(Se Habla Espanol)
Specialty Focus Areas:
- Couples, Individuals and Family counseling
Christian counseling is a process by which we name the truth and renew ourselves.
Personally, I have reached points of desperation in my walk of faith in Christ. I know what it is like to cry out to God from the depths of darkness, and I consider it an honor to be with others in those places. In my own therapy, I have had many lights “turned on” where I have come to name some difficult realities in my life. I have learned what it is to be human. So after teaching for 4 years, I decided it was time to get a Masters in Counseling.
What I offer you:
- A belief in an endless and unconditional Love which compels my practice.
- Reliance upon the Holy Spirit for wisdom, which is as readily available as the air that we breathe.
- An ultimate belief in Redemption for everybody and a Hope that goes to the darkest places and heals.
During our counseling time, we will explore how negative behaviors helped you survive or what purpose they had in your life. We will then address a healthy way of coping and handling those specific situations so we can relate with others in a positive way.
If applicable, we will address the fear of intimacy and how you can begin believing in relationships.
I often remind my Christian clients that just because they are believers, it does not mean that they will not struggle with the same issues as people who do not profess faith in Christ. We are all humans living in an imperfect world; and the same grace is available to us all. I specifically moved to a Christian practice because I believe that there are people both within the church and without who are looking for peace and fulfillment – both internally and within their relationships. I believe in infinite hope, grace, redemption, and love. This is what I want to offer others as I offer my presence in counseling.
My goals for you through Christian counseling:
- Wholeness while having an honest grip on the reality of what it is to live in an imperfect, fallen world.
- Restoring our image as a reflection of our Creator and Redeemer.
- Discovering grace (acceptance) for ourselves and others. Ultimately finding peace and healing and re-connecting with our ability to love self and others.
- To shed ineffective thoughts and behavior (after examining them and discovering the ways those patterns have served us) and to learn new and healthy ways of relating.
- To develop relationships that are mutually fulfilling.
My intention as a counselor is to form a relationship which becomes a safe place within which you can explore the nature of persistent obstacles which leave you feeling confused, overwhelmed, or “stuck.” We will look at your style of relating to others, habits and patterns formed throughout the years, as a way to gain insight into who you are and where you would like to be. We will explore the significant relationships in your life (FAMILY OF ORIGIN, parental, romantic, friendships, etc) as well as your own relationship with yourself (i.e. how you deal with your emotions, how you handle and/or address conflict, coping mechanisms for anxiety, stress and/or sadness, etc). My work is psychodynamic with an existential approach (crisis of faith, defining your purpose, coming to terms with who you are in this world), but I borrow from other theories as well. I consider myself to be integrative as a counselor. The hope is that as you understand the reality of who you have been, and who you are, you will gain more control over writing the story of your future (who you want to be). You will be better empowered because you have done the hard work of looking inward and confronting the ineffective ways you have been coping with life’s struggles and relational realities. With that understanding and self-empowerment, you will be able to believe in yourself and the strength you possess to make the necessary and desired changes. In essence, you will be enabled to live the life of which you dream.
On a personal note:
I am married to a man who has accepted all of me in such a beautiful and healing way. We have a daughter. And here I am wanting to live and relate authentically to others.
I love nature. I hike and camp through snow and rain and sun. I travel often, both inside the US and outside. Have been to Africa (Mozambique and South Africa), all over Central America, Turkey, and Egypt. I sing and play the guitar and piano whenever I possibly can. Currently, I am working on writing new songs and singing them in coffee shops with a friend of mine. I read often, all kinds of literature, and participate in a monthly book club. I play every day with my fearless and feisty daughter. I love to spend time with friends and family. Date nights with my husband are treasured. I enjoy cooking, trying new concoctions whenever possible. I work out and jog for exercise, and have recently discovered my love of Body Pump classes.
Educational background and experience
- I have worked in private practice and in community mental health settings.
