What made you decide to become a counselor?
I started off as a certified recreation therapist working with people with problems in a municipal mental health center. I found that I was fascinated with watching and helping them learn techniques or strategies to successfully move from an ill state to feeling and functioning better. I was so fascinated and enjoyed the process so much that I went back to school to get my masters and license to be better at helping people express themselves, problem solve, cope, and make improvements in their lives. I really enjoy my job.
How would you describe what therapy looks like in your office?
I want the atmosphere to be inviting and comfortable for people to be themselves no matter how they are feeling. Being understood is extremely important and working together, I hope people I work with always leave thinking that I understood how they felt and was thinking without being judged or criticized. I use handouts and homework for people to use to assist them in developing skills and strategies that they can use in and out of the sessions as well as throughout the rest of their lives if they choose to.
Do you have a particular theory or type of treatment do you use?
I have learned over the years that people are diverse and no one technique or theory will meet the needs of everyone so I use a variety of techniques. I tend to use Cognitive Behavioral Theory the most because it lends itself well to helping people with mood and anxiety issues because a basic component to these types of issues is how our thinking changes and impacts our feelings and behaviors. Using CBT along with other techniques has proven to be very helpful to my clients.
Tell us a little about your life away from work.
After sitting for most of my work life, I enjoy being more active so I like outdoor activities where I can enjoy the outdoor environment such as paddling on rivers or ocean, riding a motorcycle for extended periods, and running and playing with my dog. I enjoy doing things with friends but also enjoy reading a good book, watching a good movie, or playing video or puzzle games.
If you weren’t a counselor, what would you be?
I love animals and have become very interested in the animal whisperers (dog, cat, horse, etc.) because they offer animals help that seems similar to what counseling offers people. I find that the whisperers not only help the animals, but also the owners so it’s looks like a package deal which would be very interesting and challenging.