The Journey of Life… img_4406

Clients

My career thus far has brought me in various directions.  Much of my work has been with families (children/adolescents/parenting), couples and adults.  I also have enjoyed running groups and witnessing how people thrive from helping others and receiving support from others.  I have spoken at schools to educate parents on childhood disorders, such as ADHD and Anxiety.  This is something I hope to do more of.

Much of my career experience is providing counseling services for children of all ages, families, adults and couples.  A large focus has been working with parents on parenting approaches to best support their child’s growth.  The other half of my career focus has been with couples.  Together we identify their pattern of relating to one another, specify their relationship goals and develop a plan in helping them attain their goals.  This may include helping each person describe what’s important to them individually and within the context of their relationship.

One Side of the Coin (My general approach)

As you know, I am a therapist.   What therapist doesn’t like to talk?!  If there’s one thing about me that my family knows is that I like to talk things over…and over…and over if necessary.  In this line of work, it’s important to be able to understand others AND express yourself in a way that helps you feel understood as well.  Responding with too much emotion typically aggravates a situation more than it helps things.

I love working with people.  This may include kids of any age, families, adults and couples alike.  I strive to help people connect with their own personal values in life and help them live a life that is consistent with their values.  This process will be different for everyone, as it should be.  The foundation of any solid family is to have whole parts to start laying the groundwork.  When a person feels good and secure in him/herself and his/her situation, then the foundation s/he lays for those they are responsible for will be more stable.  This is not an easy task though, especially when life happens and presents you with challenges.  Or maybe a person feels happy, however a loved one of theirs is struggling.  It’s not easy to know how to best support someone else in a way that helps them progress and does not enable negative circumstances to continue.

The Other Side of the Coin…From the Tundra to the Heat Waves

Like many people around here, my husband and I moved to Northern Virginia from Buffalo, NY.  Our first winter was glorious, very little snow in comparison to shoveling snow off our roof.  I must admit, I love the snow days that this area has to offer!  It  gives us an excuse to be out in the snow or lack there of.  Getting used to the heat here was great too, since Buffalo summers are much more mild.  We moved here for the many opportunities the area has to offer.  I finished my Master’s Degree in Social Work and began working in Buffalo, however wanted more.  I was eager to find out where my life would take me  after a big relocation.

Trying not to Tip the Scale….Maintaining Balance!

Finding balance is probably the biggest goal of mine in life, although it can be difficult. I have noticed that when I can indulge in various areas of my life, I am happiest and can better help my clients.  In my personal time, I love to spend time with my family.  My husband and I often will take our kids and explore whatever nature has to offer.  This may include hiking, traveling, or simply being out in our yard.  I love to play in dirt by gardening in my vegetable and flower beds.  This is the messiest thing my kids and I have in common….getting dirty and running away from any bees that may cross our path!!!  Traveling is another passion so when I can combine these two things by traveling with my family, it feels like the best thing ever!  Of course we anticipate the ever famous question…”Are we there yet?!”  We always enjoy weekend trips to get out of dodge for a bit.

I have learned that I am a “project” kind of person.  I seem to get myself involved in these big projects and have no idea how it happened?!?  This may include planning an event, publishing a family cookbook, quilting, installing laminate flooring in my house, or something else that requires a lot of time.  This is where my tests of maintaining balance and focusing on how I prioritize my values come into play.  One common theme to these projects is that they all seem to connect to my values in life.  I really cherish my family whether it’s spending time with them, connecting with them or improving our home.  Each “project” coincidentally relates to family somehow.

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