Getting up the courage to contact a counselor can be a daunting task. I have worked with clients who say things like, “I looked at your profile online for six months (or two years) before I called you.” As someone who has experienced considerable anxiety myself – and concerns about whether or not someone I share myself with will accept of all the parts of me – I can appreciate your search and potential struggle. I believe counseling is essentially a relationship, designed purposefully with specific boundaries to provide a safe “container” for the work, that allows you to address specific issues and to grow into becoming more fully yourself.
I also take privacy seriously – so until I have a secure way to add an email contact on my site – you will need to call me at 574-214-4912. I do not have office staff, so you may get my secure voice mail, but I will call you personally as soon as I am able. I will do a free 10-15 minute consultation with you by phone if you wish before you schedule an appointment so you can get a better sense of whether or not we will be a good fit.
What You Might Expect
When you come to counseling, you can expect to fill out a few brief forms when you arrive in the waiting room, shared with one other private practice therapist. Bring your insurance card if you plan to use insurance, and, if you work with a doctor or psychiatrist, please bring their contact information, too. In my office, we will begin with a 60-minute “intake” session in which you can share why you are seeking counseling at this time, give me some basic information about your life and health currently, and a little history of you and your family. I will listen carefully and begin to build a relationship with you, as well as share information about my practice, billing, privacy, and information about the counseling process so you can consent knowledgeably to treatment. We will decide about scheduling future sessions and a potential course of treatment.
I see clients on:
Mondays 1 – 7 pm
Tuesdays 10 am – 5 pm
Wednesdays 11 am – 5 pm
Thursdays 10 am – 5 pm
So what might you expect during a session? In the end – what you and I create together and what is in your best interest.
- A feeling of safety and sanctuary in each session
- A ritual like lighting a candle, a moment of silence, smudging with sage, or drumming to begin or end each session
- Talking, listening and sometimes gently challenging, always with respect
- Active engagement in the present moment, including what is happening in the session and our relationship
- Stress management work, such as breathing, relaxation, mindfulness training or other body-based strategies
- EMDR work to address a persistent issue or past trauma
- Cognitive therapy
- Creative modalities – working with poetry, art, music, or sand tray therapy
- Depth approaches – using Jungian psychology and work with the unconscious via dreams, images, and symbols
- Psychoeducation and bibliotherapy – information about your issues or using a book as a guide for some work or strategies or to read together as a way to reflect on a particular issue
- Resourcing – helping you connect with a variety of resources in the area
What I Offer in Counseling
I offer respectful listening and deep acceptance to each client and welcome clients of all sexual orientations, gender identities, relationship statuses, races/ethnicities, and religious or spiritual backgrounds including Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Native American and other earth-based traditions, spiritual seekers, and agnostics/atheists. I generally work with pre-teens (age 11 or 12) and up, and enjoy working with clients of various ages. If you are not sure if you want individual counseling or possibly couples or family counseling, we can discuss that and determine what might be best in your situation. If necessary, I can refer you (or a family member) to a wide network of colleagues with other specialties in the regional area. I have formed a local group of LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning) affirming therapists that meets regularly for consultation and sharing of resources, and I stay connected with doctors, attorneys, groups, and other resources in the area for LGBTQ clients.
No counselor can be everything to everyone. If I don’t feel I have the expertise or am the right person for your needs, I will let you know and will provide referrals. If we are a good fit, here are some mental health and life issues in which I offer special expertise:
- LGBTQ concerns, relationship issues, identity issues, and transitioning
- Trauma related issues
- Personal or spiritual identity questions and development
- Life transitions
- Grief work
- Communication issues and becoming more assertive
- Relationship issues – couples, parenting, family
- School and learning-related issues
- Career issues and concerns
I use a unique, eclectic counseling approach that is always based in overall wellness of body, mind and spirit. I often work with clients on building resources in four main areas: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellness. Each area is important in maintaining life balance and working through persistent or difficult issues. I will coordinate services with your doctor, psychiatrist, caseworker or others to help create a good team of support for you when necessary. I emphasize mindfulness and presence in sessions and during the rest of the week. I adapt my approach to your unique needs, and will always bring a holistic, humanistic focus; deep listening and attention; and an ethical, just and open-minded emphasis to my work with each client.
Training and Expertise
In addition to my counseling degree, I have had special training in:
- LGBTQ counseling issues and competencies through the Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues in Counseling (ALGBTIC), a division of the American Counseling Association
- Jungian (analytic) psychology through the two-year Clinical Training Program at the C.G. Jung Institute in Chicago
- EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), Levels 1 and 2, a successful treatment for working with trauma that is stored in the body
- Suicide prevention – I am a trainer for the QPR Suicide Prevention program
- Sand Tray therapy
- The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® and over 30 years of experience working with psychological type
- Teaching – My 30 years of teaching and teacher education experience give me a unique lens into the lives of teachers, school administrators, parents and children in schools, and often provides a fuller context to those issues, as well as excellent communication skills and understanding of how to work with a broad variety of people.