I was sitting on one of those uncomfortable, plastic chairs in a family interview room of a community hospital. I was a brand new therapist, freshly hired two days past my college graduation. Seated across from me was a young woman, her face tense, her knees drawn-up to her chest. She appeared shaken and did not make eye contact as she told me her story in a barely audible voice. I recall her voice to this day and the awe I felt at the time for her strength and resiliency as she revealed her struggles. She had spent several days in the hospital and some time afterwards coming to individual sessions. During this time, I witnessed her graceful acceptance of help and marveled at her growth. I saw how she incorporated new skills, re-balanced her life, set her priorities and took better care of herself. She re-emerged as a strong professional, a loving and insightful mother of three. Little did I know when I met her that witnessing her incredible healing journey would inspire the beginning of my own professional journey to become the best therapist I could be. Being a guide to someone's path of re-balancing, growth and healing is still awe-inspiring and deeply rewarding to me to this day.
Extensive Work Experience
Education and Certifications
- MSW in Social Work, West Virginia University focus in Community Mental Health, 1991
- MA in Public Administration, West Virginia University, 1992
- Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) in Washington State. LW # 60334819
- Certified Trauma Therapist by WVU Department of Behavioral Med, 1996
- Trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Level I and II.
- Member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers since and the National Association of Social Workers (ACSW)
- Member of Association For Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS)
- Member of Postpartum Support International (PSI)
How I Balance
To balance my professional life I enjoy spending time kayaking, hiking, and skiing. On rainy days, I while away an afternoon curled up with a good book and a warm mug of coffee. I love spending time with with my husband, two teens, and our family dogs.
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