People are in a constant state of growth in reaction to daily life experiences, sometimes in a positive direction and sometimes in a negative one. I became a mental health counselor because I am fascinated with how people navigate and control this process. It is amazing to see the power of the mind and how it can rebound from something difficult, particularly when given an opportunity to talk in an environment where there’s no risk in being honest. Counseling provides this unique space where people gain a better understanding of their problem(s) and discover what adjustments to make in order to improve their mental health.
The foundation of my counseling approach is Person Centered, meaning that I believe a person will discover the right choices for herself or himself when provided with an empathetic, non-judgmental environment. My job is to walk next to the person as they do this. I pair other approaches with this one, based on the issue the person is dealing with and his/her personality. For example, to challenge negative thinking I might incorporate Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques, which include some at-home tasks. I also emphasize that optimal mental health comes when we take care of the other parts of us – the physical and the spiritual. While I enjoy incorporating spirituality or religion into counseling, this addition is offered when it matches the values of the client. My 10 years of experience include working in private practice with teenage and adult clients, as well as, at a university, counseling undergraduate and graduate students. I am a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC), earning a BS degree in Psychology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and a MA degree in Clinical Psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology. I specialize in the areas of anxiety, depression, college adjustment, life transitions, grief, trauma, relationship problems, and eating disorders.