I grew up in the Northern suburbs of Chicago. Being a first generation American coming from a Jamaican ethnic background, I was the first in my family to go college. I earned my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology, Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and a criminology certificate at Northern Illinois University in 2018. Right after undergrad I decided to pursue higher education and obtained my Masters of Science in Applied Human Development and Family Sciences with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy in 2020. During my master’s program, I became formally trained in level 1 and 2 of the Gottman Method as well as Prepare and Enrich for couples. Also during my time in graduate school, I worked at a local homeless shelter where I was able to assist families and individuals, both young and old, with adjusting to various stages of their lives while re-building relationships with others and trying to improve themselves individually. This further helped grow my love for working with others and helping be an agent to facilitate change both individually and relationally.
As a marriage and family therapist I am able to work with so many different types of clients. Whether it be couples, individuals, families, teens, etc. Being a therapist who continually strives to be multiculturally competent, I am able to work with clients of various races and ethnicities, religion and spirituality, sexual orientations, gender identity/expression, and socioeconomic status as well.
I push my clients to grow and strive to be the best version of themselves through a combination of empathy, authenticity, relatability, and directness. My empathy, transparency and humorous nature allows clients to quickly establish a therapeutic connection with me. My objective is to help my clients achieve their goals, whether independent or relational, in the most efficient way possible while feeling supported throughout the whole process. I strongly believe in validating my client’s experiences and emotions in therapy while also challenging them in order to promote growth. When working with clients I emphasize that in order for change to be made, each person must recognize that they ultimately have control of how they respond to situations. I help my clients change how they think and respond to challenging situations in order to increase their ability to connect emotionally with others. By providing a safe, warm and welcoming space for clients to be vulnerable, I help them explore and address areas of concern while also providing tools and resources to help them reach their goals.
While therapeutic style can change depending on the presenting problem and client, I generally tend to approach therapy through therapeutic orientations such as: Bowen Family Systems Theory, Attachment Therapy, CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), Solution Focused Therapy, Structured Family Therapy, Emotionally Focused Therapy and Solution Focused Therapy.
Areas of Specialty
Couples Counseling and Pre-Marital Counseling:
Prepare/Enrich is a program that is used to “identify strengths and areas of growth for the couple, strengthen communication skills, resolve conflict, and use personality differences to maximize a “teamwork” approach.” The goal of this program is to guide relationship success. As a certified Prepare/Enrich facilitator, I utilize the Prepare/Enrich assessment tool in order to help couples who are looking to enter their newfound marriage with a strong foundation or for couples who are looking to continue to maintain relationship satisfaction.
Every couple experiences conflict within their relationship, but for couples that truly struggle with frequent or deep rooted conflict, conflict resolution, communication and connection, I utilize Gottman’s Couple Therapy in conjunction with other therapeutic orientations. I collaborative work with couples and help guide them in processing any unresolved emotions that may contribute to the conflict or connection issues. I help each partner learn to be more vocal about saying what it is that they want or need, in a healthy way, while helping the other partner(s) learn to be receptive of that and work towards compromise and resolution. This can lead to better communication skills, conflict resolution, and relationship satisfaction.
Through my previous therapy work I have learned tools and methods for addressing affairs and helping the couple focus on restoring trust and forgiveness. An affair can be one of the most painful and devastating events that can happen in a relationship. Couples in this situation often find themselves stuck in a painful cycle where they are one minute pulling towards each other and then the next pushing each other away. It may feel as if there is no way to recover the relationship, however, 70 percent of couples survive an affair. I have learned a structured and action based approach that focuses solely on healing the hurt and damage done by the affair. I work closely with the couple and help identify what the betrayed partner needs from the betrayer. I help facilitate the elimination of feelings of helplessness for the betrayer by teaching him/her what they need to repair the damage their actions caused. Over time the pain starts to go away, trust and connection is restored and the couple is able to reclaim their relationship.
During my internship in graduate school I interned at a community based agency for youth ages 8-18. I was able to also obtain employment there after my internship. While interning and working there I not only saw teen clients in the agency but within the schools as well. Doing this helped provide services to those teens who could not come to the agency due to financial reasons or transportation, etc. I worked with many teens who struggled with anxiety and depression, self esteem issues, LGBTQIA+ and sexual orientation or gender identity/expression issues, parent-child relationship issues, relationship issues, school issues like bullying, sexual trauma, and life transitions (moving, parents divorcing, etc.). When working with teens I ensure that I first solidify a strong therapeutic relationship with them in order for them to feel safe and secure in the therapy room and feel that they have a person who supports them. I then work with them on the presenting issue at hand and help them process any emotions they are struggling with. I also teach them coping skills and tools that they can utilize daily in order to help aid in resolving the issue at hand.
As a Marriage and Family therapist, part of my training and education was centered specifically around families and understanding how one’s family of origin and family pattern can impact each member of the family and the family as a whole. When working with families, my role is to help facilitate exploration and conversation around family dynamics, the various relationships within the families and help strengthen the family structure. The presenting issues can range from parenting issues to boundary issues, sibling conflict to working through life transitions. I help each family member use their voice and vocalize their perspectives and then help the entire family unit understand one another’s perspective and work together to create a new healthy family dynamic.
Certificates and Supplemental Training