Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor - Supervisor
Licensed Social Worker
Certified Counseling Trauma Professional
TRC North Canton
My Focus Areas
"People begin to heal the moment they feel heard.” -- Cheryl Richardson
Trauma: I am passionate about working with trauma because it happens so much more than most people realize, and healing can be so profound when survivors learn how trauma changes them mentally, physically, and in how they relate to their world and others. As I educate my clients on the science behind these changes and they begin to feel heard and understood, powerful healing begins and it is so exciting to see the weight of suffering begin to lift off of the client's shoulders.
Anxiety: Anxiety tends to make people’s worlds grow smaller and smaller as they work to avoid the things that cause them to feel afraid. When working with anxious clients, I help them learn how anxiety distorts the way we think about ourselves, our future, and others and how to overcome the limitations anxiety tries to impose on us by using behavioral and cognitive strategies.
Depression: Depression, that dark pit or black cloud over mental health, convinces sufferers that things will never get better or that everything is hopeless in a way that feels tangible and heavy and real. When working with depression, I see my job as bringing my clients hope and carrying that hope for them until they are able to do it on their own by learning how depression impacts both their physiological and psychological well-being and that depression can be cured so that they don’t need to carry that burden for the rest of their lives.
Grief & Loss: Grief is a natural response to losing something that is precious and valuable and it is a journey not meant to be traveled alone. As a fellow sojourner with my clients on this path, I often feel I am walking on “holy ground” and have learned so much from my grief clients. While healing does not fill the hole that a loss creates, successful grief work can help a person get back some of what the thing or person they are grieving brought to their lives and to find meaning in the loss that helps them live fully again.
At the core, my therapy centers on a strength-based approach to building resiliency in healing. I am an integrative therapist and as such, I utilize Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing strategies and other approaches in my work with clients. I liken my approach to the Japanese concept of “Kintsugi” which means finding strength in imperfection. It has been said that therapy is both a “science and an art”, which I believe to be true. Kintsugi involves putting broken pottery pieces back together with gold rather than trying to hide the breaks or injuries that have occurred. This artform suggests that when we embrace imperfections and injuries rather than judge them or try to cover them over to look like new, we can create a more beautiful and even stronger work of art. The cracks or scars can become part of the artistic beauty of a creation. In our lived experiences, the “flaws” or broken moments are unique to our journeys as individuals. When we work toward healing from the things that have “broken us” we often find that we become something stronger, more resilient, and more beautiful as a result.
I earned a Masters Degree in Sociology from The University of Maryland and a Masters in Clinical Counseling and Human Development from Walsh University. I am a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor with supervision status as well as a Licensed Social Worker, so I focus on my clients as both individuals and part of a larger family and societal system. I have experience as an adjunct professor at Walsh University and Stark State College, and this finds its way into my counseling in the form of psycho-education. I believe that when people understand why you are asking them to try something, they are more likely to benefit from counseling interventions. I have worked in the fields of Medical Social Work and Treatment Level Foster Care. I counseled as an outpatient therapist in hospitals in both Stark and Summit County. I have over a decade of experience in working with children, adults and elderly clients and enjoy working with a variety of client populations. I am a Certified Counseling Trauma Professional and completed training through the Center for Deployment Psychology for working with military clients. I am trained in EMDR from the EMDR Institute, founded by Dr. Shapiro. EMDR is a method of trauma treatment that has been recommended by the World Health Organization, the American Psychiatric Association, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Additionally, I completed training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for children and adolescents at The Beck Institute as well as outside training from the Institute in the areas of depression and anxiety.
I gain a sense of peace and strength from practicing yoga, running virtual races, and having fun doing just about anything with my husband and my son, daughter, and son-in-law, especially travelling with them and seeing and learning about new things. As a family, we rehabilitate retired and rescued greyhound racers, and I have learned much about the healing power of love and kindness in working with these amazing creatures.