About

About

I am a St. Louis native, a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia with my Bachelor’s in Psychology and Bachelors in Human Development and Family Studies.  I have a Masters in Education from Webster University and my Masters in Counseling from Lindenwood University.  I am currently working on my licensure for Missouri, supervised by Marsha Andreoff (#2014039277).  I am Level 1 certified and working on Level 2 of the Gottman Method trainings and intend to become AASECT sex therapy certified within the next couple of years.

I am passionate about working with couples with children, couples dealing with infidelity, couples in non-traditional relationships, and individuals having difficulties in relationships.  These areas are of particular interest to me because I have experience being a parent with children, am familiar with the hurt that infidelity can cause, respect and appreciate individuals right to choose the relationships that work best for them, and find myself a constant support for friends and family in their quest to find the person that is right for them.

I have always been told that I’m easy to talk to and people seem to open up to me (without any prying on my part).  I’ve known since I was in high school that I wanted to be a counselor, went to college in my undergraduate program with the intent of continuing along, and got a bit sidetracked, but was led back to this dream.  I now come with more age and experience, and feel I am better prepared and more knowledgeable than I would have been back then.  But I think my own journey to counseling comes from my experience with being a client myself.  We all have different childhood experiences and these experiences shape us and mold how we form relationships with others.  Watching others relationships, how different friends and family have handled their relationships, and hearing them talk about relationships that didn’t work out always intrigued me and I have always been the non-judgmental ear to listen and let them decide what is right for them.

Approach to Therapy:

The goal is to teach you the skills to manage the conflict or difficulties in your relationship so that when new disagreements come up, you will be able to handle them on your own.   While I am going to share my beliefs about therapy and tell you the theories that I practice, what is really important is that you come out of therapy being able to handle the things that brought you to therapy in the first place.  I want to be a resource for you, a way to learn how to manage things within your relationship.

My personal belief is that the mind and body are connected.  What does that mean?  It means that there is a connection between what is going on in your mind and symptoms in your physical body.  I will focus on sorting through what the brain is telling you and how you are physically reacting to that message.  We will come up with coping skills, focus on incorporating self-care, and even incorporate breathing techniques, meditation, and other activities that you deem calming.  It isn’t until we get through the things that get us worked up that we can deal with processing through the issue.

I use a variety of theories such as Narrative, REBT, Solution-focused, Gottman Method, Acceptance and Commitment, and Attachment Theories.  I believe that every individual/couple/situation is different and that there isn’t one theory that will work for all. It’s important to meet each individual where they are and at a place where they feel comfortable to open up and are ready to approach the problem.

I also see therapy as something that the individual/couple needs to be willing to put in the work.  Part of the agreement is that the individual/couple will be open and honest in communication and be willing to work towards the goals that they have come up with in conjunction with the therapist.  I may ask that you do a bit of work on your own in between sessions, this work will be discussed and it is a choice because I want you to be comfortable taking steps forward when you are ready.

I want you to know that the hardest step to take is the first one and that by making an appointment and coming in, you have already done the hardest part in showing and sharing your vulnerabilities. I look forward to working with you on your journey of self-discovery and helping you find ways to work through your difficulties at your pace, on your terms.

What will a session look like: 

Individual Sessions:  The session will be 50 minutes long and will be the individual and the therapist only working together during the session to cope with and manage various issues.

Couples Sessions:  The first session will be a 90 minute session and will begin with the therapist reviewing the informed consent forms with the couple, explaining confidentiality, billing procedures, and the Gottman method of therapy to the couple. It will be an intake session consisting of the therapist working with the couple together to learn about what has brought them to therapy, to observe them interacting together, communicating, and learning about them as a couple. We will talk about the history of your relationship, areas of concern and your goals for treatment. The therapist will have the couple discuss a current or upcoming concern to observe how the couple interacts and at the end of the session will explain the assessments that are being given and set up individual appointments with each partner.

There will be an individual appointment with each partner to learn your personal histories and give the individual the opportunity to address their own thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. These appointments will be 50 minutes each and will give the therapist the opportunity to gather more information as well as collect the assessments.
In general, the sessions will be as a couple for the remainder of the therapy, but should one of the partners want to come in separately, it is my practice that the other partner is informed of this and that any emails or texts include both partners. Should the therapist feel that one partner may need some individual sessions, the therapist will discuss it with both partners present.

The following session after the individual sessions will be another 90 minute session to the therapist will review the assessments/findings, give recommendations for treatment, and work to define mutual goals for therapy with the couple.

Subsequent sessions will generally be 50 minutes unless the couple would prefer/request 90 minute sessions. There may be exercises to practice in between sessions, and the length of therapy depends on the severity of issues, frequency of sessions, and progress being made. As things begin to improve, we will begin to phase out of therapy.

When therapy has been determined to have met the couples goals, the therapist will have a session to summarize the progress, review the work that is still ongoing, and discuss follow ups as needed. The therapist will make an appointment with the couple to have a session at 6 month, 1 year, 18 month, and 2 years as follow up appointment. This has been proven to help reduce relapse back into old patterns and are seen as tune-ups to the work that has already been done.

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