I believe effective counseling is influenced by the therapeutic relationship. The ability to connect and feel compassion without being judgmental is a key factor in successful counseling. That being said, I have had extensive life experience as a counselor, professional musician, and teacher. I use my clinical skills in concert with my life experience to provide the most productive counseling possible. I feel that my job is to “work myself out of a job” with my clients.
After finishing my Master’s degree, I worked at an overseas residential treatment facility while continuing to work on my Ph.D. Living on a small island in the South Pacific was exhilarating, but then again, I love to travel. Throughout my life, I have worked all over the country and the world.
After returning from overseas, I continued work on and complete my Doctorate in 2011. Through my experience, I had become very interested in the family aspect of addictions. My interdisciplinary degree included complimentary work in the Human Development and Family Studies Department where I obtained training in family and couples therapy. I consider it an honor help families and couples navigate relational difficulties that occur in the early in their co-recovery process.
As a Fort Collins therapist, I have worked with adolescents and adults experiencing an array of concerns. Most of my work has been with substance use difficulties and the co-occurring conditions that accompany and/or influence substance use issues. At the beginning, my goal was not to be a substance use specialist, however, that’s where my path has led me. My experience includes work persons who are experiencing issues with addiction, ADD, PTSD, depression, anxiety, Asperger’s Syndrome, bi-polar, self-esteem, grief & loss, and relationship difficulties.
I approach the counseling relationship from a perspective of “meaning making,” which suggests that people act on what they believe about situations, not the situation itself. This idea prompted me to conduct my doctoral research on influences of alcohol use coming from a constructivist lens. I developed a screening instrument that assesses a person’s influences of alcohol use over a biopsychosocial spectrum. A biopsychosocial point of view aids me in helping people from a holistic perspective. Looking at the “whole” person is an essential strategy to provide my clients the best possible help they are seeking.
- Ph.D. in Education and Human Resource Studies with an Interdisciplinary focus on Human Development and Family Studies
- Master’s in Education and Human Resource Studies with a focus on Community Counseling
- Bachelor of Music with a focus in Music Education
- Licensed Professional Counselor
- Certified Addiction Specialist
- Licensed Professional Teacher K-12 Music
- American Society of Addiction Medicine
- American Counseling Association
- American Education Research Association
- National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors
- Denver Musicians Association