About me – a summary of the training and experience that supports what I’m offering.
Bachelor’s degree in psychology, Colorado College
Master’s degree in counseling, University of Northern Colorado
Licensing: Licensed in the state of New Mexico as a professional clinical counselor – license # CCMH 0180181
My background – A passion and life-long career
I’d fallen in love with the study of psychology by the time I left high school and knew my long-term goal was to help others as a therapist or in some similar capacity. At college I worked to get sufficient grounding in liberal arts and psychology to begin devoting my life to a career in mental health services. I moved on to work in a classroom for students with exceptional emotional and behavioral needs, then transitioned to working in group homes for youth. I knew graduate school would be necessary to obtain the qualifications and knowledge needed to be a psychotherapist so obtained my master’s degree in counseling, and that was the gateway to decades of richly rewarding experience in the mental health field where I’ve functioned in quite a variety of roles, all with a focus on helping others towards wellness.
Highlights of my job history over the past 30 years include:
- Working as a counselor both at a community mental health center on the children and family team and serving adults and teens in a large healthcare network, including counseling in primary medical care clinics
- Serving as therapist and case manager and supervising other clinical staff in inpatient psychiatric facilities
- Acting as director of a residential treatment program for youth
- Performing mental health evaluations and referrals to services in a hospital emergency room
- Teaching at a community college, focusing on parenting skills education
- Co-leading therapy groups assisting adults in transition from psychiatric hospitalization, as well as groups focused on substance abuse recovery and enhancing skills for managing mental illness
- Establishing and supervising a telehealth program providing behavioral health intake and psychiatry services to community clinics across New Mexico
This career path has brought me immense satisfaction in knowing I’ve contributed in some way to the well-being of so many individuals and families while having the opportunity to constantly grow and learn as a therapist. Much of the fulfillment this career has provided has come from what clients have taught me about what it is to be human and seek happiness and connection with others. Along the way I’ve been fortunate to be in the company of some fantastic colleagues and mentors who have role modeled devotion to the ideal of service to others.
Finally, I felt it was time to break away from employment in agencies and healthcare organizations and savor the freedom of being a sole practitioner in private practice, focusing on services to adults seeking to improve their lives and find relief from the discomforts that life can bring.
And my journey continues…
I have advanced training in cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure and response prevention therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR), forward-facing trauma therapy, and motivational interviewing, among other techniques and approaches. Incorporating these skills into my interventions with clients has proven productive and helpful. However, I am a “tools not schools” therapist (thank you David Burns, MD, for the elegant phrase!), meaning I am not an adherent of a specific theoretical orientation or bound by devotion to one interventional approach or treatment methodology. Being open to many interpretations of the human experience and drawing from multiple traditions and therapeutic interventions has seemed the best pathway for me as a therapist and served me well. I trust in the human drive towards wellness that is realized when obstacles to growth are removed and support and encouragement are provided. I have an abiding faith in the fact that a quality relationship between a client and their therapist underlies the best healing practices and is a potent predictor of outcomes in therapy.