I welcome clients from all sexualities, genders, races, and relationship structures. One of my intentions is to create a space where you can authentically be yourself, practice curiosity about all parts of your life and experiences - even those parts of yourself that may seem to conflict with one another - and find ways to live at peace with yourself. In doing so, it is my hope that together we can discover more ways for you to experience greater vitality, pleasure and connection. I believe that it is not just my training, skills and experience or merely your motivation for change that are vital for ensuring progress in our work together, but also that our therapeutic working relationship be one of mutual respect, collaboration, trust and open communication. I am an active, relational therapist who provides a safe and supportive space so clients may openly express and explore their feelings, beliefs, experiences and challenges, while being met with respectful feedback, guidance and insight.
Specializing in somatic psychotherapy with adults, I use a body-awareness approach to guide clients in accessing their innate capacity towards self-regulation, healing, embodiment & pleasure. My therapeutic approach draws from Somatic Experiencing®, Attachment Theory, Interpersonal Neurobiology, Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy, DBT-informed therapy, as well as the research of Brené Brown. My training and skills as a Clinical Sexologist inform my work with individuals and couples in sex & relationship therapy. Using evidence-based treatments that are specifically appropriate to your individual needs and issues, we work collaboratively towards meeting your goals for healing, wellness and living the life you desire.
My goal is to assist you in relating more easily to others and yourself, becoming more skillful and effective in your efforts at home and work, and finding greater balance in your life. I am guided by the belief that all clients are unique and possess their own strengths, skills, internal resources and insights which I strive to support and enhance throughout our work together. I also believe that the common humanity we share is the desire to be seen, understood and loved, and to experience meaningful connection, purpose, and pleasure in our lives.
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of North Carolina. After completing my Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Organizational Behavior, my volunteer work as an overnight crisis center counselor then as a rape crisis counselor significantly influenced my career path, leading me to earn my Master of Social Work degree with a concentration in Mental Health in 1996 from San Diego State University. My training included clinical internships at a short-term acute residential treatment center, and at Kaiser Permanente’s Department of Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine in San Diego. I have worked with individuals, couples and groups throughout my career in home visit counseling, outpatient community mental health, inpatient psychiatric treatment, an AIDS service organization, a local birthing & wellness center for women, as well as individual and group private practices.
I work as a Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner, having completed a 3-year certificate training program with the Somatic Experiencing® Trauma Institute (SETI), now known as Somatic Experiencing® International (SEI). Using an SE® lens, I draw from a body-awareness approach to guide clients in stabilizing their nervous system and accessing their body's innate capacity towards self-regulation and co-regulation, wholeness and healing. SE® was developed by Peter Levine, PhD, a therapist, author and educator specializing in the treatment of chronic stress and tonic immobility (aka post-traumatic stress disorder). For more information on SE®, visit: http://www.traumahealing.com.
As a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator (CDWF), I offer individual sessions, 8-week groups and weekend intensives based on the research of Brené Brown. The Daring Way™ is a highly experiential approach to exploring issues around vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame. Its focus is on cultivating greater authenticity and wholeheartedness, while developing shame resilience skills and "daily practices that transform the way we live, love, parent and lead."
I am a Certified Therapist in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing through the EMDR International Association. EMDR is an integrative psychotherapy approach containing elements
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner
Certified EMDR Therapist
Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator
Clinical Sexologist & Certified Sex Coach*
Clinical Case Consultant & LCSW Supervisor
Approved SE Personal Session & Case Consultation Provider
of many effective psychotherapies, including psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, interpersonal, experiential, and body-centered therapies. EMDR's effectiveness, particularly for PTSD, is supported by a broad base of research and can help dissipate negative thoughts and feelings associated with disturbing memories and traumatic experiences while helping the brain to reprocess negative events and maladaptive core beliefs. When appropriate, I use EMDR to treat PTSD, anxiety disorders, depression, and complicated grief. More information, a review of the research, and answers to frequent questions about EMDR can be found through the EMDR Institute, Inc. (http://www.emdria.org).
Long ago, prior to earning my Masters degree, I longed to become a sex therapist. I was always curious about sex and sexuality, learned first-hand about the fluidity of our sexuality and how our identities can shift with time, experience and self-awareness. In my work as a therapist specializing in trauma healing and shame resilience, clients become more embodied - more than just their thoughts and feelings - and then begin to express a desire to experience greater confidence, pleasure and satisfaction in their sexual & intimate life. Time and time again, clients have given me feedback that most other therapists or counselors rarely if ever inquired about their relationship with sex and sexuality, and that far too often they grew up with shaming messages about - let alone an incomplete education on - their bodies, sex, sexual desire and pleasure. As a clinical sexologist, I work with individuals and couples to address their issues and concerns about sex & sexuality, intimacy and relationships. I draw from SE®, my 200 hours of training as a Certified Sex Coach, interpersonal neurobiology, along with an active, relational approach to sex therapy to support clients in openly expressing, exploring and fulfilling their goals for a more embodied sense of Self.
I maintain a connection with my professional community through my memberships with the National Association of Social Workers, the Somatic Experiencing® Trauma Institute, and EMDRIA, as well as the World Association for Sexual Health and World Association of Sex Coaches. Since 2004, I have held a Certificate in Clinical Supervision through NASW, providing both clinical case consultation to mental health professionals and clinical supervision to individuals pursuing the LCSW licensure in the state of North Carolina. I have previously served in the role of Field Instructor for MSW students in the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and UNC-Charlotte.
As an adjunct clinical instructor at UNC-Chapel Hill's School of Social Work (SSW), I taught at the graduate level on the treatment of trauma and violence, and as a Training Consultant for the SSW and Area Health Education Centers (AHEC), I continue to provide professional trainings and workshops for clinicians on various topics including trauma & resilience, healing developmental trauma, and anger management. I have also presented to various community groups on mindful parenting, healthy relationships and HIV/AIDS.