensive outpatient treatment. I assisted with the growth and expansion of the addiction treatment program, allowing for more services to become available and increase the population of clients served. During this time, I also completed my Master of Science in Education with an emphasis on clinical mental health counseling through Northern Illinois University.
Throughout my career, I’ve helped many individuals struggling with addiction and other mental health issues. I understand that addiction is a complex battle to overcome, however I’m passionate about helping people discover the root cause of their problems to ensure long-term healing and recovery. I believe that everyone has the strength to overcome their challenges and I’m committed to helping people achieve their goals.
In therapy, I meet each client where they are at with a person-centered, non-judgmental approach. I understand therapy is a difficult journey to embark upon. I tend to use a combination of therapeutic techniques depending on the needs of each individual client I serve. For those that would like to explore their past, I use a psychodynamic approach and assist them in identifying how situations, beliefs, or emotions from their past are impacting them in the present. This allows for an increased sense of freedom and power in their present situations. Others may prefer a more skills-based approach, in which I will use Dialectical Behavior therapy to assist in their ability to stop unhealthy and unhelpful behaviors.
Areas of Specialty
I specialize in working with adolescents and adults between the ages of 13-70 who are dealing with addiction issues. Addiction can be a big challenge. This is especially true when it is accompanied by other mental health problems like depression, anxiety, trauma, and more. I have experience working with individuals that have struggled with both chemical addiction as well as process addictions. I use both an abstinence (stopping completely) or a harm reduction (slowly stopping, or decreasing use) approach, depending on many factors to determine what is healthiest for each individual.
When someone has a chemical addiction, it means they are repeatedly using too much drugs or alcohol that results in making life harder. I have worked with people that have had trouble with a wide range of substance use disorders including alcohol, marijuana, heroin and other opiates, benzodiazepines, and more. Our society is currently experiencing an opioid epidemic and the rise of fentanyl use is highly concerning. No matter what the path was the led someone on the road to addiction, I’m here to help you. Together, we can work towards a healthier and happier version of you.
Process Addiction is a repeated behavior that is making your life harder. I have experience working with individuals that struggle with gambling disorders. Gambling and other process addictions can be challenging as they are typically socially acceptable behaviors. However, when they start to negatively impact your life either socially, financially, or emotionally it can be helpful to seek treatment and guidance.
CADC – Certified Alcohol and other Drug Counselor