I look forward to meeting you . . .
I entered the field of psychology as a second career, and I fully believe this is where I am meant to be! My original educational background is in immunology, microbiology, and molecular biology, the field in which I worked as a research scientist for 16 years. This background has allowed me to seamlessly incorporate into my clinical practice the exciting neurochemistry and brain function research that is now available. I am keenly aware of how the body works as an intricately interconnected unit, and I take into account how the various body systems impact mood and emotions.
I earned a Masters of Arts in Clinical Psychology at the University of Colorado, Denver in 1997. After graduating, I enrolled in additional graduate level psychology courses through the Counseling Psychology and Counselor Education Department at the University of Colorado in Denver, which made it possible for me to sit for the Colorado licensure exam in 1999. I have maintained my Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) status since that time.
I completed my Clinical Psychology internship at two sites: the Colorado AIDS Project and the Auraria campus Student Counseling Center. During my internship year, I gained experience working with individuals, couples, support groups, and therapy groups. I had the opportunity to work with people from a wide range of backgrounds. At the Colorado AIDS Project I also developed a specialty in working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and gender-queer individuals (LGBTQ), who I continue to serve in my current private practice.
After completing my internship, I was hired by the Colorado AIDS Project as a Mental Health Counselor, and worked with clients who brought a range of issues to therapy, including depression, anxiety, stress, trauma, child sexual abuse, financial and housing problems, drug and alcohol abuse, and HIV/AIDS. Later I was promoted to Director of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counseling. As Director, I was responsible for overseeing staff, hiring and supervising interns, writing grants, and developing client programs. I also continued to provide therapy for clients with HIV and AIDS.
In addition to my work at the Colorado AIDS Project, I volunteered for the WINGS Foundation, leading a support group for 2 years. There I gained further experience working with adults who have experienced trauma, specifically child sexual abuse.
In 2002, while still working at the Colorado AIDS Project, I opened a part-time private practice, specializing in depression, anxiety, trauma, and LGBTQ issues. In late 2003, after seven wonderful years at the Colorado AIDS Project, I left to focus full-time on my private practice, which included seeing private clients and consulting in hospital emergency departments (ER), both of which I continue to this day.
In the ER I see psychiatric patients in crisis. I interview the patient, consult with family members, and advise the ER medical doctor about treatment, be it outpatient counseling, substance abuse treatment, family therapy, education, or inpatient psychiatric hospitalization. This work has afforded me valuable experience working with all types of emotional crises, diagnosing psychiatric problems, better understanding medical issues, and gaining familiarity with a wide range of psychiatric medications. After ten years of ER work, there probably is not a psychological or emotional issue I cannot calmly handle!
In late 2009 I added a new specialty to my private practice. I had noticed over the years how I, and many of my clients, struggled with the complicated maze that has become our financial lives. Advice abounds about how we ‘should’ handle our money, but many of us find it difficult to put all this information together in a way that works. Several years ago I decided to study successful money management, and invested much time (and money!) into learning. In the fall of 2008 I chose a consultant to aid me in this process, and began thinking about how to incorporate this work into my psychotherapy practice. I am now certified in Financial Recovery™ Counseling, which includes a wonderful system for managing money, and, importantly, addresses the emotional money issues that often impede us. I am now offering Financial Counseling as part of my overall mission to help improve the well-being of my clients in all areas of their lives.
As you can see, I have devoted a tremendous amount of energy to obtain expertise and experience in my specialty areas. I am fully committed to offering quality service to you, my client, and I continually update my training and education toward that end. I truly love this field, and staying up to date, so that I can better help you achieve lasting success, is a passion that won’t soon fade!