Hi All! A little about me…I love encouraging people and helping them find their strengths, and their own way of finding joy in life; in fact I love this part of my life even more than I love coffee and chocolate which, let’s be honest, is A LOT! I knew since I was an adolescent that I was meant to be a counselor. I would toy with the idea of marine biology, because who doesn’t want to swim with the dolphins and orcas; teaching elementary school, because kids are the coolest; and being a small business owner, because being one’s own boss makes all the long hours we put in worth it, right?!?
I was raised in a family with entrepreneurs for parents, hence the wanting a small business being in my blood. I held so many jobs from the age of 9 to 21, it borders on entertaining. At the root of that family and hard work was always FAITH and the support of people who reached out to me when I needed it most; and that is what allowed me to get through those adolescent years. My grandfather was diagnosed with cancer when I was in Jr. High and this spiraled me toward grief and depression. I felt lonely, isolated, scared, sad, anxious and confused all of the time. Life got really dark and I know if it were not for my faith in Jesus and some beautiful people who came in to my life at just the right time, I would not be here today, and the desire to be a guide and light in those darkest times for others would not have been placed in my heart, as no one should go through the darkest hours alone.
Growing out of the darkness my desire to help others became a passion, a way of being, basically it just came to me like breathing. I came to realize that everyone experiences grief and loss, life transitions, feelings of anxiety or depression, challenges in relationships whether it be family, friendships or romantic, and struggles in finding balance in their lives.
As a result my areas of focus for individuals age 12 and older:
- life transitions
- women’s issues
- female adolescent issues
- work/life balance
- marital/relational conflict
- depression, and
I attended both undergraduate and graduate school at George Fox University, a Christian university in Newberg, Oregon, where I focused on psychology and health, as I believe that you can not treat one without the other. If you are treating the body, you can not forget the mind and if you are treating the mind you can not forget the body, but also let us not forget the third and most important piece, you can not treat either the mind or body without treating the heart and soul. I graduated with my Masters in Counseling in 2004.
While working in the mental health field I have served as: a child development therapist for the 2-7 year olds who were severely physically and emotionally abused; a readjustment counselor for war eras from Vietnam to Afghanistan, working with individual veterans and their spouses and families; a crisis counselor and currently a private practice counselor providing support and guidance to individual adolescents and adults.
I am a mother of two beautiful children a 13yo daughter and a 10yo son. God blessed me when he put these children in my care; they remind me to focus on the beauty of the smaller parts of life, in order to experience joy in each day.
My church is a place that the minute I walked in I felt at home. The members of the congregation wrapped their love around the children and I and have provided a place for us to safely grow and continue our walk in faith.
I have also been blessed with the most incredible family and friends, they cheer me on and support me and challenge me every step of the way to help me grow towards the best version of myself. No sense in being the best version of someone else ;).
I grew up in two beautiful parts of Oregon: the Willamette Valley and the Wallowa Mountains, I think my parents had a thing for the letter W. If you are from outside of the state of Oregon and reading this I strongly advise you to check out both of these parts of the state, you can not go wrong visiting either. Growing up in the valley and in the mountains, I love hiking, swimming in the lakes and rivers and spending time at the beach. The beach is my happy place, if you can’t find me, chances are I am chilling on a beach somewhere catching some ocean breeze, with my two dogs.
So I suppose this is a little bit more than a little bit about me, if you stuck with me through this intro, you must have had your coffee or tea for the day. That is how I start my day: praise, prayer, coffee, then praise again (because who doesn’t praise God after their first cup of caffeine in the morning?) :).
Please reach out to me if you have any questions about the services I provide and if you are interested in scheduling an appointment with me (for now only Oregon residents for appointments please).