Personal Biography

Professionally, I am a Licensed Specialist Clinical Social Worker. I have 30 years of experience working in the fields of Mental and Behavioral Health with preadolescents, adolescents, adults and senior adults. My experience includes providing individual, couple, family and group psychotherapy in Hospital, Partial Hospital, Intensive Outpatient, Group Home and In Home settings.

 I have extensive clinical experience treating individuals who are dealing with Major Depression, Dysthymia, Bipolar Disorder, ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), ADHD (Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity Disorder), OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) as well as the full spectrum of Anxiety and Personality Disorders.  

 I also have a passion for helping people recover from the efffects of abuse, trauma and loss.  We experience many losses in life.  Each time we lose someone or something important to us we grieve.  I count it a priviledge to help carry the burden as bereaved individuals learn to lean forward again into a life worth living; a life of hope, meaning and purpose. 

 In that there is such a high comorbidity rate between Mental Health Issues and Substance Use Disorders and Behavioral Addictions, I also have a great deal of experience providing therapy with a "Dual Diagnosis" focus.

 I describe my treatment approach as eclectic and client centered; as I prefer to select the treatment approach that best fits each client rather than try to fit all clients into one specific therapy model or treatment approach.  I encourage my clients to involve supportive family members or friends in their therapuetic process whenever possible, as we all need as much understanding and support as we can get.  I also recommend and request that all my clients allow open communication between all of their health professionals, i.e. the primary care physician, the psychiatrist or nurse practitioner and any other treatment program that a client has been involved with.  Research shows that coordinating care between the entire "treatment team" yields the best results. 

 Over the course of my career, I have worked at Mid-Continent Hospital, Crittenton Psychiatric Center and Shawnee Mission Medical Center. I attended Mid America Nazarene College where I received a BA in Psychology in 1982. I received a Master’s Degree in Social Welfare from Kansas University in 1991.

 

Personally, I am a daughter, a granddaughter, a sister, a wife, a daughter-in-law, a sister-in-law, a mother, an aunt and a friend.  I grew up on a small, family farm in Minnesota.  I came to Kansas to attend college.  As suburban Kansas City had more economic opportunities than rural Minnesota, I stayed.  Though I've been here for about 33 years now, I am still just a Minnesota farm girl at heart.  I like to garden...Playing in the dirt can be very therapuetic.  I love animals...dogs, horses, cats and birds being amoung my favorites.  I love the great outdoors.  I love the mountains.  I love the water.  I love to watch the sky. Sunrise...Sunset...Moonrise...  Starlight...Cloudy or clear; It's grand and beautiful.  I like to cook and craft.  I love music.  I like to sing in the choir.  I like books and movies with happy endings.  I'm not so fond of growing old, but I'm in the process of learning how to embrace it.  If wisdom truly does come with age, and perhaps experience, than I guess it will come in handy. I find that in life my roles as teacher and student continue to intertwine.     

 

Spiritually, I have been a Christian for as long as I can remember. It is in my relationship with Jesus Christ and upon my Christian beliefs that I stake my life and my hope. My life’s journey has been one of learning to “trust and obey” and “where He leads me I will follow”. It was in following Christ all those many years ago that I became a Social Worker. Mental Health has been my mission field for about 30 years now.  It was in following Christ in the Spring of 2012 that I took a leap of faith and opened Ephesians 4:15 Counseling Services.   While secular counseling in and of itself can be helpful; it cannot lead one to complete healing and transformation.  I felt called to offer hurting people more.  The Christian perspective informs us that complete healing and transformaion is only possible with Christ Jesus. We live in a lost and broken world marred by sin. We struggle to find meaning and purpose for our lives. We ache for a sense of hope while we try valiantly to just survive the pain.  And despite our best efforts, we cannot truly fix or heal ourselves. We need God. I believe that all truth, as well as all help, hope and healing ultimately come from God. Therefore, the good science of psychology with its sound research based clinical practices and sound Biblical faith work very well together.  Evidenced based treatment strategies such as CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) are consistent with Biblical principles as long as God is not factored out of them. These beliefs and  strategies are fundamental to my overall clinical approach.

 

Thank you for visiting my website.  If you think I can be of service to you, please give me a call.