A lifelong Chicago area resident, I grew up in a tightly knit Glen Ellyn neighborhood. The parents of two adult children, my husband and I currently live in Wheaton and are enjoying life as empty nesters. I received a B.A. in Elementary Education from the University of Illinois-Chicago, and after working several years in the school system, I chose to stay home to raise my two children. After a time of seeking wisdom for a new direction for my life, I felt led to pursue a Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Wheaton College. As part of my counseling training, I worked as an intern at Advocate Hospice counseling bereaved individuals and facilitating grief groups. I also serve as a member of the Pastoral Care Team at my church by ministering to women experiencing challenges. As a 2016 graduate of Wheaton College and a Licensed Professional Counselor, I am excited to provide empathic therapy for adults, adolescents, and children at Heartland.
One of the most important aspects of the therapeutic process is creating a safe space for clients to process life’s challenges and move towards healing and growth. As a client-centered therapist, my goal is to build a trusting relationship with my clients so that empathy is the foundation of any techniques used during therapy. Because I am a Christian, I view humans as precious creations of God who are meant to have a unique purpose. As an integrative therapist, I view people from a holistic standpoint: emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual facets of the human experience are intertwined. Therefore, clients are best supported through multiple therapeutic interventions tailored to their specific needs. My initial emphasis in therapy is on the stabilization of current situation, building supportive networks, and expanding coping skills of the client. Some of approaches I use during therapy include systems theory, existential philosophy, cultural sensitivity, and identity development. Techniques I incorporate into sessions are role-playing, relaxation and grounding exercises, goal setting, play and art therapy, narrative activities, intentional grieving practices, and spiritual disciplines for Christian clients.
My passion is to serve those struggling with depression, anxiety, loss, trauma, and identity issues. Loss is a particular interest of mine, including the loss of a loved one, marriage, life dream, job, pregnancy, or personal safety. For people who are experiencing the fallout from trauma, I take special care in working through issues of shame and trust. I incorporate prayer and other spiritual disciplines into session for clients who desire an integration of faith and therapy.
Hobbies and Interests
Besides spending time with family and friends, I cherish time in the beautiful outdoors. Activities that feed my soul include hiking, dancing, drawing, painting, Bible study, watching movies, and reading. I cannot imagine life without my pets, including my dog and 4 cats—they bring joy and humor into my life!
Movies: Dan in Real Life, Pride and Prejudice (A & E), Midnight in Paris, The Help
TV: Fixer Upper, Gilmore Girls, Downton Abbey, Stranger Things, Hallmark Channel
Books: Classic fiction including Pride and Prejudice, Jane Erye, To Kill a Mockingbird, Anne of Green Gables, Little House books
Foods: Italian, German, burgers, and chocolate!
Sports Teams: Cubs, Blackhawks, and Da Bears