For many years I lived far below the life I really wanted to live. Stuck in old mindsets, beliefs, and ideas about myself, others and the world, I remained stuck in patterns that left me feeling empty, unfillfilled, and often alone.
But then I decided to do what I now teach my clients to do – reinvent themselves! To live my life authentically in the present. But to do that I had to do the work of discovering these old mistaken beliefs, finding out how they were formed over time, and then replacing them with new ways to see myself with compassion and understanding.
So I left my job with the Federal Government, went back to college, finishing Junior College in my 40’s, starting on my Bachelor’s in Social Work at the University of West Florida and eventually graduating with my Masters of Social Work from FSU as I turned 50! Two more years of supervised counseling and passing my national boards, led me to hanging my own shingle as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and started me on the path to helping others. And continuing to help myself along the way!
At the Council on Aging of West Florida I learned to advocate for marginalized clients and connect them to resources, and as a medical social worker at Sacred Heart Cancer Center I came alongside my clients and their families through difficult times in life.
In all of these places, I came to know myself better, learn more about my profession, and represent my true self to others. This uniquely qualifies me to see all my clients as unique, often wounded, and more often wonderful people who are also growing and discovering more about who they are and who they want to become.
Fast forward over a decade and I haven’t wasted what my journey taught me. I love to work with other adult individuals and couples so that they can grow, learn more about who they are, grieve and celebrate who they have been, and begin to craft their way to a new season of life. Learning from what they have experienced and being brave in moving to new things, it’s my life’s work to guide others to feel more alive and grateful for this one and only life.
The focus of much of my counseling now is helping couples to grow emotional connection making a good realtionship better and rebuilding trust when they have been hurt through traumas and betrayals. Couples in crisis have a place to come where they can feel safe to be honest and open, vulnerable to heal and change. Some marriages rebuild, others reframe their relationship as coparents, friends, or lost loves.
As a relationship therapist trained in the Gottman Method and in Emotion Focused Couples Therapy, we work through a research-based framework that is proven to help couples stay in conversation long enough to come to a deeper understanding of each other and seek to meet each other’s needs.
Working with individuals, they first learn to exercise self-compassion and see their self-worth, they set about to construct new, healthier views of themselves. Then they discover where they want to go in life and we work on the script they will use to tell others in a kind, compassionate, considerate way about the changes they are making. It’s rewarding when clients move from where they were to something new! I hope you come along on your own personal journey soon!
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