I am a Kansas City based Licensed Clinical Psychotherapist and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor. I am also a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator. I am also developing a specialty in Sex Therapy and am mid-way through my training in the University of Michigan’s Certificate in Sex Therapy Program. I’m very excited about that last part! I am also getting training in Emotionally Focused Therapy to help me to be an even better couple’s counselor.
Whew, that’s a lot! Why so many certifications and trainings? I am a lifelong learner and I want to be able to offer the most to my clients, so I invest heavily in my education.
Counseling is my later-in-life career. It’s what I always wanted to do, but for a variety of reasons, was never able to return to school to get training. I have had many careers and I have gone through many of life’s bumps and blessings. I bring a richness of experience to my therapy that allows me to connect with pretty much everyone
I LOVE what I do. I am PASSIONATE about it. It ENERGIZES me. I read therapy books for fun. It’s hard to turn it off when I leave the office. I can’t begin to explain how much becoming a therapist made me a better person, wife, mother, friend, daughter, listener, advocate etc. I have learned that I am truly enough and accept and love myself for who I am. I shed perfectionism and worrying about what other people thought about me.
So why does that matter? Because I want to do that for YOU!
I want you to feel alive and energized and connected in healthy, meaningful relationships. I want you to learn that you are truly enough and to love and accept yourself. I want you to know that you don’t have to be perfect, smart, successful, rich, pretty (you fill in the blank) to be valued. I want you to wake up every day feeling like life is pretty darn amazing. I want to help you create the life you really, truly want, not the one you think you are supposed to be living.
So how can I do that for you? Truthfully, I can’t fix things, but I can help you to change your life. You already have everything you need right inside of you. You just need help finding it. Doesn’t that already make you feel better?
What I do is LISTEN and CARE and SUPPORT you UNCONDITIONALLY no matter what. I PROVIDE A SAFE and SUPPORTIVE Environment for you to cry, vent, scream etc. I offer PERSPECTIVE and INSIGHT. I love balancing both intellect and emotion to create the type of environment that meets you where you are, with full acceptance and warm caring.
And then I am awed by your resiliency and ability to change and claim the type of life and relationships you want. It’s amazing! That’s why I LOVE what I do. I get to help people change and grow and create a life that truly matters to them. That’s an HONOR.
Along the way, I’ve learned who the clients are that literally light me up with energy in a way that our sessions seem to flow and fly by, and we are in a congruent state with one another, where we both completely “get” what the other is feeling and saying and meaning. Those are the people I enjoy working with the most. They are usually adults who struggle due to self-blame, low self-esteem, not feeling like they are enough, dissatisfaction with their lives, poor relationships, sexual shame or a history of childhood family dysfunction.
If you have read this far, you have probably figured out that I am pretty relaxed and positive. I am not a stuffy person that will just nod my head while you talk in the therapy room. I am very interactive and I bring my energy and enthusiasm for you to your sessions. The fact that I have a bright cow painting in my office tells you that I am a fun person and I think therapy can be a great experience.
A little bit more about the details …
I approach therapy from several perspectives. These approaches include an attachment, strengths-based, cognitive/behavioral (CBT) perspective, along with some psychodynamic elements. I also use learning’s from Dr. Brene´ Brown’s research ( Daring Way™ and Rising Strong™) in my individual counseling and periodically facilitates groups for women and for teen girls. I use Emotionally Focused Therapy and the Gottman method in my work with couples.
While I was training to become a therapist, I completed an internship specializing in psychological testing and developed a passion for conducting IQ testing and ADHD evaluations with kids through adults. I conduct IQ testing for children to determine if they qualify for gifted programs.
I earned a BS in General Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point, an MBA from Rockhurst University and a Master’s in Counseling Psychology from the University of Kansas. I began my career in the Army and then worked in Senior Management at Hallmark Cards before running my own photography business while staying at home with my 4th child and completing my graduate training in psychology.
When I am not working, I enjoy working out, reading, trying new restaurants, and hanging out with my friends and family. My husband and I have a blended family of 6 kids. My mantra in 2019 is the word LESS, meaning LESS stuff in her life, LESS clutter, LESS obligations and MORE time for the things that bring me joy.
I am a Licensed Clinical Psychotherapist and a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in the state of Kansas.