Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist - Florida #MT3086
Qualified supervisor for LMFTs and LMHC’s in the State of Florida
Ed. S., M.Ed. University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida (Marriage and Family Therapy) 2013
B.A. Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, Florida (Human Development and Communication Studies). 2011.
I am passionate about working with couples of all walks of life to move towards healing and wholeness. I realize that couples therapy is a difficult step. It takes a great deal of courage to acknowledge that your relationship needs help. It is my job to make the process as comfortable as possible for you both while giving your relationship the care and thoughtful attention it deserves.
In my practice, I have had the honor of working with couples overcome long-standing resentments, rebuild their fondness and affection for one another, and find new meaning and purpose within their relationship. These breakthroughs could only occur within the supportive context of couples therapy using effective, science-based intervention.
Clients have shared with me that I bring a certain clarity, openness, and calmness to our therapeutic work. As a couples therapist, my job is not only to help couples reduce conflict and tension, but to also foster trust and safety that allows the relationship to deepen. Emotional safety promotes a climate of closeness. As partners begin to hold each other with mutual respect, kindness, and care, they are able to let their guards down and show their authentic selves. It is through this process they begin to reconnect and rediscover all they have to offer each other and their relationship.
Time and again I see partners heal each other. It's an amazing and beautiful opportunity I have to help people look within and become the best version of themselves. Healthy relationships do that: help us to become better versions of ourselves. It is through relationships that we get to discover our full potential as human beings.
When working with couples, I utilize the Gottman Method Therapy as my primary treatment modality. We use the Sound Relationship House as our “blueprint”. This “blueprint” provides a clear map of the essential building blocks of a happy, healthy, strong relationship. Through the process of therapy, we will break down, rebuild, and restructure your own relationship house to make it stronger and more fulfilling. I also integrate other therapy models such as Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, Family Systems, Solution-Focused Therapy, Mindfulness Meditation and other multidisciplinary practices as needed.
One area where this is particularly true is in helping couples heal from the aftermath of an affair. An affair can completely shatter a couple’s world, turning it upside down. It leaves both partners not knowing where to go next. That couple needs a safe atmosphere to work through the hurt and betrayal while rebuilding their trust and commitment to one another. I have seen profound recovery from an affair using the Gottman Method. It provides healing and provides hope for a better future.
Witnessing these transformations never ceases to amaze me, move me, and deeply inspire me. I am very grateful to be a part of my clients’ journey.
I studied Human Development and Communication Studies at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, and I became fascinated by human behavior. I discovered my passion for helping others there. I loved learning about the family lifecycle and how it evolves over its lifespan. I went on to pursue my graduate training at the University of Florida and earned dual degrees – a Specialist in Education (Ed.S.) and a Master in Education (M.Ed.) – in Marriage and Family Therapy.
Prior to private practice, I worked extensively with families, couples, and children with histories of trauma, abuse, and addiction in a variety of community mental health agencies. As part of a clinical team, I provided therapeutic services for an on-site emergency shelter for abused and neglected children. I collaborated with community partners such as the Department of Children and Families. Our job was to ensure and expedite a safe and permanent long-term placement plan for children in the Child Welfare System. I also have experience conducting court-ordered supervised visitation for families involved in the legal system and providing in-home therapeutic services for families at high risk.
In my private practice I have a strong desire to provide excellent, effective couples and family therapy to my community. My office is a warm, supportive environment.
Professional development is essential in order to give clients the best care and service possible. I love to learn. I keep up on the latest couple’s therapy research and enjoy attending seminars, workshops, and trainings that further my development as a couples therapist.
Personal experience has also shaped my approach to working with clients.
When I was a teenager, living out a very “typical” family life, my parents announced they were divorcing. The world I had known completely shattered and came crashing down. Most children don't ask for divorce. And yet, they are asked to make changes during a divorce that are hard, sudden, and unsettling.
Our family had to learn how to adjust to a new family structure. Stepparents, separate holidays and birthdays, and alternating between households were just some of the challenges we had to adapt to. The family roles, rules, and boundaries shifted, and I had a hard time navigating this “new normal.”
As if being a 13-year-old adolescent girl wasn’t confusing enough (cue teenage angst song)! The added stress and pressure of the divorce filled my teen years with a roller-coaster of emotions.
One thing that helped me during this difficult time was engaging in individual therapy. My therapist was the one person with whom I could be completely myself. I shared my heartbreak, anger, worry, grief, loss, and some of my most private thoughts. Therapy provided a safe haven which allowed me to work through and process my healing. It was this first encounter with therapy that ultimately planted the seed that later blossomed into my career.
Many years after my personal experience in therapy as a teen, I have the privilege of providing the very same help to my clients as my therapist once did for me in the very same office building! It’s funny how life can come full circle.
I understand what it is like to be on the other side of the couch. And I have the highest regard for my role as a couple’s therapist. I acknowledge the courage it takes for each and every one of my clients to walk through that door.
