I have come to know the importance of initially developing a therapeutic relationship with children, youth, and families from my experience in working with mental health crises in Clark County. Building relationships, therapeutic connections, and working collaboratively with individuals and families to address their specific goals is critical. I see it as a privilege to support children, youth, and caregivers when they experience difficulties to improve relationships and overall functioning. I am aware of the challenges facing individuals and families and how they are affected by the community and culture they live in. I have seen how not getting basic emotional needs met can lead to dysfunctional coping and, in worst-case scenarios, affect a person’s mental health.
It is rewarding to come alongside families and identify how children and parents can work together to grow a stronger bond and increase healthy communication in the home. I love helping children and their parents talk with each other, heal their relationships, and see hurting children heal and grow. Over the years it has been my experience that working with children also means working closely with their families.
I use a wide variety of therapeutic interventions depending on the child and the family’s needs. Families present with a range of issues and a variety of concerns, from living through tough circumstances to those with acute behavioral issues. My counseling experience focuses on individuals who struggle with early stress and trauma, attachment issues, life transitions and adjustments, grief and loss, divorce or illness, anxiety, depression, academic, social-emotional, and behavioral issues. At any age, parental involvement in the counseling of youth is an essential component. I look forward to coming alongside you and your child.
I received my undergraduate degree from St. Cloud State University, MN, with a major in Community Psychology and a minor in Youth and Family Studies. Then, I received my Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from the University of Minnesota, focusing on Clinical Social Work and Integrated Behavioral Health.
While attending graduate school, I interned at a refugee resettlement agency and a preschool mental health day treatment program. Currently, I am a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, a Child Specialist, and a Licensed Mental Health Professional in Washington State. Before working as a counselor, I spent more than 15 years caring for and providing instruction to children and teens in a wide variety of settings such as home, school, and church. In addition, I have worked as a Child and Family Therapist in an outpatient community mental health clinic for children and families in Vancouver for more than five years before joining Real Life Counseling.