My first career was in education and this is where I first experienced the power of a relationship to transform a person’s life. I taught elementary, secondary and adult learners in a variety of subjects and my most powerful experiences were the times I watched a child, adolescent or adult grow because they knew that I saw, understood and accepted them while expressing the hope that there were great things ahead for them in life.
I left education to find a place where I could help people individually. I worked with victims and witnesses of violent crimes, domestic violence survivors and with hospice. I trained two Golden Retrievers to become therapy dogs and they brought another level of comfort to my work.
Through my contact with people in all of these settings I experienced the power of the human relationship to help heal from trauma, change relationships and patterns that don’t work and grow in our understanding and acceptance of ourselves and others. I believe that when someone is heard, understood and accepted they are free to move towards a more meaningful, rich and satisfying life.
The relationships and healing work that these experiences provided inspired me to return to graduate school to pursue becoming a psychotherapist.
I share my office with my Golden Retriever, Jud. He is a certified therapy dog and adds a warm, gentle presence to the work. He sits patiently when clients arrive and greets them with an enthusiastic wag and hope for a few friendly scratches. If clients wish, he will lie at their feet and is always available for for extra support. Jud is equally happy sleeping next to my chair during our sessions. I am always willing to leave Jud at home if clients prefer.