I am experienced in Recreation Therapy and Wellness Services, as well as Clinical Social Work. My professional career began with a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation Therapy, and 12 years of experience providing recreation therapy services. I worked in nursing homes, psychiatric inpatient and day treatment programs, VA Medical Centers, and VA Chemical Dependency treatment programs. This gave me a deep appreciation for the therapeutic power of recreation in our lives, how to live fully despite illness or disability, and the importance of a well-balanced lifestyle. It also prepared me for a Clinical Social Work practice that is often experiential, and emphasizes mind-body integration.
I obtained a Master of Social Work degree in 1990, and have been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for 24 years. I've been a Certified-Clinical Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Social Worker since 2001. Most of my Clinical Social Work experience has involved helping individuals with co-occurring mental health, addictions, and trauma recovery needs. I have a passion for helping people to manage adversity, stress and anxiety in healthy, self-affirming ways.
For the past 10 years, I've also specialized in helping people with chronic pain or other chronic health conditions that are stress and lifestyle influenced; such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and more. I've facilitated hundreds of pain management groups, and counseled 100s of clients towards developing integrative self-care plans. These plans often utilized movement therapies like yoga and tai chi, supervised exercise, cognitive behavioral therapy, acupuncture, physical therapy, non-addictive medications, meditation and more.
My work draws from Systems Theory, Attachment Theory, Interpersonal Neurobiology, Integrative Medicine, Motivational Interviewing, Recovery Management, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention; Meditation, Relaxation and Grounding Skills, Solution Focused Therapy, Trauma Informed Care, 12 Step Recovery, Pain Management Services, Case Management, Recreation Therapy and Wellness, and Mind Body Practices such as Yoga, Tai Chi.
WHAT IS REQUIRED IS A WILLINGNESS TO LOOK DEEPLY AT ONE’S PRESENT MOMENTS, NO MATTER WHAT THEY HOLD, IN A SPIRIT OF GENEROSITY, KINDNESS TOWARDS ONESELF, AND OPENNESS TOWARD WHAT MIGHT BE POSSIBLE.
I believe we can all benefit from therapy at times. We may be struggling with anxiety, depression, addictions, grief and loss, difficult life transitions; work problems, relationship stressors, pain, illness, trauma symptoms, etc.. Sharing our thoughts and feelings in the safe and intentional context of individual or group therapy can meet a basic human need to be heard, seen and understood. It helps us experience ourselves and others in new ways, with greater awareness, allowing us to recognize and address previously unconscious barriers to change. Psychotherapy may involve learning specific skills for managing painful emotions. It can enable us to experiment with healthier coping behaviors, to identify new resources and tools, and to broaden our social support networks. By integrating such experiences we develop new healing, growth and contentment.