I began my career providing services to individuals struggling with chemical dependency. I noticed immediately that a majority of these individuals had experienced unfathomable events at a very young age. This drew my focus to toddlers and children who had been impacted by sexual assault. I felt compelled to continue my journey observing the human experience through the ages until I reached the far end of the spectrum providing in-home care to seniors facing end of life. It took a year working in this position before I determined I had seen enough. Through countless observations, I gained a deep understanding of how trauma creates maladaptive behaviors and when left untreated become chronic disease leading to early death. I recalibrated my professional goals to focus on healing trauma as the core source of debilitating mental and physical symptoms.
This knowledge, coupled with my own personal experience with trauma and recovery, motivated me to learn EMDR and incorporate it into my private practice. Since doing so, I have witnessed first hand how incredible and effective this treatment can be in decreasing or eliminating the negative impacts and outcomes of trauma related experiences in a relatively short time frame. I have watched people on disability start working again after a decade or more of struggling. Individuals suffering from chronic illness go into remission. I've seen individuals dependent on substances lose the urges. Families once detached begin to make new and healthy connections while leaving the past behind.
It is my goal to educate populations about trauma and find ways to eliminate barriers for individuals to receive a higher standard of care to address it. I have served individuals through both inpatient and outpatient mental health clinics, within the child welfare and justice systems, youth and adult drop-in centers, medical settings, online and through private practice. I have over 15 years of experience visiting people in their homes and over 20 years in the field of social work altogether.
Healthcare professionals don't always experience the level of comfort, seeking therapy, that they create for their own clients. Furthermore, having a wide knowledge base concerning mental health and a broader range of coping skills than the general population, healthcare professionals sometimes think they must "stay strong," and handle their personal experiences on their own. Sometimes, healthcare professionals compare their lives to those of their clients and minimize their own personal needs. This can lead to suffering in silence. Treating professionals has a direct impact on the way services are provided on a larger scale. I am particularly interested in assisting practitioners with reprocessing events and gaining awareness around what they bring to the table in terms of treating others. In addition, I enjoy working with elite athletes and those suffering from chronic medical conditions. I am passionate about empowering others to heal and employing the brain as the major tool to do so.
Bachelor of Arts - Chemical Dependency University of Central Oklahoma 1998
Master of Social Work (MSW) University of Oklahoma, 2002
Doctor of Social Work (DSW) University of Southern California In Progress - 2020
Washington State Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) LW60169881
Mental Health Professional (MHP)
Child Mental Health Specialist (CMHS)
Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP)
Member - National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
Member - EMDR International Association (EMDRIA)
Member - International Association of Trauma Professionals (IATP)
WAC Approved Clinical Supervisor - State of Washington