Thank you. One of the best decisions we made this spring was to jointly agree to get some help. We treasure what we have that much. Fortunately for us, that decision led us to you. You’re very good at what you do Rebecca; we both feel incredibly safe in your office. For that, both of us owe you a great deal of gratitude.
-from a recent client
Certified Gottman Method Couples Therapist.
Dr. Sue Johnson Emotionally Focused Therapy Externship: 2014
Treating Affairs and Trauma Training with Drs. John and Julie Gottman, 2016
Addiction, Disease, and Family Dynamics | Ft. Myers, FL | 2016
Esther Perel: Rethinking Couples Therapy: An Innovative Approach to Love, Sex, & Infidelity | Gainesville, FL | 2013
The Power of Subtypes in Relationships: Relevance of Counseling and Liberation | Gainesville, FL | 2012
My office is in the heart of Naples, Florida. Minutes from Naples’ finest shops and beaches, my office has a cozy living-room feel to it while offering privacy. Naples offers exquisite sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico, high-end shopping districts, championship golf courses, and pristine white sandy beaches.
The Naples Pier is a popular fishing and dolphin-spotting destination as well as the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens. The Naples area is home to several major land reserves including the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Everglades National Park, and Big Cypress National Preserve.
With a peaceful and serene landscape and without the hustle and bustle of a big city, Naples is the perfect getaway/destination for couples to relax and reconnect
Ever since I was a little girl, I have had a profound love for animals of all shapes and sizes. It is no wonder as I am the daughter of a veterinarian father and grew up in a house full of pets. Our house felt like a zoo at times! The long list of furry family members has included: dogs, cats, birds, turtles, fish, hamsters, bunnies, snakes (yes snakes!), geckos, and frogs. Not to mention other wildlife animals, like Florida panthers (kittens too!), I had the pleasure of encountering up close and personal through my father’s veterinary clinic. I’ve never lived without an animal companion. Life would probably feel very strange if I did not have a dog to walk.
As an avid dog lover, I fell in love with the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels breed in college. My college was one of the few colleges in the country that allowed students to have pets on campus in the dorms. You can imagine that was a selling point for me when I was deciding where to go to college. I brought home my first fur baby, Gracie, in 2009. We lived on campus in a pet-friendly dorm in which I was the Resident Advisor. I felt right at home! Since then I have been a devoted dog mom to my three babies — Gracie (10), Henry (5), and Charlotte (1). They are each unique and full of personality. One of my favorite books is by Matt Weinstein and Luke Barber, Dogs Don’t Bite When a Growl Will Do. This delightful book illustrates the many life lessons our dogs can teach us.
In my down time, one of my favorite things to do is to lounge in my sun room which overlooks a stunning lake with and iced coffee in one hand and a good book in the other. As a lifelong student, I believe there is a wealth of knowledge readily available to us through books. I often recommend books to my clients as it is another form of learning and can really supplement the therapeutic work. Some of my favorite authors include Eckhart Tolle, Pema Chodron, Brene Brown, Jordan Peterson, and Esther Perel.
I also love being outside! Living only miles from the beach, I enjoy spending time soaking in the peace and serenity of the beach while searching for seashells. Even something as simple as sitting in the grass of my backyard gives me my fill of the outdoors. Exploring new places and traveling is another one of my favorite parts about life. Getting out of Florida (and the heat) and appreciating other parts of the country and world reminds me of how expansive and abundant our world really is. And sometimes the best plan is to have no plan and see where you end up! The spontaneity of life keeps things fresh, never dull.
In recent years, I have discovered the power of yoga, meditation, and mindfulness. My yoga practice has been one of my greatest teachers. Patience, endurance, dedication, humility, acceptance, gratitude, and self-compassion are just a few of the lessons I have learned in my practice of yoga. In the summer of 2018, I completed a 60-day Bikram Yoga Challenge. For those of you unfamiliar with Bikram Yoga, this particular type of yoga is intense! Classes are 90-minutes long and include a series of 26 postures led in a room heated to 105 degrees. This was a life-changing experience that led to a lot of self-growth. Yoga allows me to quiet the chatter in my mind (not an easy feat), go within, be still and come face-to-face with myself. It’s a conscious check-in with myself. Where am I today? How am I feeling? What is rumbling around within me that I need to deal with? Sometimes that can be a scary thing to confront. But, I show up anyways. Yoga asks us to become known to one’s self. And I believe knowing oneself is an essential element to healing, growth, and a fulfilling life. Similarly, couples therapy asks each partner to show up and to be brave in the face of relationship adversity.
In working with me, I believe you will find me to be enthusiastic and compassionate while maintaining neutrality. You both bring a great deal of value and strength to your relationship. In the midst of crisis and conflict, you may have forgotten this. I want to be your champion for your relationship. It is my hope that together we have the opportunity to enrich and expand your relationship.
I look forward to working with you both in Naples.