Clients come to my practice in order to have competent, caring conversations about the changes that they would like to see in their lives. I utilize a direct, compassionate approach in my client's change conversations and projects. I am a systemic thinker who values overall well-being for my clients. Many clients come to therapy to make changes in their internal systems such as thoughts, feelings, motivations, and health; I serve them through my practice as a Psychologist. Others wish to become more effective in how they function in external systems such as family or work; I serve these clients through my practice as a Marriage and Family Therapist. Some wish to release creative blocks and enhance their ability to to create works that are authentically and uniquely theirs; I serve them as a Creativity Coach. Regardless of the focus of your change project, I am an interested and capable confidant.
We all want to do better, however that is defined, and sometimes we get stuck in thinking and habits that no longer serve our betterment and that causes suffering. It is a privilege to use my understanding and skills to help my clients make the changes they wish to make and to achieve the serenity they desire. I use a strength-based, integrative approach born of 40+ years of solid, evidence-based methodology from many disciplines in psychology, marriage and family therapy. and expressive arts coaching. I believe in client's ability to change their lives by incremental life experiments that build sustainable happiness. Expect to be positively challenged!
My Professional Background and Practice
I have been a professional helper for over 40 years. My helping skills include individual psychotherapy and counseling, health counseling, relationship counseling, organizational consultation, and expressive arts coaching. I believe that one becomes an excellent helper through life-long learning, following one’s passions and interests, and integration of one’s insights into heartfelt service to others.
I began work as a group therapist/ coach in several outpatient treatment centers and clinics in the early 1980s. My early passions were the depth psychology approaches of Carl Jung and Alexander Lowen, and the use of art to expand one’s creativity and self-awareness. In my employment, I utilized both Cognitive Behavioral and Expressive Arts methods, which allowed my clients to work both logically/rationally on their current problems and creatively to resolve issues from their past and develop a vision for their futures.
The bodywork methods of Lowen increased my desire to understand more about the connection between mind and body. I began to study behavioral medicine and the relationships between body work/ somatic approaches, nutrition, and mental health. At this time in my professional work, I added a private practice as a Health Coach, using behavioral medicine approaches to help clients who were looking to improve their health habits.
The longer I practiced, the more I saw that everything could be seen in terms of systems: the internal systems of the body, the internal family systems of the mind, and external systems of relationships, family, and larger social system impacts. I studied these topics throughout my Masters, and wrote my thesis Psychotherapy with Physically Ill Clients: An Integration of Systems Theory and Behavioral Medicine. I worked as a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT), in private practice and also as an In-Home Family Therapist. My primary methodology as an MFT was systemic: Bowenian, structural, circumplex, narrative, and constructivist.
When I moved to Arizona, I first worked as a Child and Family Therapist for West Yavapai Guidance Center (WYGC). I then became an Approved Supervisor for the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT), and served as the Clinical Supervisor for Child and Family Team at WYGC. At this time, I was also conducting Mediation for Yavapai Family Court.
I became very interested in the impact of larger organizational systems on health and well-being of its human members. I completed a doctorate in Clinical Psychology, with minors in Systems Theory and Organizational Development and Analysis. During that time, I was very interested in social activism as a development process. I developed a community-wide coalition for systems coordination of services to youth in Yavapai County. My doctoral dissertation Healing the Self Through Healing Society: Processes of Motivation in Social Change Leadership examined the interchange of impacts between social systems and its leaders.
During my years of formal schooling, I received training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapies (CBT), Jungian Psychotherapy, Expressive Art Therapies and Coaching (Art, Psychodrama, Movement), Systemic Relational Therapies (Bowen, Structural, Family of Origin, Constructivism, Solution-Oriented, and many others), Wellness Counseling models, and Organizational Consulting and Coaching. Since completing my formal education, I have had continuing/ advanced training in evidenced-based therapies including CBT, EMDR, Mindfulness, Coaching, Solution/ Positive Psychology, Ericksonian Hypotherapy, Action Models, Somatic Therapy, Expressive Arts Coaching and many others . In my Relationship Therapy practice, I continue to grow and develop as I integrate the newer approaches to emotional attachment and communication.
For the past 20 years, I have been in private practice doing psychotherapy, behavioral medicine, and organizational consulting as a Licensed Psychologist and relationship therapy as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I traveled nationally internationally as a Consultant/ Executive Coach for several large corporations and worked locally as a consultant for medical/ dental practices and smaller family-owned businesses. As Coaching is currently an unlicensed field, I conduct this practice under no license but adhere to strong ethical and professional practices. I currently practice in Flagstaff, Arizona. I am licensed, in Arizona, as both a Psychologist and a Marriage and Family Therapist. In the past 3 years, I have also returned to school as an Art Student, and have resumed Creativity Coaching adjunct to my already existing practices.
My education is as follows:
Ph.D. - Union Institute, 1994
Major: Clinical Psychology
Minors: Organizational Development and Analysis; Systems Therapy
M.A. – St. Mary’s Graduate School, 1991
Major: Human Development
Minors: Health Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy
B.A. - College of St. Catherine, 1981
Minor: Expressive Arts, PreK-6th Grade Certifications
Thank you for considering me as a resource in your personal, family, or group development. If you would like to discuss whether we would make a good team in your growth project, please call. I try to return calls to potential clients within 48 hours, excluding weekends.