I am a RESILIENT SURVIVOR of a dysfunctional alcoholic family system. I am GRATEFUL for every single thing that I have experienced because I believe that it has equipped me in ways that I could never have learned in a book or in advanced training, about how to relate to others. I am a FERTILIZER PRODUCER, I spend a lot of my time helping others to turn the “crap” (excuse my language, but sometimes no other word fits) that they are struggling with into fertilizer to help them grow and heal.
I am a LOYAL friend who will go out of their way to help a loved one in a time of crisis. I am BLESSED to be a MOM of two healthy, beautiful children after years of INFERTILITY and LOSS. I am a WIFE of 16 years, and I am THANKFUL to have a husband who puts up with me! I am OPPOSITIONAL at times, which helps me relate to teenagers, but can make it difficult for others to lead me. I am an adult with ADD which makes time-management, mail, laundry and paperwork a constant struggle. I am a COUNSELOR and SINGER-SONGWRITER trying to find a way to pursue all of my passions while being there for my family, friends and clients.
I believe that we all possess a unique set of God given gifts and that when we are struggling, sometimes we need help to access our strengths and to find our way back. Many times we hurt because of faulty beliefs about ourselves, others and the world. I am a Christian and I think it is important for my clients to know that because our beliefs guide our behaviors. However, I firmly believe that it is important to respect beliefs that differ from our own and I know that it is neither productive or therapeutic to impose my beliefs on others. I love quotes and this is one that sums up my beliefs about the counseling process by Paolo Coelho:
“When you find your path, you must not be afraid. You need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes. Disappointment, defeat, and despair are the tools God uses to show us the way.”
I am working on applying all of the things that I have been saying to my clients for the last 12 years to my own life. A few years ago, I realized that I was feeling like a hypocrite, spending my whole day inspiring others to be the person God made them to be, preaching to them about self-care and creativity. But I would come home and not do any of the things that I knew were effective and healthy for my clients. I decided I needed to start working out, being vulnerable and facing my own fears. I finally started taking guitar lessons after a lifetime of secretly writing songs. I just put out an album and I am currently working on facing the fear of performing and sharing my feelings through music. I am also working hard to try to balance all of this with my life as a counselor and mom, wife and friend.
I specialize in helping people get “unstuck”, whether it be due to life circumstances (adjusting to life’s many transitions: grief, divorce, job-loss, relationships, parenting, step-families, spiritual crisis…) or caused by depression, anxiety, panic attacks, OCD, ADD, PTSD, or a combination of the two (which is usually the case). I work with teens, adults, families, couples and groups. I incorporate many techniques including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Positive Psychology and Emotional Transformation Therapy. I am also a certified Prepare-Enrich Marriage counselor. My biggest joy as a therapist is being able to help my clients gain the tools that they need, not just to simply survive, but to thrive! I enjoy helping others to discover their potential and push themselves out of their comfort zone, which is where real, lasting growth occurs!
I am a wife, daughter, sister, friend, teacher, and violinist. I am a baker, helper, reader, dog lover, and lover of music. I am thankful for the graciousness of God, as I am imperfect, broken, and in constant need of His strength and mercy. I am hospitable, as I love to open my home to others. I am a fiercely loyal wife and sister. I am a fun loving, patient, and organized teacher. I am an empathetic and caring friend, as I love to listen, problem-solve, and encourage my friends through the struggles and joys of life.
I believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, and I am here to help others find their happiness and contentment in Him.
I believe that we are all created in the image of God. I believe that God created us with the need to be in community with others, and therefore we thrive when we are in fellowship with one another. However, I also believe that we are all imperfect and broken. This imperfection helps us connect together, but it also makes relationships difficult. I believe that the counseling relationship can serve as a safe place for a person to experience healing, growth, change, and self-discovery. However, I acknowledge and respect the beliefs of others, and therefore I do not impose any of my beliefs or ideals on my clients. Instead, I take everyone just as they are and help them work towards their own goals and visions of health regardless if we have differing beliefs.
I am working on being a good listening ear, who is comforting when need be and truthful when it’s the best way to help others through difficult times. I am working on having the courage to take risks in my own life. I naturally encourage others to be bold and to not live their life in fear. However, I am trying to not live my life in fear of the “what if’s” and instead take hold of opportunities with boldness.
Helping and nurturing people has been a life long pursuit that has come naturally to me. Whether I am teaching French, playing violin, or counseling clients I find joy in helping others live life fully and abundantly. The verse found in 1 Thessalonians 5:13 serves as my touchstone of counseling:
“And we urge you, brethren, ADMONISH the unruly, ENCOURAGE the fainthearted, HELP the weak, BE PATIENT with everyone.”
I desire to speak directly and truthfully to those who need direction. I strive to encourage those who are disheartened and are in need of affirmation. I hope to provide those who feel weak with the tools and solutions to become strong, and lastly I want to do all this with patience and perseverance to guide people as they seek healing and growth.
I am a practicum student, which means that I am at the end of my master’s degree program in counseling. I am currently working on my 300 required internship hours, and I will graduate in August 2016. I will then pursue to be a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).
I am a wife, mom to one rambunctious little boy, and a people lover who tries really hard not to extrovert my introverted husband to death.
