As a follower of Jesus Christ and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate (LMFTA), I offer compassion, empathy, cultural sensitivity, and an unending and gracious curiosity. Using a blend of evidence-based therapeutic methods combined with my extensive business background, I possess a unique skill set to help you overcome the challenges you face. I am creative and passionate, and always desire what is best for my clients. My goal is to walk with you and model servant leadership, relying on the power of the Holy Spirit for guidance and direction as we set goals for your treatment and growth.
Qualifications & Experience
I hold undergraduate degrees in crisis intervention, life coaching, and a cognate in Christian counseling from Liberty University. I also hold a graduate degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Alliant International University.
My Call to becoming a Marriage and Family Therapist
My husband and I, in partnership with six other colleagues, owned a sizable mortgage and real estate banking operation. Working with a predominantly Hispanic population during the Great Recession provided us the opportunity to hear and counsel clients who were losing their homes. The loss of a home was a source of trauma for many of our clients. They began to confide in us as we built trust and security through the management of their short sales. This then gave them the confidence to divulge other traumatic events in their lives. I began to see a need for counseling and ongoing care. We built alliances with BK attorneys, CPA’s, and mental health professionals, as well as divorce attorneys and local shelters when domestic abuse was discerned. I also recognized how cultural/ethnic identity can sometimes negatively influence one’s desire to seek therapy. The calling was very evident, and I returned to school at age 54.
More About Me/On a Personal Note
I love all kinds of music and it is always on. I love to cook. I like to exercise and walk along the rivers here in Portland.
Services and Specialities
Areas of Expertise/Specialties
- Abandonment and Neglect
- Aging and Geriatric issues
- Anger Management
- Chemical Dependency
- Counseling for Teens
- Couples Counseling
- Eating Disorders
- EMDR / Life Span Integration
- Family Counseling
- Grief and Loss
- Group Counseling
- Individual Counseling
- Infidelity and Affairs
- Marriage Counseling
- Men’s Issues
- Online Counseling
- Personal Development
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Premarital Counseling
- Professional Development
- Relationship Issues
- Sex and Porn Addiction
- Sexual Abuse
- Spiritual Development
- Weight Loss
- Women’s Issues
Women are subject to cultural, ethnic, religious, and family of origin influences. I begin treatment by looking at each of these important subjects and determining how they impact a client’s presenting issues, how it impacts their cognitions and behaviours, as well as how it positively or negatively influences their mental health. I also want to gauge for any possible familial patterns as well as possible ethnic/societal/religious myths which no longer serve them. How was emotional intelligence fostered or negated? Was trauma ever experienced? Allowing women to consider and then work toward their own autonomy and develop a sense of agency is also highly important.
I approach couples counseling through an Emotional Focused Therapy lens. I begin by building a therapeutic alliance which allows each individual to feel secure, seen, and heard. Discerning attachment issues, emotional wounding, rigidity in beliefs and behaviors, patterns and ongoing dysfunctional “emotional dances” that many couples adopt, as well as how the relationship is influenced by each individual’s own family of origin story, is how I would approach initial treatment. Some of the many goals are to repair attachment wounds from insecure attachment to secure, heal emotional wounding, and break dysfunctional patterns of behavior which no longer serve the relationship. This new awareness will promote positive self-regard and strengthen interpersonal relationships.
Men are subject to cultural, ethnic, religious, and family of origin influences as well. I begin a therapeutic alliance through an action-oriented and emotional awareness lens. Addressing intimacy issues, anger management, mid-life crises, and strengthening effective and direct problem solving skills provide security and confidence. I also want to gauge for any possible dysfunctional familial patterns as well as possible ethnic/societal/religious myths which no longer serve them. How was emotional intelligence fostered or negated? Was trauma ever experienced? Allowing men to consider and then work toward writing their own story, based on their unique abilities and aptitudes, are important components of mental health work.
Grief and Loss
Many clients present with unresolved grief and loss. Loss presents in many ways, be it due to trauma, loss of a loved one, loss of a business or home, ill-fitting cultural expectations, or simply not possessing the correct tools or skills to process difficult and painful emotional experiences. This can lead to years of dysfunction in both positive self-regard as well as interpersonal relationships. Grief work takes courage, resilience, and wanting to enact change. Knowing how to manage this difficult process takes time and empathy, all while uncovering and managing attachment and emotional wounding. The goal is to process unrecognized cognitions, behaviors, and emotions. Healing and growth occurs when purposefully and consciously one begins to enact change, all while finding resiliency and hope.
Aging and Geriatric Issues
Life’s many transitions are unique to each and every person. Aging with grace, love, and security, both emotionally and physically, can be quite daunting as one ages. Systemic dysfunctional relationship issues, unresolved grief, failing to plan for retirement and the ensuing financial struggles, unexpected physical challenges, empty nest syndrome, and considering one’s legacy, are all relevant and timely subjects. Insisting on positive mental health, effective coping skills, and ongoing support to facilitate continuing personal development and positive and loving interpersonal relationships are important throughout every stage of one’s life. Working with clients who insist on living awake, authentic, and vital lives is one of my passions. It is never too late to enact change and live an intentional and fulfilling life.
Payment and Forms
Sessions: I offer 53-minute sessions. Sessions can be held more than once per week, weekly, or every other week. Scheduling options are discussed in greater detail during your Risk-Free Initial Session.
Availability (by office location):
- Vancouver – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday
Fees: I offer a Risk-Free Initial Session for individuals, couples, and groups looking to pursue counseling with me. Please note that there is a fee for the Risk-Free Initial Session as it is a clinical hour and reimbursable to most insurance companies, but if you choose not to reschedule and continue therapy after the initial session the entire fee for the session will be waived. For ongoing treatment, the full fee per session is required at the time of service.
Insurance: As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate (LMFTA), some insurance companies will reimburse for a portion of my services (as an Out of Network Provider). Please consult with your insurance provider as to whether they specifically cover adolescents, individuals, and couples.
Receipts/Statements: In the event, you require a printed or digital receipt, I will provide receipts for personal use, insurance reimbursement, Flex Spending Accounts (FSA), and Health Savings Accounts (HSA).
Payment options: Cash, Check, or Credit Card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, & American Express). A fee of up to 4% per transaction will be added for credit card payments.