In my early years of practice, I once asked a client… what is important to you? They paused for a long moment. I mean a long moment. They looked surprised by my question. They said, "no one has ever asked me this question," and they began to think.
What is important to you is everything inside your being! Your hopes, your dreams, your shadows, and your struggles.
A big goal of mine in therapy is to help you find your place. Your place of peace and acceptance. To find that place, you actually have to go to another place first, inside your heart and mind. Perhaps by asking yourself what is important to you.
A little about me…
I started a long time ago looking inside.
From childhood, I had a strong compassion for others, people who were struggling or hurting. I was tough and smart. I tried to assert myself, despite it not always being in the healthiest or most productive of ways. I got into a few fights, standing up for myself and more so for others who could not do it for themselves (for whatever reason). I probably pushed people away. I didn't know growing up and into my early adult years just how much I was the one who was hurting. I was too busy focusing on and worrying about others to really acknowledge myself and my own needs. Other people's needs were more important than mine. This was not conscious.
I definitely would have benefited from someone to talk to about my thoughts and feelings, if only I had known. If only my parents could have known. I was pretty good at being a chameleon and thinking I was totally happy. However, I didn't know what I didn't know. It's a similar struggle that many clients go through and one that I am so grateful in which to help.
In high school, I became interested in psychology from my psychology teacher. She told inspiring stories of strength and resilience. I was enthralled by her stories of hope.
I knew that I, too, wanted to help people and make a difference. At that point, the spark was lit, and my path began to form.
In my 20's I finished graduate school. I worked at an adolescent treatment facility. I worked with children who were in foster care and whose parent's parental rights were terminated. I worked with parents involved in the legal system. I worked at a substance misuse/disorder counseling agency and learned the intricacies of Solution Focused Brief Therapy.
In addition to all of this hard work, I began to take advantage of where I had friends living internationally at the time and traveled to places such as Peru, Venezuela, Honduras, Guatemala, and Costa Rica.
In my 30's
I obtained work with the Department of Defense and Military as a mental health consultant and clinician. This work included a significant amount of extended domestic and international travel. I gained so much from my time and experiences in Europe, Japan, South Korea, Kentucky, New Mexico, and Virginia. I spent time exploring our country and visited places I never would have gone. It was amazing!
With my practice here in Colorado and as a Colorado native, there is no other place I would rather be. I'm proud to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible, having hiked several 14'ers, been backpacking deep into the Colorado mountains, experienced winter camping in below-freezing temperatures (and on more than once occasion, I might add), white water rafting all over the world and bungee jumped from both a hot air balloon and a crane. (Yikes!! Don't think I'll be doing that again!). As I've gotten older, I continue to enjoy traveling, cooking, and taking care of my plants and flowers.
Yes, I love life and I try to live every moment I can. Life is not always easy though; this I also know.
In addition to private practice, I have been a volunteer mediator for the Jefferson County Mediation Services office for many years. I am published in the Oxford University Press on Solution Focused practices with Trauma/PTSD in the Military. I am so proud of this work.
I have seen the transformations individuals have gone through when they focus more on what is important to them and how they want life to be different instead of their natural tendency, which is to obsess about the problem. It's amazing and so powerful to be a part of this when it happens.
A little more about me…
I love humanity, learning about people and exploring what is important to them. This is how I work in my practice too. Listening to you, finding out what makes you, you. The very essence of you. Then, how to let that essence show itself every day. How to set boundaries with yourself, for yourself, with others and in your relationships so that your life path can open up.
Bachelor of Science, Psychology- Colorado State University, May 1995
Master of Arts, Counseling Psychology and Counselor Education- University of Colorado, August 1999
LPC: License #3101
MAC: License #5774
NCC: License #56989
I encourage you to call or set an appointment so that we can explore how to create a life you love living. I look forward to connecting with you.