“Trauma is not what happens to you, trauma is what happens inside you as a result of what happens to you”.
– Gabor Mate
As a native New Mexican, I came up understanding the importance of culture in how we view the world, in how we process our trauma and pain, and how we return to joy. My own lifetime health challenges, and experience working in medical settings, have allowed me a window into the difficulties faced by those of you who awaken to daily pain, physical discomfort, and feelings of loss over who you used to be. Finding ourselves, even when we feel so changed by violence, injury, stress, or disease, can provide a new path forward. Life, though not the same as before, can be good again. My strongest belief, and experience in doing therapy, is the shadow will pass and together we can find your light again. It is my honor and privilege to create the environment where you are empowered to heal.
I began my career in social services over 30 years ago. I have worked with survivors of violence including sexual assault, assault, domestic violence, and homicide in the roles of advocacy, crisis support, and group counseling. For the last 10 years I have provided individual therapy to adults and youth working to overcome the pain of trauma, chronic illness, anxiety, and depression. I am trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, (EMDR), Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, (TF-CBT), Cognitive Processing Therapy, (CPT), Prolonged Exposure, (PE), Motivational Interviewing, (MI), Dialectical Behavior Therapy skills, (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, (ACT), Solution Focused Therapy, (SFT), and Humanistic Psychology.
I obtained my Bachelor’s Degree from UNM in University Studies focused on psychology, sociology, and counseling. In 1988 I completed my Master’s degree at Washington State University in Criminal Justice with an emphasis in counseling. In 2014 I received my Master’s in Social Work, concentrating on Mental Health, at the University of Washington. I am independently licensed in several states including New Mexico, Montana, Texas, Oregon, and Washington. For the last four years I have also worked as an instructor at the University of Washington School of Social Work teaching advanced clinical practice in the MSW program and in medical residency clinics training new physicians.
Life for me outside the therapy room is spent in curiosity. I enjoy exploring with my partner and two dogs, reading anything and everything, cooking, and being creative in whatever medium I can get my hands on.