“...what has happened to us in our lives can be healed in relationships...”
I’ve been working with children and families for nearly two decades, helping families and individuals within a family system heal early childhood traumas, improve communication, and establish a greater connection with each other and within the self. I am trained as a marriage and family therapist and operate from a systems perspective where problems are viewed from the vantage point of understanding that the sum is greater than the individual parts. This is important because individual struggles do not begin in isolation and occur through a series of innumerable causes and effects. As your therapist, we will begin to examine various cultural and familial conditions, which have contributed to current issues and to begin the journey to healing. As I practice the art of therapy, my approach is ever-evolving and dynamic. I am passionate about psychological development, healing, and growth and am regularly studying new research on brain development and mindfulness techniques to support healing. I believe that what has happened to us in our lives can be healed in relationships and the power of the therapeutic relationship can be a powerful relationship to heal those wounds.
I have practiced therapy in a community outpatient setting and spent many years helping traumatized children and parents. I am originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, and earned a Bachelor’s in Science from Purdue University. I spent several years in Denver, Colorado working in an early childhood setting and returned to graduate school to facilitate my ability to achieve greater healing for children and families. I attended the University of Kentucky and earned a Master’s in Science specializing in marriage and family therapy.
I am interested in the parent-child relationship and have the pleasure of incorporating Dr. Shefali Tsabary’s work into my practice. I know the power of the parent-child relationship from my upbringing, and when I became a parent, I felt a tremendous sense of urgency to discover a parenting framework to support my growth and my child’s. My life is forever changed!
When working with families, I enjoy meeting with the entire family system when addressing communication, roles, and breaking free of prescribed interactions. Prioritizing family issues, and establishing family-centered and client-centered goals helps establish the need for individual, couples, or parent-child sessions to address more immediate needs.
As a therapist, I draw from an eclectic background and understand the value of each person’s uniqueness and individual life experiences. I utilize diverse approaches to treat various symptoms and draw from various psychological schools of thought. What you can expect is an atmosphere of non-judgment, unconditional positive regard, and valuable information to support you on your healing journey. My intentions as a therapist are to prioritize your goals and needs and to help you achieve the desire outcomes. I value the relationship between myself and my clients. The foundation of therapy is built upon trust, safety, validation, and feel heard and understood. As therapy progresses, we will examine how your life experiences have shaped attachment in relationships, thinking and belief systems, and how this affects behaviors and actions. We will work together to disrupt patterns that are no longer serving you. Changing patterns and neural pathways can be hard work and together we can establish new ways of being. I use techniques such as Motivational Interviewing, DBT, CBT, mindfulness, role-playing, and other experiential techniques with you to assist you on your journey toward growth and healing.
As part of my work with families, I will work with children and adolescents to support their emotional health. I establish a connection through art therapy, play therapy, and other experiential activities to facilitate the therapeutic relationship and begin to undercover the root of the problem. I teach children the skills necessary to self-regulate, to express their feelings, and to communicate their needs. I enjoy using art therapy techniques and other creative outlets to help children learn skills to establish connections with others.
This developmental stage is likely the most underestimated in terms of growth and transformation. Teenagers face a significant amount of challenges and as a society there is an overemphasis on the magically time of transforming into young adulthood without a deep understanding of the difficulties the adolescent is facing. Adolescents are attempting to secure their own identity from families of origin while still having a significant amount of dependence. There is a process of pushing away while still needing a lot of support from parental caregivers. This push and pull dynamic can be difficult for the young person and the adult caregivers. My work with families and adolescents focuses on enhancing communication and connection, self-regulating, teaching skills and techniques to practice emotional self-care, and challenging negative thought patterns. We will have the opportunity to use cognitive and behavioral techniques to learn problem-solving skills, emotion regulation, mindfulness, and social skills. I also strive to make sessions experiential, exciting, and fun by getting creative with art, role-playing, writing, and music. My work with adolescents aims to help them develop a sense of agency and control of their lives, build and expand a sense of identity and meaningfulness, learn to cope with and manage difficult emotions, and find a personalized and healthy method of self-expression.