I became a therapist because I have always enjoyed connecting with others in a “real way” and talking about difficult subjects. I am fascinated by the complexities of people, and enjoys helping other people gain self-awareness so that they can live a more satisfying life. For as long as I can remember, my idea of fun has been sitting at a coffee shop and “people watching.” Since becoming a parent in 2011, I have grown increasingly passionate about supporting the parent-child relationship and attachment work with children in foster care and post adoption. I know firsthand the challenges of parenting young children and balancing other aspects of life. I also knows what it is like to live with anxiety and depression, and the impact those conditions can have on relationships and other life domains.
I am a Registered Play Therapist and Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Illinois. Additionally, I am also currently pursuing additional advanced training in Biblical Counseling toward the credential of Board Certified Professional Christian Counselor. In addition, I am pursuing specialized credentialing through the Department of Children and Family Services as a Level 3 Trauma-Focused provider.
If you are an adult seeking therapy, don’t let all those initials after my name scare you away; I work with clients of all ages. In fact, my original training in therapy was focused on the adult population. And, providing therapy to children who cannot yet think abstractly and tell you what they feel has actually made me a more effective therapist for adults. If you are an adult who might want to play a little bit, Play Therapy is actually really beneficial for all of us! Those adult coloring books are not a coincidence.
Having been in the mental health and social work fields for 18 years, I have experience working with all ages and with many common mental health diagnoses. I have experience working with everything from childhood behavioral challenges to adults with dissociative identity disorder. Through the years, I have heard a lot, seen a lot, and helped people overcome…a lot. Don’t let my smile and blonde hair fool you!
Part of my ability to help clients may be influenced by my varied mental health experience in settings such as public schools, private therapeutic day schools, residential treatment, DCFS and private child welfare agency collaboration, and other people’s private practices as a contractor. I am a self-directed, confident and enthusiastic provider who can direct clients toward a healthier version of themselves.
My work is solidly grounded in Attachment Theory and I use Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, Theraplay, Child-Centered Play Therapy, and aspects of a variety of other therapy treatment models depending on the client’s needs. I also integrate learning from the related fields of Nutrition, Neurology, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Exercise Science, Education, Child Development and Psychiatry to supplement the psychotherapy services I provide.
I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the Univeristy of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1999. Following college, I worked as an Inclusion Aide in a special education program at Westfield Elementary School in Bloomingdale, Illinois. From there, I pursued education in School Social Work at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. After completing my Masters in Social Work in 2002, I worked as a School Social Worker for Early Childhood through 5th graders for the Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley School District in Gibson City, Illinois. Following that, I worked as a Social Worker and Intake Coordinator for the Stepping Stone Therapeutic Day School that is part of Allendale Association in Lake Villa, Illinois. It was there that my passion for working with the entire family system grew, and that role led me to an opportunity to work as an Integrated Assessment Clinical Screener, providing comprehensive mental health assessments and mental health service recommendations for children and adults involved with the Department of Children and Family Services. While working in that role, I began to pursue her dream of owning a private practice by working briefly at The Solution Center in Antioch, Illinois in 2006 and established an independent practice in Rockford, Illinois in 2007.
In 2009, I began my specialized training and supervision in Play Therapy. Since then, I have earned over 175 continuing education hours in working with children and adolescents, and has participated in advanced supervision of my work to earn the specialty credential of Registered Play Therapist.
Contact me to schedule an appointment.
I live in Crystal Lake, Illinois with my husband and two children. My greatest priorities are God, my marriage and my children. I am working hard to take care of all that God has entrusted to me.
I nurture myself by running, cooking, gardening and travelling. I enjoy taking adventures with my children and going on dates with my husband. Our family loves cruising, and if you can’t get ahold of me, chances are I am sailing on the Caribbean somewhere chasing my young kids around a cruise ship.