From Client to Counselor

I am here to help. I believe my journey, obstacles and all, have made me a stronger person and a better counselor and coach.  I understand because I have experienced many of the things that bring people into my counseling office. I have found a rich array of ways to help myself through difficult times and I am always willing to share what I have learned with my clients. One of the most important qualities of an effective therapist is how well they have worked through their own issues. 

Many years ago I decided that I wanted to live an inspired life rather than a driven life. I have found that there are many things that can get in the way of inspired living. Depression, anxiety, grief, and addiction are just a few obstacles I experienced personally in my pursuit of inspiration. I didn’t allow myself to get stuck in the heaviness of these obstacles and pursued my own counseling, independent study and a variety of holistic health approaches. 

I experienced my first panic attacks when I was very young. In 7th grade the panic attacks got so bad my parents took me to the doctor. Instead of prescribing medication he explained how thoughts could create anxietyor calm. I soon learned how to “talk myself off the ledge” by soothing self talk such as “I’m okay, this will pass, I can handle it,” etc. I later learned that cognitions are linked to our emotions, positive thoughts lead positive emotions and negative thoughts lead to negative emotions. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy was one of the first tools I added to my healing tool bag.

In 1986, at the age of 21, I was introduced to counseling when my older sister committed suicide. After years of struggling with manic depression and addiction she took her own life because she did not think she could bear the weight of her struggles any longer. My family went to see the counselor together in an effort to move through the deep grief we felt after her death. I continued counseling in the mid 90s when I began struggling with my own depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. I resumed counseling after a roll-over car crash in 2003 led to post traumatic stress disorder.

During my struggle with depression, doctors prescribed anti-depressants, but the medication proved to be toxic for me, creating even more severe anxiety and panic as well as a myriad of other negative symptoms. About the same time I met a chiropractor who introduced me to a holistic and homeopathic approach. I was able to get off of all medication and life balanced out. After the car crash I once again sought alternatives, and with the aid of a holistic “team” consisting of a counselor, chiropractor, acupuncturist,and clinical nutritionist I was able to find health, wellness and balance once again-without drugs. I am convinced that a holistic approach that balances body, mind and spirit in the person as a whole, is the most effective and lasting approach.

More recently I faced my addiction to alcohol for the second time in my life. I believe this "second chance" at sobriety is a true gift of grace. I strive to live my life whole heartedly and authentically even when it gets "messy." I have learned a variety of self help techniques as well as pulled together a wonderful support system. I can help you develop your resources too.

My life journey has led me into the field of life coaching, counseling and holistic health. In the last 15 years I have studied some wonderful and powerful techniques to help a person find healing and balance in their life and once again find the path to health, happiness, joy, passion, abundance, joy and inspiration.

I hold a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and I am a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Colorado. I have been certified in body-energy and earth centered healing. I am a certified Life Optimization Coach and a certified Nutrition Advisor. My private practice focus is on holistic healing, helping people move through grief, stress, depression, anxiety, trauma, and life transitions by looking at the mind, body, spirit as a whole. I use a wide variety of techniques including Essential Oil Therapy using Young Living Essential Oils, Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR), Brainspotting, Neuro-Emotional Technique (NET), Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), Qigong, Somatic Archaeology and SoulCollage®. I trust the techniques I use because I have experienced their healing benefits first-hand.

Prior to opening my practice in 2005, I worked in city government where I enjoyed helping people. After receiving my BS in Criminal Justice at Metro State College, I went to the University of Colorado at Denver and earned a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology. I am a Colorado native and still live in my hometown, Arvada. I enjoy SoulCollage®, camping, hiking, dirt bike riding, photography, and gardening as well as spending time with my 3 dogs and my cat Miko (who thinks she is a dog).

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