Therapy is tough to describe. People often want to know what I do and how I do what I do. This is not an easy question to answer. First of all, I love what I do. Being given the opportunity to sit with people through their struggles, sorrows and joy is truly a gift in my life. I honor my clients and love my time with them. Second of all, every person’s therapy is unique to that person. I do not have a template that I follow in order to “fix” people. I am not magic and do not have the ability to save people. I follow a certain process to begin to understand new clients, and from there the therapy takes on its own persona. The relationship that you and I develop will be a major way that we will be able to make change in your life. I will be a silent supporter in your daily life, though I am not silent in session! I am a very active therapist during sessions and have a slightly informal style.
Teen therapy is a favorite of mine. Teens generally find me to be non-threatening and I believe that most teens end up enjoying their time with me (at least that’s what many of them tell me). I am able to work collaboratively with teens and their parents without spilling the beans about what teens have going on (unless there is something dangerous going on, of course!). I am flexible and can adjust with teens in order to do the work they want to do.
As a person, I enjoy the world in many ways. I love the outdoors, biking, and the natural beauty of the world around me. I am a big reader and will often recommend books to clients. If you do not enjoy reading, however, I will not try to force you to read! I am married, live in St. Paul, and love the Twin Cities. I should add that I am a transplant to MN. I was born and raised in Colorado and lived there until I was 21 years old. I have a background in emergency medicine (I was an EMT in Colorado) and have worked in various capacities as a “helper.” I love coffee and will probably be drinking a cup when you and I meet.
I feel obligated to take a public position about tattoos. While this might seem odd to you, it will make more sense when you meet me. I have a big tattoo that I love on my arm. Yes, I am a tattooed therapist. You will likely never see my tattoos, though, because I tend to be a chilly person. This means that my tattoos are usually covered. The longer I work with your teen, though, the more likely they will see my tattoos. Parents frequently ask how I am going to address this matter with their teenager, because teens sometimes want tattoos. The feedback I give teens about tattoos:
**This feedback does not fit for every client that I see. This is a general set of guidelines to inform you about how I typically answer tattoo questions.**
Bachelor’s Degree – University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire
Master’s Degree – University of St. Thomas/College of St. Catherine
Current Licensure: MSW (Master of Social Work), LICSW (Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker)
Postgraduate training in Multisystemic Therapy (MST) – Multisystemic Institute, South Carolina
MST "Whatever It Takes" Award - Fall, 2011. Recognized for outstanding service to teens and families. (Find award in the 'Announcements from MST Services and MST Institute' section).
I work with individuals across the spectrum of age, race, gender, and sexual orientation.