This life is hard and full of trauma, grief, and situations that often throw a curveball at us. I believe the only way to work through an issue is to approach it with a Biblical worldview. This means we set our eyes heavenward and filter every thought, emotion, and problem through a vertical-facing lens towards God. When we take our eyes off Him, the waters threaten to drown us. Should you desire a God-centered approach to counseling, we will first assess whether sin is playing a part in your presenting problem. We will then dissect genetic, environmental, emotional, and psychological influences that may be affecting you. I will look for patterns in your life and help you determine whether they are healthy or dysfunctional, then develop a treatment plan to help you overcome the challenges you face.
My Goal as a Christian Counselor
Though our sanctification — becoming more like Christ — is not completed in this life on earth, my goal is to partner with you in the active process of your sanctification, acknowledging that sanctification comes mostly from God through the Holy Spirit in you. Your part in sanctification comes from a loving obedience to God, a surrendering of sins, and a daily commitment to prayer, reading the Word of God, and fellowship with other believers.
What I Offer in Christian Counseling
I approach each counseling session standing on the firm foundation of God’s Word while also utilizing strengths-based and solution-focused practices to help you grow in your walk with Christ. I counsel with empathy, compassion, and warmth as I seek to understand your heart. We will focus on getting to the root cause of the issue or issues that bring you to counseling, and I will offer encouragement and exhortation along the way.
My Approach to Christian Counseling
I believe without a Christian/Biblical worldview, the counseling process would only be partially successful. I do not believe we can separate our faith from daily life, saving it only for Sunday. When I place God first in my life and give Him the glory, then I believe He will work greatly through me to help clients become whole and truly equipped to live for Christ. I view each client from a holistic perspective, taking into consideration physical, mental, spiritual, and social factors as they relate to a client’s mental health. This is a whole-person approach and aligns with God’s Word and His view of us.
Qualifications & Experience
I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Child and Adolescent Studies from California State University, Fullerton with an emphasis in education and psychology. In 2004, I earned a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Southern California with a concentration in families and children, clinical therapy, and school counseling. As a graduate student, my training included one year of work as a clinical rehabilitation specialist at the Mental Health Association of Orange County and one year as a school social work counseling intern in the East Whittier City School District in Southern California. I hold a school social work credential in the state of California. I am licensed as an Independent Clinical Social Worker Associate.
After graduating with a Master’s degree, I began work as the social work graduate program writing and research tutor at the University of Southern California.
What I love about my training and experience as a clinical social worker is the variety of opportunities I have had. My first job out of graduate school was as a clinical social worker at a locked inpatient psychiatric hospital in Southern California. I then began work as a local missionary and program director in a gang prevention program. Soon after I was blessed with an opportunity to enter the medical field as a medical social worker at two Kaiser hospitals in Southern California and Children’s Hospital of Orange County. I worked with a diverse group of people, diagnoses, and situations that are difficult to replicate in non-medical settings. I worked as a pediatric social worker specifically offering clinical support and counseling to oncology, spina bifida, and PICU patients. I also worked with children and adults in the ICU, emergency department, medical-surgery unit, and outpatient clinics.
My Call to Christian Counseling
While pursuing the study of psychology and intending to become an elementary school teacher, my dad was diagnosed with cancer and died when I was a sophomore in college. We were provided services from Hospice and that is when I believe the seed was planted for me to pursue clinical social work. Each week I was counseled by an empathetic and compassionate social worker who inadvertently laid the groundwork for my life as a counselor.
After my dad died, I began seeing a Christian counselor and was blessed with an amazing MFT intern who was also a pastor. He helped me through many issues, primarily my grief, and became my mentor. He counseled with godly wisdom and kindness and offered direction like a father. Not having my dad in my life anymore, that was crucial. I have since gone to counseling for various reasons and cannot imagine life without receiving such help. Counseling has been an invaluable part of my life and helped form the foundation for my career as a counselor.
More About Me/On a Personal Note
I have been married for fourteen years. My husband and I moved to Washington from Southern California, where my husband was born and raised. I was born in Utah, raised for most of my childhood in Ohio, then moved to Southern California when I was thirteen years old. We hope to adopt soon, but for now we have a lively Sheltie/Papillon mix. I have been an aunt since I was nine years old and now have two nephews, three nieces, one great-nephew, and one great-niece. I absolutely love being an aunt! Our families all reside in Southern California.
