Life has been generous with experiences that I bring to the counseling session. Becoming a counselor was inevitable for me but I took the long way around getting here by returning to grad school in midlife by most standards.
Consequently, I bring an array of personal experiences from which I draw in helping my clients. Losses, struggles, betrayal, abuse and surviving are all very familiar and I am thankful for all the challenges because they make me the counselor I am today. I very much understand and embrace that “Life is more than surviving” and can help you recover and grow to live the life you want!
Life Experiences & Careers
Education - Formal & Otherwise
My childhood was all about my love of horses. Logically, my initial college focus was PreMed/PreVet with the goal of Veterinary Medicine. With the loss of my dad my freshman year, my path was changed.
I continued my love of horses and my employment largely focused on business management and accounting. I have enjoyed living in multiple parts of our beautiful country.
After 2 decades, I found a passion for emergency services. Beginning with volunteering at the local fire department, I become a First Responder, then an Emergency Medical Technician from basic through training as a paramedic along with BTLS, ACLS, PHTLS, PALS. I took the Certified Fire Fighter Courses and served our local volunteer department. Perhaps some of my favorite work was rescue training including High Angle and Swift Water Rescue. Through this work, I became increasingly aware of the emotional toll that our responders pay and my focus began to shift to include mental health.
I earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. I completed my Masters and Specialists Degrees in Counseling from the University of Florida CACREP program in 2003. I was accepted into the PhD program and I began my research for my dissertation focus on mental health for emergency personnel. I continued working for an EMS system throughout my graduate school years. Unfortunately, a significant injury with lengthy recovery ended that career along with work toward my PhD.
Since entering clinical practice, I have worked with hundreds of clients from all walks of life. With personal experience in emergency work, I understand the emotional struggles of merging daily life with the scars of those jobs. Understanding both worlds, I can bridge and unite them to heal and continue this invaluable work. Another strength is helping and educating parents to raise their children to become successful, responsible adults. My third specialty is working as an adolescent counselor. My years working with middle school and high school clients has prepared me to truly understand, reach and help youth who face the painful years of adolescence in our difficult world. I have provided counseling to students of Alternative Learning Environment (ALE) programs and worked closely with juvenile justice officers in getting troubled youth the help they need.
Whether you or your child frequently feels angry, anxious, depressed, easily frustrated or suffers from symptoms of PTSD, consider seeking help with a counselor who understands the emotional and physiological components of your distress. Increase your comfort level by working with someone who has the experience that allows understanding and relating to your struggles. We will work to identify the triggers of these unnecessary negative emotions and developing healthy alternatives.
Counseling is effective for a wide variety of life situations including: struggles in relationships, difficulties in your job and employment, dealing with the death of a close family member or friend, hypersensitivity, hyperactivity or other issues that are having a negative impact on your mental health. I am here, ready to listen and help you get your life back on track through exploration, understanding and education.