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About Me

Hello! Welcome, and thank you for stopping in. Making the decision to be in therapy or to initiate a learning or wellness experience is a tremendous act of self-care. It can also be a bit scary if you don't know what to expect. You may be here because you have questions about my specific approaches to therapy, training, and education, or about my credentials and experience as a therapist and educator.

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Education & Credentials

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor and board-approved Supervisor (LPC-S) in the state of Texas, a National Certified Counselor (NCC), a National Board Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist (NBCCH), and a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 500). After dedicating several years to educating, supervising, and mentoring new generations of counselors as a professor and program director of a clinical mental health counseling program at a private university and earning tenure, I decided to step away from academic duties to help meet a growing need for the specialized mental health services I offer in my existing private practice, and to honor increasing requests for consultation and training of clinical practitioners, researchers, and other professionals.

I have a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision, Concentration: Somatics (studies and/or practices that use the body-mind-spirit connection to support self-awareness), and a MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, both from St. Mary's University. I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a Minor in English from the University of Maryland.  I am a frequent guest speaker at professional venues and I offer in-person and virtual training and consultation across Texas, throughout the United States, and around the world.

Specializations & Expertise

Integrative, Body-Centered Counseling & Psychotherapy
Individual, Couples, & Family Therapy
Trauma-Informed Approach
​Body-Mind-Spirit Integration
Whole Person, Humanistic Focus
Relationship Concerns
Trauma & PTSD
Grief

Training & Consultation
Trauma-Informed & Attachment-Based Approaches
Holistic Well-Being & Self-Care
Heuristic Inquiry & Qualitative Research

Please visit my Services page and my Therapeutic Approaches page for more details.

Multicultural Experience & Values

I've lived in countries spanning Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and North America, and I've visited more than 50 countries. In my experiences living and traveling abroad, I have been and continue to be committed to embedding myself within my host culture to embrace the richness of our diverse human tapestry. My multicultural experience informs who I am as a person and counselor. I believe in the intrinsic worth of every human, and I acknowledge both differences and similarities as conduits for connection. I bring this core value into my clinical work.

Clinical Experience

Prior to establishing my private practice, I served in a number of community mental health settings. My clinical experience includes intensive work with developmental and shock trauma, intimate partner violence, dissociation, grief, and identity reintegration at the Children’s Bereavement Center, Family Violence Prevention Services, and the Rape Crisis Center in San Antonio, Texas, as well as with in-patient mental health care.

 

While most of my current therapeutic work is with adults in individual therapy, couples therapy, and family therapy, I have worked with clients in all age ranges, and I continue to work with children and adolescents in family therapy that includes adult family members. Additionally, I've completed advanced professional training in a variety of trauma-informed and process-oriented modalities that allow me to personalize sessions to meet your needs. 

Clinical Values & Orientation

As a relational body-centered gestalt therapist, I believe in the unique power of embodied presence and creative resilience. I work with clients from a trauma-informed, integrative, process-oriented framework focused on enhancing awareness and promoting wholeness, with a deep understanding of the neurobiological, developmental, relational, and socio-cultural impacts on and effects of trauma. I specialize in developmental abuse and complex trauma (life-span invasive and pervasive trauma) which may manifest as unresolved childhood issues, involvement in codependent or other damaging relationships, persistent loss/grief, or chronic illness/pain. I provide therapeutic services for a wide range of concerns including family and relationship dynamics, mood and anxiety disturbances, eating disorders, spiritual conflicts, and identity exploration. 

I believe in every human's capacity for healing and growth. We all have a natural inclination toward healing and well-being that is enriched when it is supported and nurtured. You can detach from the pain of the past and connect with present-moment awareness. Being in the present moment means dropping all the baggage you carry around with you, which makes you more equipped to make choices and decisions that better serve your present needs. Working on your issues and concerns unravels your creativity so you are able to live life consciously and fully, without being bound by the past.

Many clients come to me having tried traditional talk therapy unsuccessfully. I combine talk therapy with body-centered approaches that take us directly where the help is needed, allowing you to explore how you may be clinging to unexamined traumatic memories, to confront fear and self-doubt, to integrate disowned parts of yourself, and to release what is limiting you. 

The warm, supportive, collaborative relationship we create in therapy is the ultimate vehicle for growth and healing. In and through our therapeutic relationship, you have a safe place in which to experiment with new ways of sensing, feeling, thinking, behaving, and being. I view therapy as a place for compassion, support, acceptance, non-judgment, and growth, regardless of your ethnicity, race, religion, age, size, gender, sexual orientation, or physical ability.

Personal Approach

I’m a very authentic person and counselor. Current and past clients seeking meaningful change have expressed their appreciation for my genuine and candid approach, noting how inspired and safe they feel as they engage their process of personal growth.

 

I’m also a highly interactive therapist, which means:

 

  • I may encourage you to explore different perspectives to facilitate making new choices.

  • I may provide you information and education about concerns that directly relate to your therapeutic work.

  • I may gently confront you, especially about potential growth areas.

  • I may invite you to explore how you show up in the world, for others, for yourself, and for the causes that are meaningful for you, especially using my contextual, integrative model which stresses the following dimensions: sensory-kinesthetic; emotional; cognitive; perceptual; spiritual; and social-relational.

 

Finally, as a trauma-informed therapist with a deep understanding of the uniqueness of each person’s individual experience, I will always respect your pace, though I will offer gentle nudges as needed, especially if/when I sense you might be stuck, and always using a collaborative approach.

Research & Scholarship

Being a practitioner-researcher, I like to contribute to and remain informed of the most current findings in mental health research in order to provide you with optimal therapeutic care. My professional research efforts are geared toward uncovering how we relate to ourselves and the world, and how we form and make meaning of experience, with a particular focus on the relationally shared experience between therapist and client. 

I am the author of the research textbook Heuristic Inquiry: Researching Human Experience Holistically and multiple practice- and research-related peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, with a new book chapter in press for publication in the Routledge International Handbook of Research Methods in Spirituality & Contemplative Studies in 2024.

Like many others, you may find it challenging to identify your primary concern. Or, you may feel you have multiple concerns that are difficult to prioritize. Please contact me if you have questions about how I work with clients to address various needs or about the consultation and training services I provide. I offer a complimentary 15-minute initial phone consultation so we can learn more about one another and decide if we are a good fit.

Education:

PhD, Counselor Education & Supervision
Concentration: Somatics
St. Mary's University, San Antonio, TX

MA, Clinical Mental Health Counseling
St. Mary's University, San Antonio, TX

BS, Psychology
University of Maryland, Adelphi, MD

Licenses & Certifications:

Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor (LPC-S)

National Certified Counselor (NCC)

National Board Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist (NBCCH)

Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 500)

Affiliations:

American Counseling Association (ACA)​
National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC)
Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES)
​American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT)
Association for Humanistic Counseling (AHC)
Association for Creativity in Counseling (ACC)
Association for Assessment and Research in Counseling (AARC)
Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (SACES)
Texas Counseling Association (TCA)
Texas Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (TACES)
United States Association for Body Psychotherapy (USABP)
National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN)
Gestalt Institute of Cleveland (GIC)

International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS)
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute (SPI)
Somatic Experiencing International (SEI)
National Board for Certified Clinical Hypnotherapists (NBCCH)
Yoga Alliance (YA)

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