I grew up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, with my large blended family. I earned both my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and my Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Development and Family Sciences at Northern Illinois University. While obtaining both my bachelors, I focused on a specialization in Family Social Services and a minor in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies. During my undergraduate time, my interest in working with individuals in crisis developed as I volunteered at the National Suicide Prevention Hotline and at a Domestic Violence Shelter / Sexual Assault Crisis Center. As I assisted individuals in crisis, I began to better understand how individuals are impacted by their families. The more I helped those in crisis, the more my desire grew to help individuals and their families.
I received my master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Northern Illinois University’s Applied Family & Child Studies program. During my master’s program I pursued additional training in the Gottman Method, Prepare and Enrich for couples as well as Trauma- Informed Counseling.
As a Marriage and Family Therapist, I work not only with individuals, but also with the relationships that affect them. I have used my specialized training to treat a wide range of people, including individuals, children, adolescents, parents, couples, and families. I shape my therapy approach based on my clients’ needs and what goals they would like to achieve. I believe therapy should be a collaborative effort between the client and therapist. I primarily approach therapy from the following therapeutic orientations; Attachment Therapy, Bowen Family Systems Theory, CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy, Narrative Therapy, PCIT (Parent-Child Interaction Therapy), and Structured Family Therapy. Essentially, I create a safe place for clients to better understand themselves by exploring their feelings, thoughts, behaviors, and relationships with others, with the intention of facilitating a positive change.
Areas of Specialty
Couples Counseling and Pre-Marital Counseling
I am a Certified Prepare/Enrich Facilitator. I offer the Prepare/Enrich assessment tool for couples looking to start their marriage off with a strong foundation or for couples looking for sustained relationship enrichment. 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.
For couples who are experiencing conflict within their relationship and are looking to address deep rooted conflict or alter how they communicate with one another, I apply Gottman’s Couples Therapy as well as Emotion Focused Couples therapy. I partner with couples to explore ongoing issues within their relationships, to explore their unmet needs within the relationship, to teach them how to better manage conflict, help them learn how to communicate in a way that is healthy and effective, and reconnect as partners to improve the relationship overall.
Being a Family therapist, I understand how a family’s origin and family’s patterns of behaviors impact each member of the family and the family as a whole. Together with families, I guide the exploration of relationships with one another to strengthen them. I especially have experience in aiding siblings who struggle to interact with one another without conflict. I provide a space for each sibling to feel heard and understood that allows us to address the conflict they have with one another. I also treat families who are navigating a transition or life event. I have a strong background in teaching parents ways to co-parent, supporting families as they become blended, and helping each family member adapt to new family dynamics.
As an Ally, I help individuals and their families who identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ community. I create a safe, accepting, and supportive space to navigate wherever individuals and families may be in their journey; from exploring their identity, to “coming out”, or learning how to adjust and support each other.
Certificates and Supplemental Training
- Certified Trauma Professional
- PREPARE/ENRICH Facilitator
- Gottman Method Couple Therapy (Level II Certified)
- Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Certifications
- Family Life Educator