For as long as I can remember, I have had an interest and passion for helping others and counseling became a natural progression for me during my educational and career pursuits. Professionally I have been working in the behavioral health field for over 16 years after earning my Bachelor’s degree in psychology (with a minor in sociology) and my Master’s Degree in Counseling from Northern Illinois University. Shortly after earning my Master’s degree, I enrolled in the Addictions Studies Program at Elgin Community College and earned my certification in alcohol and drug counseling (CADC). Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to have opportunities working in many different capacities, from directing and supervising substance abuse and mental health programs (Amita Health and Northwestern Medicine) to working as a clinician in inpatient, intensive outpatient, and outpatient settings (private practice, Rosecrance, and Ecker Center for Mental Health). My experiences in the field of counseling and behavioral health treatment along with my desire to grow have led me to return to school to continue to expand my knowledge and develop my skills as a psychotherapist and supervisor. Currently I am a doctoral student at National Louis University working towards my Ed.D in counselor education and supervision. I look forward to continuing to grow professionally in order to better serve my clients and continuing to contribute meaningful research to the field.
Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor
Through clinical practice, ongoing training and education, I have acquired experiences and skills that allow me to utilize evidenced based approaches to help adults and youth who struggle with mood disorders, depression, anxiety, substance use, and other life adjustment issues. In order to better serve those I work with, I continue to seek out educational opportunities in my field, consistently improving my skills and abilities, and seeking feedback from clients in order to refine my craft. In my leadership roles, I have been able to provide clinical trainings on levels of care placement, suicide risk assessment, client-centered therapy, clinical assessment and interventions, and medically assisted treatment for the substance abuse setting.
I believe in a collaborative and empathetic approach, which allows me to develop a relationship with my clients that utilizes the latest and most effective therapeutic approaches to promote personal insights and lasting change. My approach to therapy utilizes my knowledge across a variety of clinical settings as well as my understanding of the therapeutic process in order to help facilitate personal growth. Throughout my academic and professional career, I have continued to focus on the art and science of therapy as it relates to helping my clients make meaningful and long lasting change. I believe clients have the capacity to change and see my role as a psychotherapist as one of a facilitator.
Areas of Specialty
Substance Use Disorders
I have spent a large part of my career in the field of addictions, counseling and developing evidenced based programs and curriculum for outpatient programs in Illinois (Stonybrook Center, Amita Health, Rosecrance). I have been part of local committees, conducted presentations, and spoken on panels with the aim of educating others on the importance of substance abuse treatment and best practices to utilize in treatment. In counseling, through a trauma informed lens, I seek to support clients in becoming empowered in the counseling process and to take ownership of their unique journey to recovery. Recognizing that each person has a specific set of needs, while knowing there is not just one approach that works for everyone, I work to meet clients where they are so that they may begin to make changes to their relationship with substances
Mood and Personality Disorders
Working in crisis programs, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient programs I have gained unique insight into recognizing and treating those who struggle with mood disorders, personality disorders, and psychotic episodes. Mood disorders affect one’s general emotional state and interfere with daily life activities and functioning. Symptoms of a mood disorder include extended periods of irritability, racing thoughts, loss of pleasure in regular activities, uncontrolled crying, periods of euphoric feelings (mania), restlessness, and many more. It is important to find the right diagnosis as mood disorders increase risk of suicide. Furthermore, anxiety can occur along with depression and vice versa, making it difficult at times to determine which one is the underlying cause. In therapy I utilize cognitive behavioral therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, solution focused approaches, and motivational interviewing to help impact change.
Other Areas of interest