EXPERIENCE AND TRAINING

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor who has been in private practice for 30 years. I received my Masters degree in psychology from West Georgia College in 1989 where my area of focus was on subconscious processes related to mind/body healing. My background is in Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychology. I am certified as a Family and Divorce Mediator by the Center for Dispute Resolution, Boulder, Colorado. I have completed certification in Motivational Interviewing, I am a Certified Clinical Military Counselor (CCMC). I have Level I training for Eye Movement Densensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) as well as many other trainings in traditional, evidence-based and alternative therapies.

WHO I WORK WITH

ADULTS, COUPLES AND OLDER TEENS

I mainly work with psychologically and emotionally healthy clients who may be experiencing a difficult period in their life and seek counseling to enhance their personal growth: self-awareness, self-acceptance, self-empowerment and self-actualization. I treat a variety of conditions such as depression, anxiety, panic, stress, trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder, grief/loss and bereavement, marital and relationship issues, parenting, life transitions and changes, aging and other difficult life challenges. 

MY APPROACH

    use an integrative approach, combining traditional and alternative therapies. Integrative therapy responds to body, mind and spiritual aspects of the individual with the belief that there is no separation in them. What affects one part of us affects the whole.

    I don't believe that one size fits all in therapy. Together we will find a path that fits best for you. This is YOUR process. I will participate in your process as a guide, facilitator and sometimes coach. I will help you clarify your passions, goals and changes you wish to make as well as the obstacles - such as fears, negative thinking, resentments, anger and guilt - that may be blocking you from you desired goals. I am clear that I do not have your answers - you alone know what is best for you. My intention as your therapist is to empower you to find your own truth in a safe and supportive environment.

    As with anything worthwhile and lasting, therapy takes time and effort. We would all like an over-night "quick fix" and may in fact experience giant leaps at times. However, in my experience, most of us usually take two steps forward and one back. This is good in that it gives us time to integrate the changes gradually so they become long lasting.

    I would be honored to work with you in your process. Below are some of the models and tools I work with. Please call me with any questions you may have - 828-682-1551 ext. 113

 

Modalities I Draw From:

    Traditional and Alternative

 

Psychodynamic: This is often described as "talk therapy", yet with a deeper. introspective, insight-oriented approach that can bring to light our internal and often unconscious issues that affect our present life. This approach can relieve suffering and empower you with making life decisions and changes in a supportive environment.

 

Mindfulness Based Cognitive Behavior Therapy (MBCT): 

"It all depends on how we look at things and not on how they are themselves".   Carl Jung

 This is a cognitive behavioral model with mindfulness at the center. This approach helps you understand how thoughts affect emotions and feelings and this, in turn, affect our behavior. Mindfulness is a practice that helps one develop a capacity to be present and experience in the moment. It's being aware and noticing not only your mind and what you are thinking, but what is happening inside your body. This approach is effective with trauma, stress, anxiety, depression, regulating emotions and the ability to self soothe and tolerate painful memories and feelings.

 

Meditation: This is not connected with any religion, but is a practice of calming the mind and body to experience a greater sense of relaxation and inner peace. There is scientific evidence that meditation and mindfulness can lower stress, improve depression, promote better sleep and have positive effects on our health.

 

Positive Psychology: This is a relative new branch of psychology the incorporates the theme of "learned optimism". It focuses not just on how to decrease the "bad stuff" but "grow the good". Small changes in our attitude and expressing gratitude regularly has been shown to lead to a happier, healthier and more fulfilling life. Emphasis is placed on one's strengths, resilience and sense of purpose.

 

EMDR (Eye Movement Densensitization and Reprocessing): This is an effective and well researched model I use in conjunction with MBCT to treat traum and PTSD. The theory is that trauma often gets locked into the right hemisphere of the brain and by the process of arrhythmical eye movements, the brain's processing center activates and trauma can be moved out through both hemispheres of the brain and lasting therapeutic changes can occur.

 

Enneagram: This is an invaluable tool for both individuals and relationships. It is a self-identifying personality system that recognizes nine different ways of seeing and being in the world and each have their own way of thinking, reacting and behaving. Our life patterns and strategies begin to make sense and help us with a deeper understanding and acceptance of ourselves and others.

 

Inner Community Therapy: Drawing from my trainings in Psychosynthesis, Inner Child Work, Voice Dialogue, Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychology I have developed this integrated therapeutic approach. In this guided journey you get in touch with different "members" or "sub-personalities" of your inner community. There is an open dialogue between client and therapist describing the images, emotions, physical sensations and thoughts during the visualization process. We get a clear idea of each member's wants, needs and agendas, which members are in alignment and which are working against each other causing inner conflict without yourself. We work with both the conscious and unconscious to discover who is in control and holds the power, how decisions are made, what is needed to have all parts work together in consensus toward a more peaceful and fulfilled life.

 

Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT): This is a brief goal-oriented therapy that is focused on the present instead of focusing on symptoms, issues or the past. The client is the "expert" in visioning their desired future, identifying the skills and resources needed to reach their goal and developing a step-by-step plan for achievement. My role as the therapist is to serve as support and assist by asking specific types of questions to guide the session. I mainly use this method for interventions for behavioral, school or work-related concerns or in conjunction with other approaches in couple therapy.

 

Relationship Counseling: I work mainly from an Integrative Couples Therapy (ICT) model which focuses on the understanding, acceptance and tolerance of differences that exist between partners instead of focusing on changing the partners behavior. ICT had reached a success rate of more than 85% while traditional couples therapy success rate is 50%. Working with the Enneagram is a powerful tool toward understanding yourself and your partner in relationship and moving toward more acceptance. I also incorporate principles of Imago Therapy which looks at our unconscious tendency to pick a partner that is emotionally similar to the primary childhood caretaker in the unconscious hope that this relationship will heal our core wound from childhood. We will identify defensive strategies, survival techniques and other unconscious forces and patterns that you as a couple get trapped in that keep you from true intimacy and we will work toward creating emotional safety in the relationship so true intimacy, joy and passion are possible.

INSURANCES ACCEPTED

The following are insurances that I am currently in-network with. If your insurance is not listed, you may want to  contact your insurance company to see what your benefits are and if you would be covered to see me. If your insurance does not cover mental health or you do not have insurance, call me to discuss a sliding scale.  828-682-1551 ext.113

 

Blue Cross Blue Shield

Cigna

Value Options

Magellan

United Healthcare

Medcost

Health Scope

Tri Care

HMSA

American Behavioral

Aetna