Philosophy of Care
Healing is a Journey for our Wholeness… sometimes we intentionally set out on that journey, but most often we undertake it when something in our life stirs us up, knocks us around and compels us in some way onto the path. We we want relief from what troubles us and seek a kind of peace. We long for a deeper understanding or some kind of acceptance of what’s happened or is still happening in our lives that we can’t control or just doesn’t seem to make sense. Some challenges motivate us to change and grow while others overwhelm us like a flood. We must stretch and shift to find the value in our struggles and in our suffering that brings transformation. If we work with it, out of the fire often arises something unexpected that can help us gain a new balance and a new harmony in our experience of ourselves and our life that can give us freedom to grow and become who we are in our whole-self.
After working with people for many years, as well as in my own journey, I’ve come to believe there is a natural healing tendency within all of us. The same way the body when injured tries to heal and needs care in order to do so, it is the same in ourselves and in our relationships. I trust the healing response as a deeper wisdom, like the wis-dom in the acorn that knows how to become the oak tree and will, if given the chance and the support to grow. It’s there in the background in our lives all the time trying to help us and bring us to our wholeness if we will work with it consciously and mindfully. Being human we are also full of seeming contradictions and paradoxical life experiences that can disturb or trouble us at times and come out as symptoms or compulsions in unexpected and often unwanted ways that are difficult and challenging to reconcile. I see counseling as a space for understanding these experiences, for tuning in and for supporting the healing process to play its part in the challenges of the day the person is facing and the stage of life they are passing through.
I’ve been told by many clients and colleagues along the way that I have a calming presence and a unique perspective. I see the counselor’s role being to bring awareness, knowledge, skill and heart to the patient’s work and to honor the whole-person or their whole-relationship while helping them understand their struggles and symptoms in the context of their whole-being. As a counselor I can provide clinical insights and experienced methods that can help people explore and be more in relationship with all aspects of themselves and their lives, including the aspects that seem most difficult to be in relationship with. I see the tasks for the individual coming in for counseling to be openness and honesty, showing up for themselves in their own work, being willing to trust and risk and try new ways, having investment in their own growth and healing and being compassionate with themselves along the way. In counseling together we can create and hold open a safe space in sessions with a state of presence while the healing work goes on, in whatever form it needs to take. Talking, listening, sharing, feeling, understanding, skill-building, challenging old perceptions, developing new horizons, dreaming forward; these are all part of the therapy and the Healing Journey of Wholeness.
Education and Licensure
Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor, State of Utah, 2006
Certificate in Drug and Alcohol Abuse Counseling and Treatment, University of Utah Graduate School of Social Work, 1998
MS, University of Utah Department of Educational Psychology; 2003
Certificate in Process-Oriented Psychology, Processwork Institute of Oregon; 2011
I have over 20 years of experience in counseling working in in the field of mental health in Utah. I also have my own life experiences and healing journey that drew me into working with people and trying to help them in their journeys as well.
My work began in the summer of 1997 when I was working on my undergraduate de-gree. I worked for a year with Project Reality, an outpatient substance abuse treatment center and half-way house in downtown Salt Lake for low income/high risk adult men and women dealing with severe addictions and I later did a counseling internship with Volunteers of America with the same population I witnessed first-hand the devastation in the lives of people caught up in one of the worst epidemics of our times. Around the same time I worked for two years at Highland Ridge Hospital as a Frontline Counselor on a national crisis helpline dealing with suicide interventions with callers, referring people to treatment services and also providing traumatic incident support for railroad employees. While completing my undergraduate and my graduate studies I worked for four years as a Psychiatric Technician on the psychiatric ward at the University of Utah Medical Center where I provided care and support for people going through a wide range of extreme states and suffering with mental health crises. During my graduate work I also completed a clinical practicum with the University Counseling Center work-ing with college students and a clinical internship with Valley Mental Health working with troubled youth and their families.
After graduate school I went to work for the Cirque Lodge in Sundance; considered to be one of the top residential treatment centers in the world for dual diagnosis clients dealing with addiction and mental health issues. There I completed my post-graduate internship and worked for over ten years as a primary therapist in coordination with the multidisciplinary treatment team. I provided assessment, treatment and care for individuals, groups, couples and families. I created and facilitated group workshops focused on many themes including: Centering and Healing, Vital Spiritual Experiences, Resentment and Forgiveness, Going through Death, Loss and Change, Changing Your Reality, Relating with Dreaming, Finding Beauty in the Moment, Transitions through Life, Amends and Acceptance and Walking a Path of Heart. I continue to provide these workshops and others for the Cirque Lodge residents and alumni on a regular basis. In 2012, I felt drawn toward outpatient mental health work and so I became involved with the Alpine Center for Personal Growth for over five years as a Clinical Counselor doing individual and couples therapy. My focus has been helping people with a variety of mental health issues and life challenges they face including anxiety, depression, addictions, relationships, grief and dreams among other things. I have also presented Work-shops for the C.G. Jung Psychological Society of Utah and the community on Topics Including Jungian Psychology Approaches to Understanding and Working with Addictions (2016) and the Creation and Use of Mandalas in Treatment as a Symbol of Inner Wholeness and Healing (2017). In coming to work now for Corner Canyon at this stage in my career I feel that I am, in a grateful way, doing the work I feel called to and have set out to do from the beginning and hope to be doing for many years to come.
Member of the American Counseling Association since 2003
Helping People With
* Anxiety, Stress and feelings of being overwhelmed
* Depression, Cycling Moods and Emotion Regulation
* Confusion or Scattered Sense of Self
* Addictions and Recovery
* Relationship Strains, Boundaries, and Communication
* Grief, Loss, and Change
* Spiritual and Existential Crises
* Growth, Development, and Phase of Life Transitions
* Dreams, Meditation, Self-Exploration, and Transformation
* Process-Oriented Psychology and Processwork
* Jungian Psychology Approaches
* Client-Centered Counseling
* Cognitive and Dialectical Behavioral Techniques
* Existential Counseling
* Mindfulness Methods and Meditation
* Substance Abuse Counseling
* 12-Step Recovery-Based Counseling
* Life-Span Development Perspectives
Adults Ages 18 and Older