Training and Experience
Areas of Focus and Expertise
|After years of working with women, couples and children as a childbirth
educator, doula, social worker and therapist, I still delight in empowering
people using practical applications of current research to serve individual
needs. My intention is to continually educate and expand myself to offer
the best services to all my clients.
139 West King St
Hillsborough, NC 27278
11 am- 8 pm
TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE:
Degree in Social Work
Clinical Social Worker
My counseling experience began doing group and individual therapy with children in foster care, then children in public school special education classes. My practice moved from the community mental health setting to private practice in 1995. Since that time, my focus has shifted from children to adults, treating problems ranging from post-traumatic stress disorder, post-partum depression, obsessive compulsive disorder to parenting adjustments and couples' therapy.
In addition to my graduate training in social work, I was a childbirth educator and doula. During my 28 years teaching prepared childbirth classes and infant care to expectant couples, attending numerous births in various settings, and listening to both new parents and professionals discuss the experience of pregnancy and birth, my appreciation for the power of the childbearing year has deepened. Thus my professional development has included the synthesis of the realms of attachment, psychosocial development, physical and hormonal influences on women's mental health, and education.
1.Free Initial Consultation
Finding the right therapist for you is important. To help make this decision, I offer all prospective clients a 30 minute session free of charge. Meeting someone face to face, seeing their office environment and discussing your needs with them can often make the critical difference.
I work with adults of all ages. Each session is 55 minutes long, unless we discuss the need in advance for a longer session. My appointments usually start on the hour. The first session or two will include reviewing your psychosocial history and assessment forms to determine with you the goals for therapy and a reasonable time frame to accomplish them.
Relationships can be one of the most significant sources of fulfillment and yet sometimes a source of extreme frustration in our lives. When working with couples, I try to help them set clear, reasonable goals along with a time line for treatment. It may come as no surprise that difficulties in a relationship may intensify after starting therapy before they seem to improve.
I often suggest both partners do some reading between sessions to develop a common language and theoretical basis for working through their concerns. Three excellent authors in this field are Harville Hendrix, Terrence Real and John Gottman.
AREAS OF FOCUS
Women's mental health
Post-partum mood disorders
Previous unresolved childbirth trauma
Adult children of alcoholic
Although primarily grounded in cognitive behavioral theory, I am interested in the whole person and integrating current research findings in the field of neurobiology. I believe in a psychoeducational, goal-oriented approach with my clients. Developmental and attachment theory enlighten both the individual and couples’ work I do. It’s my observation that to have the most impact towards change and understanding, utilizing experiential tools is essential. Talking to someone for an hour once a week by itself offers structured time for reflection but deep change is enhanced with “homework” between sessions. Experiencing new emotional states, mastery towards one’s goals and an unconditionally supportive relationship are critical. From this viewpoint, some clients would describe my approach as directive and interactive.
I often make the comparison of the mental health field to dental health. By the time most of us are six years old, we have learned how and when to brush our teeth, how to floss properly and the importance of avoiding sugary foods, while seeing our dentist for regular check ups. How many people are taught comparable skills regarding their mental health? I believe learning accurate information about emotions, effective communication skills and how life style choices effect our brain health are equally important.
The same innate healing potential that allows the body to heal from a cut is that same force that supports and allows for the healing of our mind. We are challenged to create the correct conditions for that healing to occur. I believe helping a client to learn what those conditions are for them personally is a major role for a therapist.
I am a member of many local managed care panels. Please check with your individual insurance plan for out-patient mental health benefits and/or precertification requirements. Since most clients in therapy prefer not to have the stress of insurance billing, I do billing for my clients. Some insurance companies do have special forms to be completed to begin treatment and others for claims. So please inform me as soon as possible regarding your insurance needs. Co-payments are paid at the beginning of each session unless other arrangements are made. I do not take credit cards.
* Special note: I have retired from teaching prepared childbirth as of November 2005. After sharing 28 wonderful years with childbearing couples, the decision to put all my professional energy into my therapy practice was a difficult one. Thank you to all the families who shared such an important and transformative experience with me. Please know how much each class taught and each birth attended meant to me.