I hope you find the information you need on my website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I see clients on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. I do have limited evening appointment times, so please email or call for availability.
As a psychotherapist I believe in working in partnership with clients to help heal in the fastest, least stressful way possible.
- MA in Applied Behavioral Science and Organizational Development, 1985
- Certified Marriage and Family Therapist, 1992
- Trained in many Mind and Body Modalities, 1994-2010
- Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, 2000
- Diplomate in Comprehensive Energy Psychology, 2010
- Supervisor in Training in Energy Psychology 2015
I received my master’s degree in applied behavioral science and organizational development in 1985. This taught me skills in communication, conflict resolution, and behavior management to help both individuals and organizations function better. These skills are vital in everyday life and for how we take care of ourselves or interact with others.
As I worked with clients, I saw there were patterns in our interactions, especially in families, groups, or organizations. I decided to train in Family Systems. In 1992 I finished training in marriage and family therapy and became certified. This was a 2,000-hour process of learning about systems and how to make change within them, supervision of the work with clients (both live and from notes), as well as passing the state exam. The state moved to licensing marriage and family therapists in 2000, and that is the license I hold.
This training was so helpful in understanding how to help someone within his or her family system. You can change one person’s behavior, and it will affect everyone in the family, group, or organization. When you can see the pattern of interaction and what it does, both in helpful and not helpful ways, it’s so much easier to make a change that lasts. You can manage the “change back” messages you get from family members or coworkers. You can also help others in the system to change for the better. Family patterns are very powerful for all of us and have a huge impact on our relationships.
When I first became a therapist, I worked with people who had strokes and their family members at Evergreen Stroke Association. I worked in a post-hospital rehab program. Most doctors said that those with a stroke would never change, would never recover. I saw those who had a stroke continue to learn (or relearn) for two or three years after the stroke. A different part of their brain took on the capacity they had lost with the stroke. I began to believe that the brain is incredible and it can find ways around damaged areas to access past learning or form new learning. This led me to look at other ways to help people in therapy besides only talking. In 1994, I began to explore mind and body modalities that had the brain and body working together to make the changes clients wanted to make.
I first trained in eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), which uses eye movement (and now tapping and sound on each side of the body) to help people process trauma faster. Research showed that it worked well for those with PTSD. I found that it worked well for some people and for others it did not. I also found that it was still a fairly slow way to work that seemed to re-traumatize some people as they went through the trauma step by step to clear it. So I decided to train in thought field therapy (TFT). TFT uses tapping on meridian points (some of the same points used in acupuncture) while keeping in mind the trauma you wish to clear. Often people were able to process a memory in one session. That allowed for faster shifts that weren’t as re-traumatizing. This modality seemed to work well for those clients who didn’t have success with EMDR.
As my practice grew, I found myself working with many people who had been severely abused or neglected as children and had more difficulty functioning well in society. I found that TFT was helpful but it was not enough. So I trained in educational and developmental kinesiology (Edu-K). This method draws from psychology, kinesiology, acupressure, and education. It works with the energy meridians of the body in various ways. It also uses body and eye movement, affirmations, music, and a variety of other methods to help balance a person’s system to function to the best of his or her ability. I found this modality to help a broader population. It works really well with children and adults who have learning disabilities, ADD/HD and Autism/Asperger’s Syndrome and related issues.
As part of Edu-K, there was training in Touch for Health. It utilizes the energy meridian systems to help balance the energy of the organs in the body for optimal health. This is especially good for those who have health issues, including cancer. In my experience, it helps people move through chemotherapy and radiation with less negative impact on their body.
Again I found myself going deeper and looking at where our patterns really begin and why some people still struggled to heal. I trained in prenatal and perinatal shock and trauma. Honestly, I didn’t believe all our patterns start from the moment of conception through the first year of life. As I did my own healing, I became a believer. All of our reflexes are developed in the womb through the first year of life. They need to be developed and integrated, and many turned off until they are needed. Clearing shock and trauma from those times in our life allows our brain and body to function as they should. They allow us to be the most positive, highest-functioning people that we can be! Being able to identify when we go into shock and being able to pull ourselves out of it is so helpful. Have you ever felt the fight or flight response come up for you like when a door slams unexpectedly and you jump? Or perhaps you go into being as quiet as you can be. Those are both shock responses, and you can learn how to recognize, manage, and clear those responses quickly. With a combination of modalities, you can heal many of the issues you deal with.
In 2010, I finished training in emotional freedom technique (EFT) and comprehensive energy psychology (CEP) and became a Diplomate of Comprehensive Energy Psychology. CEP is very similar to thought field therapy, but it focuses first on clearing any objections to the change you wish to make. Again this allows for change that is quicker than through more traditional methods because you aren’t fighting yourself to make that change. Your body and your brain are working together to make the change you want. Isn’t that a relief! In my experience, people using CEP don’t tend to fall back into old ways or patterns of behavior over time. In 2015, I became a supervisor in training for CEP.
From 2010 through 2015, I learned a lot of energy medicine, which uses a broader range of energy systems of the body to help balance a person and clear trauma and health issues. I read and studied about autism, Asperger’s, social communication disorder, ADD and ADHD. I came to a deep understanding of how struggles with inductive reasoning impact those who have these diagnoses. I published a book in 2016, called Inside the Mind: Understanding and Communicating with Those Who Have Autism, Asperger’s, Social Communication Disorder and ADD. There will be several short YouTube videos you can watch beginning April 2016 to understand inductive reasoning issues (IRI). I have a video series based on the book coming out later in 2016. I speak and teach about IRI and offer consultation to other professionals or employers who deal with those with IRI.
I HAVE EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH THE FOLLOWING ISSUES:
GLUTEN & DAIRY
INDUCTIVE REASONING ISSUES
SOCIAL COMMUNICATION DISORDER
- Evergreen Stroke Association
- Family Services
- Lutheran Counseling Network
- Currently in Private Practice