I grew up in the Midwest, but ventured to the Pacific Northwest where I was employed in a variety of jobs within the service industry before becoming a therapist. During my time there, I worked as a cake decorator, a cosmetologist, and a nanny. While working in these jobs, I not only discovered that I love helping people, but also that my true passion was working with children. As a nanny, I realized my love of helping children with special needs and their families. This love led me to pursue my Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
Once I had earned my Bachelor’s degree, I made my way back to my midwestern home and earned my Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Northern Illinois University. During this time, 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 Child Development Lab. Working as a teacher’s assistant further increased my desire to work with children and families.
When I became a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, I had gained more experience and passion for working with clients of all types. I have learned to meet clients where they are at while helping them feel comfortable. One of my talents includes helping clients overcome apprehension and nervousness when coming for therapy—especially if it’s their first time being in therapy. I pride myself on making my clients feel comfortable enough to have open communication while feeling heard, validated, and understood.
Areas of Specialty
As a therapist, I work at viewing a client’s presenting issues through a systemic approach by continually striving to meet clients not only on an individual level but also assisting them through navigating relationships and general interactions with others. I also work on teaching family members how to be a support system to the client in need to further set them up for success in meeting their individual goals. This includes helping families with a variety of conflicts and relationship challenges. For instance, I’ve assisted clients with parent/child conflict, and I’ve offered sibling therapy to help siblings avoid rivalry and conflict while understanding one another and creating a positive relationship. Additionally, I’ve aided families that include step-parents or step-siblings, multi-generational families, and those going through a variety of life transitions such as a new addition to the family, the death of a loved one, or even a middle school student transitioning into high school.
Furthermore, I have experience working with children of families going through major life challenges such as parent separation or relocating to a new city. When working with families I utilize aspects of Structured Family Therapy, Bowen Family Systems Theory, Solution Focused Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Attachment Therapy, all of which advocate helping families reach their own personalized therapeutic goals.
Couples Counseling and Pre-Marital Counseling
While I have extensive experience working with families, I also specialize in couples’ therapy. This includes assisting couples at the beginning of their relationship through veteran couples looking to “tune-up” their relationship by decreasing conflict and improving communication. I also use Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy to encourage couples to work through and express their emotions in order to create closer bonds and stronger connections.
I am also trained as a Prepare and Enrich Facilitator to assist couples in creating a positive start in a new relationship or marriage by encouraging the understanding of one another’s expectations and personal goals while gaining insight into growth areas of the relationship and identifying strengths to build on.
Finally, I am certified in the Gottman Method of Couples Therapy (Level II) which encourages couples to get to know one another on a deeper level as well as promote productive conflict and compromise. This therapy also works to improve communication, teamwork, and intimacy.
Certificates and Supplemental Trainings