At GroundWork Counseling, I specialize in working with young children and their families who are struggling with anxiety, depression, anger management, grief, behavioral issues and symptoms of trauma, as well as family and relationship difficulties. It is my primary goal to provide a compassionate and comfortable environment in which my young clients can explore their thoughts and feelings safely and to promote happiness and authenticity in their lives.
Through my education and experience, I have learned that unhelpful or problematic thought patterns, as well as difficulty regulating emotions, can be primary sources of distress in people’s lives and therefore, negatively affect behavior and relationships. My counseling approach focuses on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and incorporates play therapy with younger children. I believe that even young children can learn methods to regulate their emotions and behaviors, while having lots of fun learning new skills. By using an effective, evidence-based approach, clients of all ages can expect to see faster results and can learn therapeutic skills and techniques to use long after counseling is finished.
I have considerable experience working with children who are experiencing a wide variety of issues, including anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, behavioral issues, difficulty adjusting to life changes, self-harm, grief, changes in family structure, identity issues, and anger management. I find that it is often effective to incorporate and collaborate with as much of the family system as possible, in order to strengthen relationships and promote positive behavioral interactions. For this reason, I often encourage parental involvement and offer support and education to family members in order to help the family as a whole and build upon the family’s strengths and resources. I have learned through my experience working with children and adolescents that family support is paramount for healing and growth.
In addition to working with children, I also offer family therapy and parenting education to those that are experiencing difficulty within their family unit. Families today face a number of stressful situations that influence all members of the family, and family therapy offers a unique experience where family members can reconnect, build upon family strengths, and increase their support and compassion for one another. Using CBT and a family systems approach, I strive to support all members of the family in building communication and conflict resolution skills, establishing appropriate boundaries, developing effective parenting practices, and improving family relationships.
About Me I was born and raised in Winter Springs, Florida and have lived in central Florida all my life. I first became interested in becoming a family therapist during my undergraduate years at Rollins College, where I received a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology. I was also a member of the Rollins College Concert Choir and Rollins Singers acapella group. During my graduate education at Rollins College, I studied and advanced my skills in counseling adults and families and completed the Family and Relationship Therapy certificate program. My graduate practicum and internship experiences included working in a substance abuse residential facility for adolescents, advocating for the LGBTQ+ community with Equality Florida, and working with families impacted by physical and sexual abuse. In my spare-time I enjoy relaxing with my husband and black lab, Lana, as well as singing, reading, and watching movies.
Education and Certification I have earned a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, in addition to a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. During my graduate studies I also received a Certificate in Family and Relationship Therapy, and was awarded the Outstanding Graduate Student in Counseling Award by my professors and colleagues.
I have received additional training using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy through The Beck Institute. I have also received additional training in Diversity and Cultural Competency from the Florida Network, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), and have completed the Mental Health Provider Education program provided by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). I am also currently on the Board of the Central Florida Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (CFAMFT). I am currently a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern (IMH #13736) and Registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern (IMH #2336) in the state of Florida; which means I have graduated with a Master’s degree, and completed over 1000 hours of clinical client hours while enrolled in my educational program. I currently practice under the supervision of another Florida counselor.