I was raised in St. Charles, Illinois. I went to undergraduate school at Eastern Illinois University where I developed a love and greater understanding of the field of psychology. While at Eastern, I was able to experience working with individuals with severe mental illness at a local community health center. I also studied abroad in Maastricht, Netherlands and eight neighboring countries where I developed an interest in multiculturalism and diversity. I attended Argosy University/ Illinois School of Professional Psychology where I received my Master of Arts and Doctorate degrees. While in graduate school, I focused my attention in the field of clinical psychology with a specialty in health psychology. During these training experiences, I worked with various populations and a variety of settings.
My training and job experiences prepared me not only for my work as a clinical psychologist, but also as a business owner and Executive Director. In October of 2009, my husband and I proudly opened the doors to LivingRite, The Center for Behavioral Health. Since our start we have more than tripled our size, and expanded our services to fit the needs of the community. Every year we hope to continue serving needs of this community by increasing the quantity and quality of services that we offer. As a Clinical Psychologist, I am trained in numerous therapeutic orientations. These approaches include: Psychodynamic Therapy, CBT, EMDR, Relational Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy and many others. This wide variety of training experiences enables me to tailor my treatment approach specifically to my client’s situation, increasing their likelihood of having a successful outcome.
We all experience periods of distress in our lives that can fluctuate between intense grief and suffering to slight sadness and agitation. Regardless of the stressor, I believe that we all could benefit from therapy services at one point or another. When approaching individuals in therapy, I tend to remind them of this and help them to feel safe and comfortable in the therapeutic process. Once we establish this trust, we can move forward with therapeutic interventions that would benefit each individual. I work with individuals ages 18-65 on many different areas including relationship struggles, grief/loss, abuse, stress reduction, trauma, depression, cancer, chronic illness and chronic pain.
Areas of Specialty
One area that I have a strong emphasis is the area of health psychology, where I have spent most of my graduate training experiences. I have vast experiences treating individuals with cancer, their families and their friends. The cancer experience is a journey of many ups and downs and having someone to help guide you through it can help tremendously. I feel it is truly a gift to be able to help people adjust to this very difficult time, and I see it as my obligation to help them learn the necessary skills that will ease the struggles that naturally occur. My work in the world of psychosocial oncology includes two years of training experiences. Since this time, I have expanded my work in health psychology to include experience with chronic pain, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), stroke, lupus, myasthenia gravis, fibromyalgia, IBS, Interstitial Cystitis (IC), pregnancy, infertility, still birth, pelvic floor pain, and other gynecological diseases and disorders.
Major Depression can occur for many different reasons including (but are not limited to) untreated trauma histories, recent loss or serious life changes, chemical imbalances, dietary/nutrition deficiencies, seasonal changes, past or current environmental experiences, genetic or biological influences, or as a consequence of substance abuse or dependency. I used the combination of Interpersonal Therapy (IPT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Psychodynamic Therapy techniques depending on the individual’s etiology of the depression symptoms, biopsychosocial factors and individual history. I find the combination of therapeutic interventions tends to treat depression very effectively leaving less likelihood of recurrence of symptoms.
PTSD and Trauma
When treating trauma I use the therapeutic approach known as EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). EMDR is an empirically validated treatment approach that treats trauma very quickly and effectively. As a level 1 and 2 EMDR certified therapist, I continue to be amazed at the results of using this technique in treatment trauma and PTSD.
Postpartum Depression, Still Births, Infertility, Multiple Miscarriages, Pelvic and Sexual Disorders
Following my work in a behavioral health department of a large OB/GYN’s office, I found an continued interest in working with female disorders including loss, fertility and postpartum depression. Women’s issues are very common yet there are very few psychotherapists that have widespread experience working exclusively with such conditions. When treating women dealing with these presenting issues, I tend to use a variety of evidence based psychotherapy
techniques. The therapy is tailored specifically for each woman based on her history, biology, current situation, and goals.
Certifications & Training
– EMDR Training, Chicago, IL
– EMDR Psychotherapist Trained in Level 1 & 2