I believe that the goal of counseling is to produce movement toward positive change, whether that change is intrapersonal, interpersonal, a specific behavior or attitude. My approach is grounded in therapies that have been known to work, but I am flexible in my approach since every client brings their own set of values to therapy. I know therapy only works when the client is motivated for change and trusts the therapeutic relationship; my role is to guide clients through that change process.
I have a personal as well as professional commitment to social justice and I try to reflect that in my work. I am sensitive to how social issues affect a person’s well being. Rather than feeling victimized, it is important to recognize the individual strengths one has and build resilience despite oppressive forces. I guide clients to become more resilient in the face of daily stressors, realizing that social change is more likely to be slower than personal change.
I received an M.S.W. from the University of Washington in 1991. I am a licensed independent clinical social worker in Washington State. I have been trained in the field of adolescent and adult mental health and have practiced counseling since 1987. I began a private practice in 2008. I have specific training and expertise in a variety of issues: adoption, sexual orientation, substance use and abuse, sexual and physical abuse, domestic violence, eating disorders, grief and loss, depression, perfectionism, anxiety and adolescent development.
In addition to my clinical work, in the past I led workshops on issues of cultural and individual identity for youth.