When I was 27 years old, I stepped on the scale determined to conquer my lifelong struggle with weight. Little did I know that losing that weight would take me on a journey to finding myself. At the time I had my dream job as a middle school English teacher and was married to my college sweetheart. But as the weight melted away, I discovered I mastered the art of living the life I was taught to lead but knew little of the life that the Spirit desired for me.
- Where I met myself for the first time.
- Where I learned to befriend the parts of me that felt anxious and depressed.
- Where I recognized how my perfectionism and people-pleasing were protective parts rather than my core identity.
- Where I named the big T and little t traumas that I and my family experienced.
- Where I grieved the losses I bottled and hid under my weight.
- Where I forgave myself, my parents, and God for the hurt and suffering.
- Where I excavated the resources buried within me and my history.
- Where I discovered that healing is possible.
- Where I lived again
What does this mean for your therapy?
As your therapist, I want you to know that I know what it’s like to be on the other side of the couch. I know the vulnerability and fear of worrying about what your therapist will think. Or assuming that they have it “all figured out.” I know the anxiety of having someone you know little about knowing details you haven’t whispered to your best friend.
As your therapist, my desire is to cultivate a relationship with you where we can collaborate together to help you find the YOU inside. That with compassion, curiosity, and courage, we become aware of where you are, where you desire to go, and where parts of you become scared or overwhelmed and make forward movement difficult. Rather than forcing these parts to move or silencing them, we create a safe space for you to develop self-acceptance.
As your therapist, I believe your healing will ripple through your relationships. If you choose to engage in relational therapy as a couple, family, or community, I help you become aware of the rich resources between you. Learning to speak from a place of vulnerability and trust, you recognize that your healing is intricately connected to your relationships with others and that your truth spoken in love liberates you and others.
As your therapist, my goal is to help you articulate YOUR goals…to voice the longings in your heart and to live into them.
The Formal Background
For the past twenty years, I’ve worked in a variety of helping professions and settings from public school teaching, to directing a non-profit, to parish ministry, hospital chaplaincy, and community based mental health. All of these experiences have formed and inform how I work with clients today.
As a lifelong learner, I dedicate myself to continuing to grow.
Here is a list of my formal education, training, and authorization:
Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary English Education from Millersville University (1999)
Master’s of Divinity from Lancaster Theological Seminary (2009)
Post-Graduate work in Marriage and Family Therapy at The Council for Relationships (2015)
Master’s of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy from Evangelical Seminary (2019)
Authorized and Ordained Pastor with the United Church of Christ (2011)
Certified Prepare/Enrich Facilitator 2014
Certified Step Family Coach through the Stepfamily Foundation (2015)
Clergy Partner with Wisdom’s Table United Church of Christ in Lancaster (2017)
Gottman Level One Training in Gottman Method Couples Therapy (2017)
Certified Grief Counselor (2020)
Pursuing licensure under the supervision of Dr. Janet Stauffer working toward becoming a licensed marriage and family therapist (on-going)