Force of character; determination; nerve; vigor; verve; pep; courage; resolve; spunk; tenacity; skill; know-how. The ability to face difficulty with spirit and courage.
"If we understand story then we can help with symptoms because story is embedded in those symptoms." -Diane Lynn Barnes, PsyD
My formal education focused on psychology and clinical social work. My professional experiences have been in public schools, hospitals and outpatient clinics, U.S. Military, international nonprofits, universities and various community settings. I currently have a private practice office in Napa, and I provide "teletherapy" via Zoom and by phone to clients in California and Texas.
My therapy training began in public schools with special education, K-12. I counseled children with mental health concerns and led life skills' groups. I worked intensively in an alternative school setting with students burdened by emotional concerns and unable to attend classes at the main campus.
I spent most of the next decade working in hospitals, both pediatric and adult units, assessing and responding to a variety of issues including devastating diagnoses, chronic health conditions, end of life issues, infertility and pregnancy loss, postpartum depression, drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence, child abuse, trauma, sexual assault and mental health crises. During this time, I taught and supervised University of Texas at Austin Graduate School of Social Work students. After ten years, I shifted out of the hospital setting to a project as a therapist lead of an integrated behavioral healthcare network where I helped build a program for providing mental health and case management to a pediatric and family medical practice serving 30,000 low income families.
An opportunity led me to England for two years as a contract social worker for the U.S. Air Force, where I managed a prevention and education campaign related to new parent support and family violence prevention. I educated Airmen and families on topics such as stress and anger management, PTSD, resilience, healthy dating, couple's communication and parenting, while co-facilitating support groups on chronic medical conditions. During this time, I also worked with Airmen and families on managing stress before and after deployments and transitioning to civilian life after a military career.
After a brief return to the U.S. to study Spanish at the Defense Language Institute of Monterey, I moved to South America and worked in a non-therapy role for the U.S. Embassy while volunteering with a Chilean nonprofit. During this time, I researched advances in counseling and coaching methodology. Although I have a working knowledge of Spanish, I do not provide services in Spanish at this time.
In 2014, my family relocated to Napa and welcomed a child. After treating parents for postpartum depression and anxiety, I experienced it first-hand and became aware of a need for expanded maternal mental health support in my community. I added services to my private practice that would address infertility, pregnancy and postpartum mental health support, Moxie Motherhood, and co-founded a pregnant and postpartum peer support program. You can listen to me talk about that work, here.
For almost two decades, I have honed my clinical expertise from problem-focused to possibility-focused. I remain current on research and active in the professional dialogue of wellness, balancing my time between counseling, coaching, teaching, volunteering and parenting. Read more here.
I welcome the opportunity to support you.
Photo by Sakhon Nhek
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
California License No. 82213
Texas License No. 35678
Master of Science in Social Work, University of Texas at Austin, 2000
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, University of Texas at Austin, 1998
Associate of Arts Degree in Spanish, Monterey Defense Language Institute, 2012
(there have been many over the past 20 years, but here are a few worth mentioning)
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Intensive
Gottman Method Couples Therapy
Your Beyond Coaching
Group Coaching Expands the Independent Practice
Common Sense Parenting
Postpartum Support International Maternal Mental Health Certificate Training for Mental Health and Clinical Professionals
Postpartum Support International
2020 Mom Ambassador
National Association of Social Workers