My approach is integrative, using different approaches depending on the client and their needs. In session, I use different components of Cognitive- Behavioral Therapy, Play Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and Expressive Arts. My goal when working with youth comes from a place of wanting to provide them with support and tools to manage their stressors.
I also like to make therapy as enjoyable as possible while also supporting their needs. Therapy for youth can look different than the “traditional talk therapy” you often hear about. It might look like exploring difficult emotions and experiences over a game of uno or arts and crafts. I often emphasize to parents that the therapy work is being done along side this fun.
Since I was a child, I always wanted to help those around me with life's stressors. Whether it was conflict on the playground or family troubles at home, I wanted to lend an ear and support those around me. As I grew up and embarked on my own mental health journey, I realized how impactful having one person to lean on can be. Life can often feel so heavy and I realized I wanted to help others carry that load. Now that I am a therapist, I can often relate to my client’s stressors due to my own journey with navigating the difficult emotions linked with the human experience, including anxiety, life adjustments, and navigating my own parents divorce.
I completed my Bachelors Degree in Psychology with a minor in Family/Child Studies at Northern Illinois University. During that time, I worked as a Case Manager at Safe Passage in the emergency shelter. I was able to provide support to individuals and families experiencing domestic violence. Here I helped the child counselors facilitate group therapy and respite care. Through this experience, I observed how impactful it can be for individuals to be seen and accepted, even in the hardest of times.
I completed my Masters Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Northern Illinois University and decided to continue my focus on working with children, teens, and young adults. I received further experience at my internship at 360 Youth Services in Naperville, IL providing support to youth ages 11-24.
I have five years experience working with youth looking for support with anxiety, depression, self-esteem, school issues, interpersonal relationships, family conflict, and life changes. I enjoy collaborating with the client's outside supports to best support them in and out of session. This might be parents, school social workers, and psychiatrists (just to name a few)!
If someone was to ask you what they should know before going - what would you tell them?
Therapy is a marathon, not a race! Progress will often look like small changes in the right direction. When working with children and tweens, parent collaboration is vital to treatment. Oftentimes the feedback that I give is for both the child/tween and parents. They will look to parents to guide the changes, not the other way around.
I have a 13 year old dog named Puppy! We could not come up with a name once we got home and would call him puppy. Here we are 13 years later...it just stuck.
If you were an emoji (or series of emoji's), which one(s)?