Approach to Therapy
I believe that humans are capable of change at any point in life and sometimes lack the self-understanding, skills and belief in self to do so. We often know we want "something different" yet struggle with knowing what the desired outcome even looks like. Sometimes we aren't aware there are options to the way we are living or how we feel. At other times, we know exactly what we want but have no idea how to get there. In therapy, a person can take time away from the rush and demands of life in order to figure these things out, make plans for change and most importantly, implement change. I want to help clients develop their own skills (self-efficacy) to continue to grow outside a therapeutic setting. While I work with clients to focus on solutions to problems, it can be necessary to address contributing factors that may include exploring the past. Much like human history, individual history is key to changing one's future, "If we do not understand the past, we are doomed to repeat it." I am incredibly straightforward in session and at the same time highly compassionate and believe humor can be restorative (along with providing a little humility). While I challenge my clients, I also make sure to help them identify and use their strengths as part of therapy. There is no room or time for judgment, only understanding and cooperatively working toward desired outcomes. I am honored and excited to be a part of the change for better in people's lives.
Trusted Counseling Professional
I am a native Texan who also spent many years in New Orleans, LA where, after high school, I attended Loyola University of the South. Upon graduation with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, I returned to Texas to attend St. Mary’s University in San Antonio where, in 1989, I completed a Master’s in Clinical Psychology. I also earned a commission in the Army and served in the Army National Guard. My early work in mental health was at psychiatric hospitals in New Orleans & San Antonio. I began working as a therapist at Texas State University Counseling Center in 1989, seeing clients both individually and in group therapy. I have a passion for and carry a specialization in the field of substance use disorders, gaining certification in 1987 and then becoming a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC) in this field in 1992. I obtained my license as a professional counselor (LPC) in the State of Texas in 1995 and Supervision status in 2013. In addition to duties as a therapist, I was also responsible for coordinating the Counseling Center’s Educational Programming & Outreach and organized such events as Depression Symposiums, Eating Disorder Art Exhibit and several "DeStress Fests". I participated in the training of the center's doctoral interns and two peer education student organizations on campus. I have also had the pleasure of teaching undergraduate courses in a university setting. I have presented hundreds of programs and workshops to students, faculty and staff on topics including but not limited to stress management, depression, suicide, eating disorders and trauma. I have also enjoyed presenting at state, regional and national conferences. My work serving on a multitude of university committees and councils has enhanced my knowledge and interest in the impact of alcohol & other drugs in communities, serving veterans, celebrating diversity, social justice and equality issues. In December of 2016, I retired as Assistant Director of Educational Outreach at the Texas State University Counseling Center and opened a private practice in Spring 2017.
For more information, see my profile on LinkedIn.