Personal Profile

sunflower

I was born and raised in Central Florida. I completed my undergraduate studies in Psychology at the University of Florida. After graduating with my B.S., I enrolled in a graduate counseling training program at UF. I completed two years in the program before realizing it wasn't meeting my needs. One summer, while traveling across the country, I “accidentally” discovered an amazing and unique program in Boulder, Colorado. Naropa University offered a contemplative, Buddhist-inspired counseling program. I excitedly applied because it seemed to offer exactly what I was seeking in a counseling program: the perfect balance between experiential and theoretical study. It merged spirituality and psychology through methods such as meditation, Gestalt awareness, psychodynamic approaches, and client-centered therapy.

At Naropa, I was challenged to explore my inner world while learning how to use myself as a tool to help others. I also learned about the power of knowing one's own mind. I was able to learn the art of therapy while developing a personal style that has been very effective with my clients. This personal style incorporates mindfulness, cognitive behavioral therapy, existential psychology, transpersonal psychology, Gestalt, play therapy, art therapy and other techniques to help my clients gain the self awareness necessary for change to occur.

After graduate school I worked with adults with mental illness. During that time I also gave birth to my first son. In 1998, my family and I moved back to Florida to be near extended family. At that time I began working at Jewish Family Services as a therapist. At JFS I have had the opportunity to work with a broad range of personalities and issues. I work with adults, children, adolescents, couples and families. I am skilled in working with depression, anxiety, parenting issues, grief, death and dying, communication issues, issues relating to life transitions, self esteem issues, anger management, relational issues, stress reduction, sexual issues, food issues, and many others. I have a particular passion for working with families in transition, taking a holistic approach to help them cope with their situation. I also teach parenting classes and workshops on numerous topics, such as attachment parenting and positive discipline.

mountainsMy second son was born in 2008. My three female cats join me in a male-dominated household. I have a martial arts practice that keeps my mind and body strong and focused. I have an interest in holistic health and alternative medicine, which I incorporate into my therapy. I believe in using natural methods of healing whenever possible and try to work with my clients holistically.

My transpersonal training has taught me to incorporate the spiritual whenever it is needed and wanted, regardless of the client's spiritual tradition. I keep my own values and beliefs out of my sessions and am respectful of the beliefs, value systems, religions, and spiritual practices of my clients.

I have had an array of life experiences from which I draw to cultivate compassion for and connection to my clients. These life experiences have shaped who I am both as a human being and as a therapist. I engage with my clients in a very real and meaningful manner. I believe in taking an active role in my therapy sessions while getting out of the way enough to allow my clients to do the work they need to do to heal and grow. I infuse my practice with healthy doses of compassion, humor, creativity, and authenticity.