My life has taken me down many career paths, yet within them was always one constant. People! My relationships with others truly inspire me. Connecting with people continues to motivate me and drives the ongoing expansion of my knowledge. I constantly explore different tools that help navigate through the challenges we encounter along the way.
I am licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist. Of all the streams in psychology, I chose to be licensed in this area specifically and feel it’s important to elaborate on my choice. Life is a journey and path that we are never truly alone on although it can feel that way at times, but we are always surrounded! We are never really isolated from our family, friends, teachers, coworkers, and communities. "Systemic therapy is a form of psychotherapy which seeks to address people not just on an individual level, as had been the focus of earlier forms of therapy, but as people in relationship, dealing with the interactions of groups and their interactional patterns and dynamics." - Quote source unknown. Change in an individual alone is not always enough, that’s why problems sometimes persist beyond personal treatments. The most effective treatments happen as a result of implementing the systemic therapy approach in parallel. As a marriage and family therapist I find that change is best viewed by our interactions with others. Recognizing dysfunctional patterns and emphasizing that our relationships with others is an important factor in personal psychological health.
My academic experience started at the University of Utah where I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Family and Consumer Studies. Since then, I received a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Argosy University. Upon graduation, I worked for three years in the mental health field, under a psychiatrist. This experience gave me educational exposure that many therapists don’t receive.
I had the opportunity to learn about psychopharmaceutical drugs, and the assessment tools needed to address when they may be a necessary part of the treatment plan, along with support in medication management. Psychiatric evaluations were also a weekly part of my practices; in addition, I ran a group for ADHD patients. I have also trained under John Gottman and received level 2 training in Couples Therapy. I also have extensive training in eating disorders and EMDR. The opportunity to work as a systemically trained therapist has been the most rewarding part of my career and has allowed me to realize that my abilities don’t just improve the life of an individual but a whole family and network.
Woof! My name is Russel.
Russel is a 10 year old Maltese (hypoallergenic) who is a licensed therapy dog. He loves coming to work with me and is present during psychotherapy when necessary; he can calm and comfort you by sitting with you or just by being present. "A body of research has suggested that interactions with therapy dogs can temporarily affect the release of various neurotransmitters in the brain; oxytocin (a chemical heavily linked with bonding) and dopamine (a chemical associated with reward and motivation) levels are increased, while lowering cortisol levels (an immunosuppressant associated with stress)". Many inpatient facilities use animals as a part of their treatment program as well. I feel fortunate to have Russell at Introspect because it has helped in creating an environment of comfort for clients.