I believe growth and change occur best within the safety of an authentic relationship where there is mutual trust and respect. This occurs through a process of getting to know each other and building that trust and respect. I know how scary (and rewarding) it can be to go to see an individual or group therapist because I have done both of these things. I think this gives me ample empathy and awareness for what you might be experiencing when you pick up the phone to make an appointment with me or as you're coming to your first session.
In an effort to alleviate some of that anxiety, here are some things you can expect from me:
Authenticity: As I shared above, I've been in counseling myself. I know what it's like to grow utilizing the therapeutic process. Sometimes it's exhilarating and sometimes painful and often a million things in between.
Trust: In addition to confidentiality, your therapy space is in an atmosphere where you will be accepted as you are in the present moment. Your journey is my focus.
Partnership: I see my clients as equal partners with me. We collaborate together to bring about the change that you desire. I am open to and desire feedback about how you are experiencing the sessions and the journey we are on as a whole.
Objectivity: I have a unique perspective, being that I am not a friend or family member. From that perspective I can often see your situation through a different lens. This can provide you with new connections and insights.
Integrity: If there is something about my practice that is impeding your process whether it's my availability, an area of specialization or something else, I will refer you to someone else who may better assist you.
Individualized Care: I choose my techniques and interventions based specifically on your needs.
Respect: You are the expert of you, though it may not feel that way right now. Our journey will honor that wisdom, cultivate it and help you listen to it.
My Education and Work Experience
I have been counseling for over 25 years in various capacities including inpatient behavioral healthcare, in-home assistance for families in crisis, corporate human resources/employee relations and individual, couples and group psychotherapy. My Bachelor's degree is in Special Education and Elementary Education with a specific focus on emotional/behavioral disorders and learning disabilities. After obtaining my Master's degree in counseling at Drake University, I practiced at the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center, Iowa State University's Student Counseling Center, Network: A Group Counseling Program and Barclay & Associates in Ames, IA. I have been seeing clients as a solo-practitioner since 2010.
Mostly I am just human, like you. I have struggles and days that are tough. I am married to an amazing partner but I've had my own relational failures. I have two kids and I know how wonderful and hard parenting can be. I have been in my own personal therapy and have utilized EMDR for treatment as well so I know what it's like to be in your place. Just like you, I want to be loved, needed and included.