On Being a Therapist
My training probably started as far back as when I had my first realization of being an individual self. All of my experiences coming face to face with life --the tumults this has often brought, my inner conflicts, losses, heartaches, and also my perseverance, my growth through movement in relationships, closeness and intimacy, my joys and pleasures, and my attempt always to understand the world and its effect on each and all of us, and our effect on it. All this has become woven into the person I have become, and the therapist I have become. All of these experiences have blended to contribute in me an affinity for compassion, empathy, and insight.
Formal education and training in the field of clinical psychology, along with many years of engaging with clients, has all intertwined to help shape who I was and now am as a person and a therapist. Growing as a therapist goes along with growing as a person.
From the beginning I always felt it a privilege to sit with my clients through emotionally and intellectually deep, intimate hours. I have seen them open themselves to searing honesty so as to better understand their lives. They have invited me, often with great courage, to enter their private worlds so as to probe for new perspectives and options.
Approach & Style
My style and approach are a reflection of the person I am. Overall I lean toward:
-a theoretical framework that is integrative (in that I draw from various theories); it is also broadly psychodynamic (insight-oriented), and also borrows much from existential theory. I also use behavioral techniques where needed.
-an approach that is engaged, genuine, and reflective.
-techniques that are fairly mainstream. I also try to be creative in concert with my clients.
I am particularly respectful of, and attuned to subjects of faith, matters of existence and meaning, and the search to understand the human condition.
I am sensitive to those things which may contribute significantly in defining us, such as sex, ethnicity, culture, language (and more); particularly where these are used by others to devalue any person as a human being.
I believe strongly in the dignity of persons and in quality of care. It is often a challenge for clients to feel comfortable and safe in therapy without being additionally distracted by any intrusions or worries that might come from a third party reimburser. Therefore I have long advocated for clients to have the right to: personal privacy, choice of counselor and type of counseling, and control over treatment decisions (including frequency and number of sessions).
Bio & Credentials
Born in the United States, I was raised in Europe from early toddlerhood. I thus grew up bicultural and bilingual.
I studied at, and received my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Wheaton College, Illinois. I did my graduate training in Clinical Psychology a few years later at Wheaton College Graduate School, receiving a Master of Arts. Some 15 years later, I completed an additional six graduate courses in Counseling, from Northeastern Illinois University, Northern Illinois University, and Chicago State University.
I obtained my first counseling position at Ecker Center for Mental Health in Elgin, Illinois, where strong supervision and collegiality set the tone for that work setting and the next. I was privileged to continue my professional formation after a number of years, by becoming a therapist at the Guidance Center of Elmhurst Hospital in Lombard, Illinois; I remained there many years, until starting a practice in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, working closely with another colleague.
I relocated to Jacksonville Florida, and began my current private practice in the mid 2000's.
Counselor and Psychotherapist for over 20 years
Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology -MA
Bachelor of Arts - Psychology -BA
Licensed Mental Health Counselor (Florida)