My hope is that through our sessions you will come to know that you can overcome your difficulties, with God’s help. As your counselor, my desire is to come alongside you as the Scriptures tell us to do, “to encourage one another and build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). With wisdom from the Lord and compassion and respect for you as an individual, I will walk with you through the valleys and peaks to help you reach your personal growth goals in each area of life – physically, emotionally, mentally, relationally, and spiritually.
My Goal as a Christian Counselor
My goal is to help you recover from your difficulties and hurts. As we work together, my aim is for you to learn to identify your patterns of thinking and how your emotions, choices, and behaviors have helped you arrive where you are in life. My hope is that your experience with Christian counseling will help you to be compassionate toward yourself and others, and develop stronger, deeper relationships.
What I Offer in Christian Counseling
With honesty and open communication, I will meet you where you are. As your counselor, I will listen to your story and hear what you’re telling me. I will consider your own thoughts, emotions, and behaviors and their role in your relationships, as well as those close to you who influence your well-being. Together we will strategize how to improve your life, build your faith, and strengthen your family, career, and relationships.
My Approach to Christian Counseling
In general, my clinical approach is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. In the Christian faith, Jesus is center to our existence, our hope, our future, our eternity. Many things in life we cannot change, but we can find healing when we set our gaze upon Him. Difficult experiences can cause us to believe things about ourselves and the world around us, and sometimes believe things about God. These beliefs are often formed at a young age or during heavy circumstances, and are often responsible for why we still hurt long afterward. I like to encourage clients to explore what God tells us about ourselves and hold our beliefs up against His truths.
Qualifications & Experience
I have Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, both from Northwest University in Kirkland, WA. I am also a trained Child Forensic Interviewer and Title 26 Guardian Ad Litem.
My Call to Christian Counseling
God has given me a passion for connecting with people and a desire to support others as they unravel their troubles.
More About Me/On a Personal Note
My husband is my best friend and cheerleader. My favorite people are my family. I love everything creative – playing piano, singing on the worship team at church, knitting, baking, and tending to my garden and chickens.
Areas of Expertise/Specialties
- Abandonment and Neglect
- Aging and Geriatric Issues
- Bipolar Disorder
- Grief and Loss
- Group Counseling
- Individual Counseling
- Infidelity and Affairs
- Online Counseling
- Personal Development
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Premarital Counseling
- Professional Development
- Relationship Issues
- Sexual Abuse
- Spiritual Development
- Weight Loss
- Women’s Issues
When traumatic experiences are not fully processed by our brain, they are often stored in our memory in an unhelpful way, causing us distress. I like to think of our brain like a pantry where each of our experiences are grocery bags, full of items that comprise each aspect of the experience (thoughts, feelings, sensations, beliefs). When the grocery bags are unpacked and the items located on the shelves, the items become organized and can be used. This is how adaptive reasoning happens. But when something stressful happens, we sometimes avoid what is in the grocery bags and end up with bags of groceries all over the floor of the pantry that have never been unpacked. The result is most of the items in the bags cannot be accessed or used, and our shelves have bare spots, causing problems with reasoning.
When you journey with me in trauma therapy, we systematically unpack the items, making judgments and appraisals of each item, and get them stored in an organized manner. Then, all of your experiences are available for adaptive use. When your brain pantry is organized, you can function better, using prior experiences intentionally, efficiently, and adaptively. If traumatic experiences are avoided and not processed, it can result in depression, anxiety, addictions, and a host of other problems including relationship difficulties and many other areas of functioning. Even a memorable humiliation can be debilitating. But there’s great news! Using EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and (Cognitive Processing Therapy), I can help you explore your experiences, and help make sense of the resulting behaviors, reactions, and beliefs. I’ll guide you toward healthier coping strategies to help eliminate your physiological responses, nightmares, hypervigilance, flashbacks, and anxiety. My goal is for you to be able to look back on traumatic events and see them as unfortunate, but no longer re-live them anymore.
Sexual or Physical Abuse
Our personality is often shaped through the lens of our beliefs and experiences at a young age. And unfortunately, many beliefs about ourselves and the world are formed in a dysfunctional and abusive context. Individuals who are abused, neglected, or even vicariously exposed to traumatic events are at higher risk for health problems as adults such as substance abuse, depression, eating disorders, obesity, risky behaviors, smoking, suicide, and certain chronic diseases. Adult survivors often feel ashamed, stigmatized, or responsible. My commitment to you is to help you find compassion for yourself and discover a life of freedom, being able to rejoice in what God has made.
Grief and Loss
Losing a loved one is unimaginable. Loss can bring us tremendous agony, sadness, guilt, regret and loneliness. We all need someone to come alongside us as we process our overwhelming emotions. I do not believe God intends for us to bear these things alone, and research has shown that support from others is beneficial when processing grief. I’m here to walk beside you through each phase of your healing. Together we can bear the unbearable and help you ultimately rise up from it. My goal is to help you in any way I can to normalize what you’re going through and help you heal at your own pace.
In one context or another, we are part of a relationship. If you’ve come independently to work on something troubling in your life, the odds are that it is interfering with a relationship or many relationships. Something to consider is that everyone is on a journey toward becoming their best self. The relationships we hold with others are messy, and no one in the picture is perfect. The Bible refers to this as sanctification – an ever-becoming as we walk toward the righteousness that Christ wants for us. I like to approach therapy from the standpoint that everyone has improving to do and the way we work together best is to take the deepest look at all the dynamics of our relationships. There are likely a variety of adjustments that can be made by all, even when only one person in the relationship has come for counseling. For this reason, I typically encourage a spouse, parent, or other important relationship figure into the session from time to time. Let’s all strive to be our best selves and find out how we can strengthen bonds and love each other well.
I offer 53-minute sessions. Sessions can be held more than once per week, weekly, or every other week. Scheduling options are discussed in greater detail during your Risk-Free Initial Session.
Availability (by office location):
- Oak Harbor – Mon, Tue, Wed
- Anacortes – Thurs, Fri
Fees: I offer a Risk-Free Initial Session for individuals looking to pursue counseling with me. Please note that there is a fee for the Risk-Free Initial Session as it is a clinical hour and reimbursable to most insurance companies, but if you choose not to reschedule and continue therapy after the initial session the entire fee for the session will be waived. For ongoing treatment, the full fee per session is required at the time of service.
Insurance: As a Licensed Mental Health Counselor Associate (LMHCA), some insurance companies will reimburse for a portion of my services (as an Out of Network Provider). Please consult with your insurance provider as to whether they specifically cover adolescents, individuals and couples.
Receipts/Statements: In the event you require a printed or digital receipt, I can provide a monthly superbill which includes coding for you to seek reimbursement from insurance, Flex Spending Accounts (FSA), and Health Savings Accounts (HSA).