- Before being a counselor, I was a high school Spanish and English teacher in a private Christian school. I facilitated youth worship teams and led youth team in outreach projects, both in Nicaragua and Guatemala. I worked as a facilitator with Forward Edge International, specializing in youth trips to Spanish-speaking countries. My very first job out of college (1994) was as a chaplain in a homeless shelter. Through it all, my passion is leading worshipful experiences, mostly through music and song.
Anxiety and depression often go hand in hand. Together, we will work towards uncovering the root of your anxiety, panic, feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. We will take a close look at your personal story, your past relationships and the roles you have played within those relationships. We will discuss how your past affects your present and examine your lifestyle and the choices you have made, paying close attention at how these affect you today. Looking at the connection between the past and the present will help us uncover possible triggers that bring on your feelings of depression and anxiety. When helpful, I use cognitive behavioral interventions, which are proven to be the most effective tools for learning to cope with ongoing symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Bilingual Counseling (Spanish/English)
As a fluent Spanish speaker, I have 5 years of experience counseling people using the Spanish language. Because I have lived in several Spanish-speaking countries, this helps me relate better with my Spanish-speaking clients.
Sometimes, as we do life, we struggle finding purpose or meaning in our lives. This struggle is a part of being a human being, because we hope and hold on to the belief that there is something better. “Does my life have meaning?” “Do I make a difference?” “Do I really matter?” Let me assure you that you do matter, you do make a difference, and your life is valuable. Together, we will tackle these tough questions and explore your heart as you find your worth, purpose, and meaning.
Unfortunately, as women, hormonal changes and/or imbalances come and go in our lives. Sometimes, these affect us physically and emotionally. If you are dealing with post-partum depression, the aging process, even a lack of self-confidence or self-image, you are not alone! These issues are common to women and it makes a huge difference to have someone you can talk to about these concerns, as well as helping you find and explore natural ways in which to deal with these. Our time together will be a time where we can connect and address your feelings, concerns, or questions, as well as finding practical ways to help you in the process.
Family of Origin
Not enough can be said about the family where we were raised! Those years are such an intricate part of who we are and who we have become. Looking at your family of origin is an important part of the counseling process. We will look at the way you tell your story, the role you played in your earliest years, and how these relate to the roles you play in current relationship with others. As a counselor, I have a passion to uncover truths and to expose secrets that will help you get “unstuck” and allow you to move forward. Where you came from is important, because it will help us understand where you find yourself in the present. Together, we will make a plan that will allow you to break the bonds from the past, and allow you to work toward living the life you want to live, making choices that get you closer to the story you want to live and a future with hope, grace, and forgiveness.
Trauma and Recovery
Sometimes, we find ourselves unable to understand why we act the way we act, why we think the way we think, why we make the choices we make, or why it seems as if insignificant issues become a big deal for no apparent reason. We cannot pinpoint exactly what the cause is for our fear, anxiety, or reactions. We might even begin to wonder if there is something wrong with us. In the counseling office, I will help you explore those hidden places of your heart that you might be unaware of. I will help you look at yourself without judgment and come to a deeper self- awareness and acceptance of the life that you have. Together, you and I will create a safe place for you in the counseling process. In the safety of this relationship, we will talk and explore different situations or circumstances that might be the root cause of your feelings. Sometimes we might use deep-breathing exercises and centering activities that can reduce stress, lower heart rate, and aid in recovering traumatic memories. Once we are aware of the cause, we will begin the healing process for you to mend from those painful memories. There is hope for healing, and great hope for restoration.
Sessions: I offer 53-minute or 45-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):
- Greenlake– Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,Thursday and Friday
Fees: I offer a Risk-Free Initial Session for Individuals, Couples, and Groups 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 (LMHC) a majority of 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 individuals, couples, and groups.
Receipts/Statements: In the event you require a printed or digital receipt, I will provide receipts for personal use, insurance reimbursement, Flex Spending Accounts (FSA), and Health Savings Accounts (HSA).
Payment options: Cash, Check, or Credit Card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, & American Express). A fee of up to 3.7% plus $0.15 per transaction will be added for credit card payments.