“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Psalm 42:11
Philosophy and Therapeutic Approach
My counseling style is warm, calm, and caring. I hope to build a meaningful relationship with my clients where they feel safe and understood, and know that I am willing to go into difficult emotions with them. I try to focus on clients’ strengths, and work to empower them to know they are capable of healing and change.
My desire for clients is that through the process of counseling, they will feel more like their true selves- more like who God created them to be. I see counseling not as a “fix”, but as a movement towards a better and healthier self. I also want to help clients to grow in their understanding of how their past experiences have shaped them, and how they can break free of negative patterns in their lives.
I believe that the most powerful way of working with kids is through play therapy. Children communicate their emotions and experiences through play. When doing play therapy with a child, I am using a specific set of skills to help them better understand and express their emotions, learn healthy coping skills and emotion regulation, and increase their self-esteem and feelings of competency.
What to Expect During Therapy
When you first come to counseling, I will give you space to talk about what made you decide to come. We’ll talk about what your goals are for counseling, and what outcomes you hope to experience for you or for your child.
My goal throughout the entire therapy process is to be a calm and safe person to come to and process things with. You can expect me to be nonjudgmental and kind, while still always being myself. I will provide space for you to take the session where you think it should go, and will point out things that seem important that I may encourage you to talk more about. My questions or statements are intentional and are meant to help guide the conversation to help you discover things about yourself, make connections you haven’t made before, and to help give insight into how things can change. I also leave it up to each client to decide to what extent they’d like to incorporate their faith into the counseling process.
When working with kids, they can expect there to be toys to play with or activities to engage in. Although therapy is not always fun since difficult emotions are sure to come up, most children really enjoy play therapy and feel close to their therapist. It is a special time that’s all about them and what they’re experiencing, and the majority of kids are very drawn to that.
My work with parents is more direct. I want to partner with you so that together we can understand what is going on for your child, and what could be helpful for them moving forward. I am able to provide training in parenting skills, and will provide outside resources as needed. My goal is to empower parents to better understand and relate to their child, to learn more about child development, learn helpful parenting skills, and to know that they are capable of being the most important avenue for change in their child’s life.
Personal Qualifications and Experience
I graduated from the University of North Texas with an M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a specialization in play therapy. During my time at UNT, I worked with leaders in the field of play therapy doing research and learning how to effectively create change in the lives of kids.
While working on my Masters, I enrolled in the Equipped to Counsel class through the Village Church Denton. This yearlong class provided training in how to include my Christian faith in the counseling process.
Before working for Cornerstone, I worked at the Child and Family Resource Clinic in Denton, TX. I worked primarily with kids between the ages of 3-15 doing play and activity therapy. Part of that included working with the child’s parents to create lasting change outside of therapy. I had the opportunity to co-lead a parenting group teaching skills and processing parenting experiences, and I also worked with some adult clients who came in with issues unrelated to parenting or kids.
Personal Life and Interests
My husband and I met at the University of Arkansas in a college class, and ended up getting married in Fayetteville, Arkansas a year after we graduated. After I finished my Masters degree in Texas, we decided to move to Denver for a change of pace. We enjoy hiking and camping together, and have loved the Colorado culture.
In my spare time, I love to read and write. I also love spending time outside, getting coffee with friends, and playing with my dog, Milo, who is a huge and cuddly rescue pup that goes with us everywhere.