I particularly enjoy working with children and teens whose behaviors and big feelings have gotten them into all sorts of trouble!
Often when families find their way to my office, they are tired and worn out. They’ve been struggling so long that they are losing hope. I use an intervention called Collaborative Problem Solving to help families reconnect, figure out what’s getting in their way and work together to resolve problems. Our first goal is to build a partnership between parents and children that unites them in improving their relationship and creating positive change.
Learning new skills is hard work but rewarding when you and your child are on the same team!
I received a MA in Counseling Psychology at Lewis and Clark College in 2005. My coursework emphasized development throughout the lifespan, the diagnosis and treatment of children and adults, group dynamics and family therapy. I have training and experience in cognitive behavioral, brief solution-focused, motivational interviewing and narrative therapies. I also use Collaborative Problem Solving in addressing behavioral and communication issues. As a Licensed Professional Counselor with the Oregon Board, I participate in continuing education as well as clinical consultation with other professionals in the field.
My undergraduate work was in secondary education and I spent several years teaching high school before enrolling in the Counseling Psychology program at Lewis and Clark College. In addition to teaching, I have worked in a residential treatment center and a community mental health agency. I am also a mother to two children my own.
I offer a range of services to meet clients’ needs. They include:
If you’re new to counseling, you might have questions about what happens in a session! We’ll get started by getting to know each other, identifying your goals and deciding together whether I am a “good fit” for your needs. The number one contributor to counseling success is the quality of the relationship between therapist and client. It’s important that you feel comfortable with me and that I provide a safe and supportive environment for you to take risks and make changes.
I reassure my young clients that coming to see me is NOT like seeing a doctor. We will talk and play and sometimes create art together as we get to know each other. At the initial appointment, it is important that a parent or caregiver be present both to ease any anxiety the child may feel meeting a new person and to answer questions about the current concerns. We’ll decide together what form of therapy will be most beneficial for the child and family.
In short, all ages! When working with young children, my preference is to work with the family. I view my work with families from a systemic perspective. Young children have very little power to impact change in their environments. If sustainable change is to occur, they need the active support of the adults in their lives. As children get older and grow more independent, they are better prepared to work with a therapist one-on-one in addition to family therapy or consultations.
It is common for teens to want to address their concerns without their parents present. I encourage teens and parents to attend our first appointment together so that we can discuss important confidentiality issues as well as my policies/fee structure. A goal of treatment will be to involve you in future sessions or in family consultation.
Absolutely! It is a great pleasure to work with adults who are seeking positive change in their relationships, mental or emotional health or personal growth. My work with adults is insight and talk orientated; however, it remains a creative collaboration driven by your goals and needs.