I maintain a Marriage and Family Therapist license in Oregon (LMFT) and can work with clients who are in Oregon. I earned an MA in Clinical Psychology from Alliant University in California and completed extensive post graduate studies in family systems theory with Walden University.
During my graduate training, I spent two years serving at a day treatment program for severely mentally ill adults. There I really learned the importance to each and every human of having a purpose, a role in the world, a place to belong. My graduate school internship was at a family community clinic serving an underprivileged population, where I worked in English and in Spanish with children, families, couples, and individual adults.
After completing my studies, I spent one year serving as a bilingual therapist in a K through 8th inner city school in Cleveland, OH. Passing through the metal detector to get to my office daily, I was in awe of the dedication of the teachers and the resilience of the children – despite their most difficult circumstances. They were my heroes, each and every one.
After moving to Portland, I first worked for two years as a bilingual therapist in a local high school. I worked with the high school students directly as well as their families. I have a particular soft spot in my heart for teenagers and love their passion, unfiltered questioning, creative minds, diverse personalities, and their moment in life that is at once filled with angst and brimming with potential. Though I no longer work with teens as individual clients, I will always treasure the time I spent with so many amazing, unique kiddos. They taught me so much!
After “graduating” from high school a second time, I worked for over two years at a very large group practice in the Portland area. There I worked with children, teens and adults facing a wide range of personal challenges including trauma, anxiety, depression, ADHD, addiction, eating disorders, divorce, empty nest, grief, PTSD, OCD, marital conflict, life transitions, psychosis, autism, gender questioning, suicide in the family, and Bipolar disorder.
After years of reflection, I view some of our biggest challenges as coming from the battles within, when we don’t fully understand ourselves and our motivations and sometimes act in opposition to what we believe we want. I use an approach informed by Internal Family Systems (IFS, read more here) to illuminate the distress and stuckness my clients face. My extensive training in attachment and systems theories is also foundational to my understanding of human nature. I am trained in EMDR and use the technique to help decrease the emotional intensity of challenging memories or beliefs and to process trauma. I find EMDR to be an amazingly powerful approach. I have seen its transformative possibilities and continue to be in awe of the mystery and miracle that is the human brain.
With support, my clients can intentionally choose their path rather than react unpredictably or just go through the motions on autopilot. I help my clients thrive!
With gratitude and joy (and a little trepidation), I opened my private practice in 2021. Through “Know Thyself Counseling” I am delighted to support and empower amazing women on their journeys of self (re)discovery and healing.