In my free time, I write professionally and for enjoyment, and I enjoy attending and serving at our church, reading, getting creative, walking in God’s nature, working in the yard, photography, watching documentaries, and playing with our dog. Something most people do not know about me is that I danced semi-professionally until graduate school. My focus was ballet (pointe), lyrical, and character dancing. I still practice ballet at home.
Areas of Expertise/Specialties
- Abandonment and Neglect
- Aging and Geriatric Issues
- Anger Management
- Bipolar Disorder
- Counseling for Children
- Counseling for Teens
- Eating Disorders
- Family Counseling
- Grief and Loss
- Group Counseling
- Individual Counseling
- Infidelity and Affairs
- Online Counseling
- Personal Development
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Professional Development
- Relationship Issues
- Sexual Abuse
- Spiritual Development
- Weight Loss
- Women’s Issues
Counseling for Children and Adolescents
I specialize in working with children and adolescents. I utilize specific tools for different developmental stages to help each client work through issues. I have a passion for helping children and teens through the grief process – whether from a death, divorce, or other loss – and specialize in crisis intervention, attachment disorders, pervasive and severe psychiatric diagnoses, ADD/ADHD, learning disorders, spectrum disorder, mood disorders, childhood and adolescent depression, anxiety, and chronic physical illness.
Sessions with your child or teen will be age and developmentally appropriate and focused on patiently and lovingly working through each issue your child or teen is struggling with. I will also work with the parent(s) or other guardian(s) as deemed appropriate to ensure the most beneficial work is done for your child or teen within the context of his or her family, social, academic, and other relevant systems. In addition, I provide parental/family counseling and guidance throughout my work with your child or teen.
I have spent most of my clinical career working with children and teens with behavioral and learning difficulties, going through parental divorce, child protective cases, neglect and abandonment, psychiatric disorders, bullying, foster care, health crises and medical conditions, and attachment disorders. I am also trained in crisis and trauma intervention for both children and adults.
Grief and Loss
Grief and loss are universal, yet the response is quite unique to the individual dealing with the loss. People may not know what to say or do when you have a loss. Whether a loved one has died, you are dealing with divorce, miscarriage, or a chronic illness and the loss involved with that, you need a strong support system.
As your grief counselor, I will help you navigate the stormy waters of grief and loss. We will work through the stages of grief and work towards healing and developing healthy coping skills. I will listen with empathy and compassion and support you through your time of pain, loss, and aching grief to soothe your heart and soul. I can help you understand the myriad emotions you are experiencing and find productive and godly ways to express your grief. I am trained in grief counseling for children, teens, and adults and have experience leading school- and church-based children’s grief groups.
I have a passion for teaching and thoroughly enjoy watching clients grow and attain goals they have set for their lives. I offer coaching in a variety of areas with the goal of empowering you to reach your goals through education, counseling, and Biblical guidance. As a Christian coach, one of my goals is to help you shift unhealthy mindsets and establish healthier coping skills.
Sessions: I offer 53-minute sessions. Sessions can be held more than once per week, weekly, or every other week. Scheduling options are discussed in greater detail during your Risk-Free Initial Session.
Availability (by office location):
- Bothell – Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday
- Mill Creek – Tuesday
Fees: I offer a Risk-Free Initial Session for Individuals, and Groups looking to pursue counseling with me. Please note that there is a fee for the Risk-Free Initial Session as it is a clinical hour and reimbursable to some insurance companies, but if you choose not to reschedule and continue therapy after the initial session the entire fee for the session will be waived. For ongoing treatment, the full fee per session is required at the time of service.
Insurance: As a Licensed Social Worker Associate Independent Clinical (LSWAIC), some insurance companies will reimburse for a portion of my services (as an Out of Network Provider). Please consult with your insurance provider as to whether they specifically cover adolescents, individuals.
Receipts/Statements: In the event, you require a printed or digital receipt, I will provide receipts for personal use, insurance reimbursement, Flex Spending Accounts (FSA), and Health Savings Accounts (HSA).
Payment options: Cash, Check, or Credit Card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, & American Express). A fee of up to 2.97% plus $0.15 per transaction will be added for credit card payments.