I grew up in a small town outside Sycamore, and continue to reside in the same community. I attended Northern Illinois University where I received my Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Development and Family Sciences with an emphasis in Family Social Services. During my undergraduate, I volunteered and interned for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) in Winnebago County which led me to finding my passion. As a CASA, I was able to listen to what the children wanted, and be a voice for the when they felt they did not have one, or were not strong enough. After seeing the interworking of families, and the lack of help but desire to change, it led me to find my passion for working with families, individuals and couples. I returned to NIU to receive my Master’s Degree in Applied Family and Child Studies with a Specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy. During my time obtaining my master’s degree, I also completed additional training in the Gottman Method of Therapy, Prepare and Enrich for couples, and had the opportunity to be a teacher’s assistant at the Northern Illinois University. I worked alongside a professor, who was also an LMFT researching the effects of secondary trauma onto a relationship and family.
I have had a wide span of experiences providing therapy throughout my career. I have experience providing therapy at a psychiatric hospital, working with a chronically mentally ill and high-risk adolescents and adults, and collaborating with a treatment team. I also have provided therapy to individuals and families whom are a part of DCFS, and working alongside the State of Illinois. I have worked with several adolescent, individuals, couples and families throughout my experiences.
I am a firm believer that therapy should be a collaboration between the therapist and the clients to help foster change. With much compassion and understanding, I work with clients to facilitate healing and growth, grounded in a desire to empower others to achieve their goals. I take a non-judgmental stance, and provide compassion and understanding in the collaboration in the therapeutic relationship. As a LMFT, I have had a lot of training and experience with working with multiple clients in a session, as well as a variety of concerns and issues. It is my hope that each client feels validated and supported through their journey of growth and change.
When working and viewing clients, I look at presenting issues, family dynamics, relationships with a systemic and structural approach. I feel that gaining a better understanding of the innerworkings helps to facilitate and help foster growth. I also implement the following therapeutic approaches: Bowens Family Systems Theory, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Gottman Method Couples Therapy, and Emotion Focused Therapy. I find that helping the client understand themselves and finding answers to the “why,” comes from exploring their past and the impact it has and continues to have. I am a certified Prepare/Enrich Facilitator, providing an assessment tool to help couples better understand their conflicts, and their strengths.