“Babe! This is only our third social engagement today? Are you running a fever? Why are you so tired!?”
See the “I’m working on” section.
I can’t eat gluten, but I LOVE cooking and baking. So finding new gluten free recipes is a never ending quest. Pinterest, food network, and friendly suggestions are all welcome. I don’t discriminate.
I enjoy running and yoga – yoga…because life is stressful and the class ends with a nap. Let’s get real.
I am all about saying yes to dreams big and small, and saying no to things that will keep those out of reach!
I believe that life is meant to be full of love and gratitude, and that these qualities require cultivation. Seeds planted in soil full of weeds will have an uphill battle in the fight for survival. When you plant the seeds of love and gratitude in your life, you’re going to need to weed out the guilt, shame, should haves and told you so’s that will choke the joy out of your life.
As Brene Brown wrote,
“When we deny our stories, they define us. When we own our stories we get to write a brave new ending.”
I’ve spent the majority of my career previous to this working with children who are foster youth, refugees, human trafficking victims, and survivors of other human rights abuses. I can say with confidence that every child and (and adult…we’re just big kids after all.) is capable of coming to dramatic levels of healing when they are given a safe place to feel what they feel, know what they know, and own their story with fierce honesty.
I am working on not extroverting my husband to death. Sometimes I’m going to that get together alone while he takes a nap to recover from the previous engagement. That is ok!
I’m working on cultivating self care. A lot of this means setting boundaries that are an exercise in saying, “No.” Being an extrovert, I love to say YES! But every yes I give will be a no to something else, which may be my family, my own health, goals, other people I’m currently helping, ect.
I’m practicing exercising creativity. I was a classical violinist and photographer 10 years ago, and stopped when life got busy. I’m very rusty, but I’m picking up music and photography again.
I’ve started giving myself the freedom to fail and it’s very liberating. I’m not discounting how much failure really does hurt. It can take the breath out of you. The truth is though that most things in life that are worth doing require that we step out before we know for sure that we’ll succeed. If you try enough, often enough, you will fail at some point. The idea is to embrace failure as a part of the process. I can help you learn to get back up.
There are so many things worth doing, but you will rarely do them well right away. Working to actively remove perfectionism in my life through allowing myself to be vulnerable, space for rest, play, creativity and gratitude are a fight worth fighting!
If there is a stuck problem or this is your last ditch, I want to take a crack at it. I bring over five years of experience in working with children who are refugees, asylees, and trafficking victims in foster care here in DFW. There are losses and hurts in life that you can’t just get off your chest, talk to a friend, walk off and get over. These kids knew that. I knew that. I’ve needed therapies in my toolkit that have been shown to get those chronic conditions and stuck problems moving where others couldn’t. These include based Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Emotional Transformation therapy.
I love working with children, teens, individual adults, parents and families of all compositions (Blended, Adopted, Co-parenting, LBGT, you name it). I am a Christian who is happy to pray with you if that’s something you desire, but I love working with clients of diverse religious spiritual or non-religious beliefs. No matter what your family or life looks like, where you’ve been or what you’ve tried, let’s give this a shot!
I am a person (no surprises there) with all the capacities for strength and weakness that together we share. With that in mind, I am wonderfully imperfect and capable of growing, with high hopes for the life and character for which I am wholeheartedly striving. I am thankful to be a Christian, which informs my worldview and drives my passion to support others. I am a brother, a son, and a friend. The experiences surrounding these roles remind me that I am not alone, that there is always room to practice caring for others.
I believe that relationships are powerful, having the inherent potential to heal and to harm. For that reason, I believe that our connections with one another are top priority. Whether at home, work, the store, or any social happening, there is always the chance that our interactions might go over less well than we intend. The good news is, I believe we are wired for love and connection, so no matter the difficulties we face in relationships, the prospect of navigating through the wounds and reaching the tenderness within is a natural possibility.
I believe that humility is a great place to start on the path to wellness in relationships. When we can move past a singular mindset and look beyond ourselves, we end up with more peace and satisfaction than we could have demanded or created alone. That does not mean we ignore our own pain, focusing only on others. Instead, true humility recognizes self-worth, opening us up to self-care and an open heart. I believe that everyone has worth, which (when realized) naturally inspires love, dignity, and respect.
I am working on overcoming a sense of shame. Many of us, myself included, have a past full of choices and experiences of which we are remorseful. Often, when working through these experiences, even as we overcome them, we are left with a lingering sense of shame. Though I have (with thanks) come to understand my past not as a tarnish on my story, but as an integral part of who I am, it is still a battle to maintain that perspective.
What I consider to be a process of God bringing me from a felt emptiness to a warm sense of worth coincided with my decision to become a therapist. There was a time in my life during which nothing felt meaningful, except being present with the hurts of others. Fortunately, as God pulled me out of self-neglect and toward himself, he molded whatever it was in me that cared deeply for others into passion and purpose. I am driven to encourage and support others as they wade through the complexities of life, repair broken relationships, and discover the value they have inside. This drive invigorates my commitment to the people I am privileged to work with. Regardless of personal circumstance, belief system, or backstory, all of us have a common connection in one way or another. At the very least, we all are prone to heartache, and I am honored to come alongside others as they share and work through their struggles.