I bring to my practice over 10 years of experience as a school social worker, several of them as the Lead School Social Worker in a district with over 20 school social workers. Additionally, I led my school’s intervention team, served as a case manager, and became well versed in the IEP/504 process.
In my current practice, I use all these experiences in the schools by being a strong advocate for my clients and by teaching them social skills, executive functioning habits, and other skills that are helpful both inside and outside of the school setting.
Adolescents confront so many issues in our world. They oftentimes struggle with difficulties such as bullying, social angst, poor study habits, anxiety, depression, self-harming behaviors, body image/eating disorder behaviors, sexual and gender identity questions, and school refusal.
Managing school, sports, and other activities on top of everything else is overwhelming. Developing a clinical relationship with adolescents during this period in their lives, teaching them the strategies they can use, and partnering with their parents is one of my favorite and most rewarding areas of expertise.
I have found ways to connect with the most resistant teens and have been a part of their team that celebrates their growth.
While the transition to college is one of my areas of expertise, I think a better description is the whole transition to adulthood. There are a lot of changes during this time, a lot of emotions, and a lot of “Where am I going and who am I?” answers to be found. Drugs, alcohol, self-harm, numbing behaviors, depression, panic, eating disorders… but also self-reflection, growth, problem-solving, movement, empowerment, and knowledge.
Some young adults have been so busy surviving, they don’t even know themselves. I appreciate the clarity that comes when they begin to really like and enjoy who they are becoming.
I have experience with adults who come from different backgrounds and concerns. Whether male, female, single, married, mentally ill, caretakers, parents, grandparents, and regardless of their diagnosis, we find a way to move forward.
Possibly, they have been to many therapists, and they tell me what they want to focus on, or perhaps the client arrives nervous and unsure and doesn’t know what to say. I help them figure it out pretty quickly. Sometimes, the appointment is triggered by a life event, or by a relationship, or perhaps even by a behavior (an addiction, a disorder, etc.). Whatever the reason, I enjoy making each session a progressive step towards something better.
I recognize and appreciate that couples therapy requires a lot of emotion and vulnerability. Articulating and clarifying where the couple is going and how to get there is something the three of us do together. I enjoy figuring out what is working and pointing out what is not.
Couples often begin therapy because things don’t feel safe or good. I try to move them towards safety as efficiently as possible. Some couples are not in crisis and want to make sure that they continue to do what is working. Not-as-frequent appointments and tweaks to communication can help both partners feel more secure and fulfilled.
I have led multiple support groups in the past, including Transition to College, Social Skills, Divorce, Grief, and Anxiety groups. I have led groups based on the work of Brené Brown, including "Daring Way" for teens and adults and "Rising Strong" for adults.
Contact me to find out about my upcoming groups: Skills Group (Fall 2017) and another Brené Brown Group (Winter 2018).