What do you
The mission of Collaborative Family Services is to provide support to those who need it most.
This is accomplished by working together and creating a team where each member can openly communicate through feelings of trust, respect, and empathy.
I believe that one of the most important aspects of therapy is collaboration. Every person who walks into my office is unique and no two people experience anything in exactly the same way. With that in mind, I work with my clients and their families to develop an individualized treatment plan based on respect and compassion to help guide them throughout their journey of self-discovery. My office is a safe and non-judgmental environment where clients can let go of their daily stressors and focus on their experiences, struggles, and needs.
I use an integrative approach with a focus on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), family therapy, relational work, mindfulness, psychoeducation and parent training. I also use play and art based therapies to build rapport, identify areas of stress, and practice new skills. In fact, my office includes a separate and dedicated play room for use during play therapy. My exact approach, however, is determined by each person or family’s particular needs, experiences, and readiness to change.
Throughout my career, I have worked with a variety of children, adolescents, adults, and families with various mental health diagnoses and personal struggles including anxiety, depression, self-harm, trauma, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, interpersonal conflict, and behavioral concerns. I am proud to affirm people of all backgrounds, gender identities, and sexual orientations.
Specializing in Child, Adolescent, and Family Therapy
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) stresses the role of thinking in how we feel and what we do. It is based on the belief that thoughts, rather than people or events, cause our negative feelings. I assist clients in identifying, testing the reality of, and correcting dysfunctional beliefs underlying their thinking. I then help clients modify those thoughts and the behaviors that flow from them. CBT is a structured collaboration between therapist and client and often calls for homework assignments. CBT has been clinically proven to help clients in a relatively short amount of time with a wide range of disorders, including depression and anxiety.
Family therapy seeks to reduce distress and conflict by improving the systems of interactions between family members. Problems are seen as maladaptive patterns or systems within the family unit rather than issues residing in a single family member. A person’s family is not solely comprised of members of their household, but includes anyone who plays a long-term supportive role in their life. Family therapy is a useful tool to help families improve communication, increase empathy, gain insight into their roles within the family dynamic and reduce conflict.
Many people struggle in social situations and have difficulty communicating, fitting in, or feeling accepted. As everyday life is filled with numerous potential interactions in the home, at school, on the job, or with peers, social difficulties can create substantial levels of stress and anxiety. Social skills are not things that are just learned, they are develop in a fluid manner as each interaction influences the next. Relational work in therapy seeks to help client’s build on their natural social abilities, develop confidence, enhance self-regulation and coping skills, and decrease feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Mindfulness is designed to allow people to be fully present, accepting it without judgement, and not become overly reactive or overwhelmed the experience. Mindfulness has been shown to help reduce stress, increase overall happiness, and improve well-being. Being mindful makes it easier appreciate life’s pleasures, fully engage in activities, and form deeper connections with others. Practicing mindfulness can also help keep people from becoming stuck in thoughts of current worries or past regrets.
Raising a child can be a very difficult endeavor. At times parents feel overly frustrated, exhausted, and overwhelmed. Parent training seeks to help parents identify strategies to successfully interact with their child as well as decrease their own stress levels and develop appropriate coping skills. It is vital that parents understand not only what their child is feeling, but why they are feeling that way and why those feelings cause them to react the way that they do. I help parents develop realistic expectations for their child and family as well as how to give verbal and nonverbal commands, the importance of praise, how to reprimand appropriately, when to give warnings and when to take action, and on interventions such as timeouts.
Generally for children under the age of 12, play therapy is a form of counseling that relies on play to help me communicate with children and understand their mental health. Since children develop cognitive skills before language skills, play is an effective way to understand a child. I may observe a child playing with toys, such as playhouses, action figures, and board games to understand their behavior and identify issues.