M.S., Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, (Family and Child Development and Marriage and Family Therapy) 1981.
B.S., Colorado State University - Fort Collins, CO (Psychology)
PhD, ABD (3 years) Marriage and Family Therapy
Certification in Primary Care Behavioral Health from the University of Massachusetts University School of Medicine
Marriage and Family Therapist, Washington State, #LF60642442
Marriage and Family Therapist, Idaho, #LMFT-6229
Marriage and Family Therapist, Utah, #513365-3902
Marriage and Family Therapist, Colorado, #0000770
I work almost exclusively with couples. I have been told I have a calming, easy going personality; I can calm a volatile situation and build a trusting relationship.
I like working with couples who are trying to establish trust and security after a relationship injury. I have particular skills in working with couples experiencing the aftermath of an affair.
I lean into these types of problems as a clinician, not move away from them. I believe couples can heal from an affair and I am optimistic that they can make progress and heal their broken hearts. I offer them hope.
Establishing a trusting relationship with a client is essential. Both parties in a couple must feel that their feelings and experiences are understood and valued by the therapist. I embark on an intimate journey with a couple as they open up and recognize the underlying emotions that drive their problematic patterns.
My interventions allow you to experience a different level of closeness, that is more valuable and meaningful. They allow couples to experience a feeling of deep intimacy once again.
We all need and want the security and warmth experienced from being in a satisfying relationship. We all want to have a soft place to fall when we need it and a partner who we can turn to for comfort and support. I understand how relationships can endure and I understand the importance of acceptance and commitment.
My parents were married for 65 years and they both passed away recently, within 90 days of each other. I am so thankful that I had them as parents for so many years; they truly loved each other and were devoted to our family.
I grew up in a rural area near Castle Rock, CO—Happy Canyon where we had horses and wildlife like bears, deer, bobcats, rattlesnakes and mountain lions. It was a great place to grow up and we explored the whole canyon on horseback. Since then, it is developed very quickly and has almost merged into Denver.I was first inspired to become a therapist by a high school psychology teacher; I then had several professors in graduate school who opened up a whole new way of looking at relationships and individuals.
When our son was in grammar school, my own marriage began to have troubles. Despite my urging, my first husband refused to consider working on the marriage, stating that it was beyond repair, and all my fault.
I had trouble eating and sleeping and I had my first and only panic attack. I thought I was dying. My wise doctor assured me that my heart was fine but asked me: "What's going on in your life?"
When you realize it's stress and anxiety, not something physical, it's a wake-up call.
I have spent a lot of time analyzing that relationship as the years have worn on. In hindsight, it would have been extremely helpful to me to have the assistance of a couples therapist. There are factors in every relationship that make it vulnerable to crisis. A good therapist doesn't assign blame. They help a couple understand the destructive relationship patterns that develop over the years and aim to strengthen these vulnerabilities.
After many years as a single parent, I found a wonderful man and re-married.
We spend time in both Washington, where my son and his family live, and in Colorado where my stepchildren and grandchildren live. I do Couples Retreats in both locations!
We enjoy the activities our children and grandchildren are involved in and as they get older, we would like them to spend time traveling with us.
My husband and I enjoy fly fishing. We fished for Kamloops trout in Lake Pend Orielle in Idaho for a year. These are large trout found only in a couple of lakes. We were able to catch and release one which was thrilling. I spend a lot of time taking care of wild birds, I do whatever I can to take care of the birds and attract a new species in the area I am living.
Finding love and building a fulfilling, nurturing marriage is a reminder of how satisfying it is. I am honored to have the opportunity to bring healing and intimacy to couples through my science-based practices.
I would like to invite you to come and work on your marriage after you've been impacted by betrayal, managing a chronic medical condition, or suffering from other chronic stressors.
I look forward to meeting you and helping you both to heal.
I have always liked to stay busy which has created a very diverse set of job experiences and skill sets that I can bring to my practice.
4-day Externship; 8-day Core Skills
I've worked as a hospital emergency department crisis worker, police department victim advocate, substance use disorder therapist, Employee Assistance Program workplace crisis intervention counselor and a telephonic case manager for families of active duty service members and retirees with complex behavioral health care needs.
I have an office in my home in Blaine, WA. Blaine is a small coastal community very close to the Canadian border, as well as the San Juan Islands and the Northern Cascade mountains. I am a couple of miles away from Birch Bay in one direction and Drayton Bay in the other direction and Semiahmoo spit a few miles below. You can ski in the morning and take a ferry to the San Juan Islands for dinner. There is also boating, golfing, and fishing easily accessible.
My office reflects my Western heritage with western bronzes and western pictures and images of pine trees and pine cones; every attempt is made to surround my clients with homey comforts.
I look forward to welcoming you into my home office.