I have a Masters Degree in Family Therapy from Northeastern Illinois University.  I am dually licensed as an LMFT (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist) and an LCPC (Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor).

I am certified as an NCC (Nationally Certified Counselor) and in Prepare/Enrich.  I have also attended Levels 1 and 2 of clinical  training in Gottman Method Couples Counseling.

My experience:

I have worked in the mental health field since 2000, have worked with couples since 2011, and have been providing clinical supervision since 2014.  Throughout my work history, I’ve worked with children, adolescents, adults, individuals, couples, and families.  I’ve worked in settings including outpatient day programs, residential settings, community outpatient mental health centers, private practice settings, and in an emergency room.  I’ve had roles including clinical case manager, group facilitator, crisis worker, psychotherapist,  supervisor, and clinical director.  I’ve worked with people with severe and persistent mental illnesses through those coping with abuse or trauma, through those who are struggling adjusting to a new life situation.

My Style and Approach:

In my work with clients, I am integrative in that I do not use a particular theoretical orientation, but instead pull strategies from different theories that I think will be useful in the moment.  I am collaborative in my work with clients.  My stance is that my clients are the experts on their lives.  I see therapy as a way to promote self-awareness, growth, and change through exploring, processing, and skills teaching.   Additionally, I believe “therapy” is what takes place outside of the session and I work with my clients on identifying skills they can practice in between our meetings, as the implementation of the skills is where change happens.  I tend to gravitate towards interventions from CBT, DBT, Solution Focused, Strategic Therapy,  Emotionally Focused Therapy, a variety of Family Therapy methods, and Gottman Method for Couples Counseling.  In couples counseling, the relationship is my client.

I often use assessments such as Gottman Relationship Check-up and Love Languages in my work with couples.  I am also certified in Prepare/Enrich, where I can work with couples seeking pre-marital counseling.  Within the Prepare/Enrich model, I am able to work with you from a standard approach or a biblical or Catholic approach.  I  am also able to specifically work with you on building a step-family as well as parenting.

What makes an LMFT Different?

As an LMFT, I am trained to work with couples/families as well as individuals, which is what makes this license different than other licenses in the mental health field.  Other types of therapists may have received supervision on working with couples but as an LMFT, I additionally received specific training on this.  As an LMFT, I am not just looking at the person, I am looking at the relationship and the patterns that exist and applying techniques and teaching skills designed specifically to help the relationship.  This is much different and much more effective than applying individual counseling skills to treat the relationship.