CTSS Mental Health Practitioner
License: LPC (in 2009); currently need to reapply for this license
Certification: Qualified Developmental Disability Specialist
Year Joined: 2021
Undergraduate School: Mankato State University
Undergraduate Degree: BS (English/Sociology)
Graduate School: St. Cloud State University
Graduate Degree: MS (Community Counseling)
In my 20 years of experience in the mental health field, my clinical interests have included working with clients who have struggled with serious and persistent mental health issues and co-occurring (substance use) disorders. I feel confident in assisting clients to understand their family of origin issues, childhood traumas, and resulting personality disorders. I also enjoy working with children, adolescents, and adults struggling with PTSD, anxiety and depression. Prior to working at an IRTS, I equally enjoyed my time as a Behavioral Consultant and Qualified Developmental Disability Specialist working with children and adults struggling with both developmental disabilities (including the Autism Spectrum Disorder) and mental health issues.
I believe that every human being has a unique set of talents, abilities, and skills. I like to use motivational interviewing and positive regard to determine what has worked for the client in the past and what has not worked, and then to proceed with building self-esteem and motivation around the client's goals. I always start by establishing trust and developing a positive rapport with a client; if this does not occur, a good therapeutic relationship will not exist. I often employ a strengths-based, solution- focused, person-centered approach. I also like to be trauma- informed and trauma -sensitive. At times, I will take a behavioral approach and try to understand the underlying motives for the targeted (negative behaviors) and seek to assist the client to replace negative behaviors with positive ones.
I enjoy spending time with my family, friends, and being with my grandchildren. I have always loved being outdoors (especially in warmer weather) and enjoy daily walks and gardening on our organic farm. I have always been an avid reader, writer, painter, cleaner and organizer.