This is my story…
Ten years ago one of my children was struggling with severe depression, insecurity, and bullying at school. She began self-harming and eventually started having suicidal thoughts. I was completely shocked because I didn’t know it had been going on. Thankfully she told our psychiatrist, which then began our journey through psychiatric hospitalizations. Over the next two years, we went in and out of hospitals, tried all the different psych meds, and went to multiple therapy sessions. During this time I felt helpless, hopeless, guilty, clueless, and all the other feelings that come with being a parent when your child is hurting. Luckily there were great doctors, therapists, and skill groups for my daughter so that she could start healing.
What there wasn’t, was support for my husband and me as the parents of a suicidal child. I reached out to friends and family, but they didn’t understand the terror of going into her bedroom every night, not knowing if she would be dead or alive.
And I spent a lot of time asking myself; Had I caused this?
Was I a failure as a parent and a mother? Was this because of mistakes I’d made?
Had my separation from her dad traumatized her? Was this because of the bullying she experienced in school?
Not having someone to talk to about what was going on, and not having a community of peers who understood what I was going through pushed me into the next stage of our journey. I chose to go back to school and get a master’s degree in clinical mental health so that I could be a support system and an educator to parents whose children are struggling. I took all kinds of certification programs and extra courses trying to find the answers that would heal my daughter and my family. But all my studies and training had one common theme:
We look in the wrong direction for the answer, the platitudes are true–everything you need is inside of you!
It’s where innate serenity, wisdom, peace, and resilience are.
Why is this important?
Because once I learned this, I realized we are built for life. I could be there for my daughter, without judgment, no matter what she was struggling with.
This is what was going on for her at that moment.
I hadn’t caused it, and I couldn’t change it. I found peace of mind because, if innate well-being was true for me it was true for my daughter too–which meant I could be there for her, free of anxiety, in the knowledge that we would come through this situation together.
Because I have children with emotional and behavioral struggles and have the clinical experience of working with both parents and children, I offer a unique perspective when working with my clients. Helping parents help their families isn’t just a job or focus of mine; it is my passion, and I infuse it with heart and soul.
By providing a safe, trusting, and non-judgmental environment for you and/or your family to process your experiences, using trauma-sensitive and attachment-focused approaches, I try to help you and your loved ones find within yourselves the tools to create a life you love.
I have a passion for working with parents and their teenagers because I understand that trauma and other adverse life experiences affect not only the relationship between parent and child but also the relationship that a person has with themselves. I believe that by repairing those relationships, individuals can obtain true healing, confidence, and resilience to continue their journey.
I have an undergraduate degree in Political Science and Public Administration from Missouri Western State University and a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Missouri, a National Board-Certified Counselor, a Certified Clinical Telemental Health, a Certified Mental Health and Integrative Medicine provider, and an EMDR therapist.
I have been trained in several therapeutic approaches such a
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT),
- Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT),
- Family Systems Therapy, and
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR).
I also like to incorporate various forms of expression in sessions such as play, art, music, and various other mediums from pop culture. After having worked with teens in acute, residential, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient programs, I have learned that using these various techniques helps teens (and adults) to feel less resistant to therapy and provides them additional ways to process their experiences.
I would consider it a privilege to work with you to promote healthier relationships, increased and effective communication, confidence, self-esteem, and healing.
EDUCATION & CREDENTIALS:
- License #: 2017043804
- License State: Missouri
- Practicing Since: 2014
- Undergraduate degree in Political Science/Public Administration from Missouri Western State University
- Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA
- National Board-Certified Counselor
- Licensed Professional Counselor
- Clinical Telemental Health Provider