My goal is to help you find peace in the midst of chaos, meaning from pain, and wholeness out of brokenness.
My passion for counseling began at a young age. I am grateful to be in a profession that never ceases to energize and challenge me. I find joy in learning new ways to help people resolve struggles in their relationships, gain new interpersonal skills, and develop healthier ways to cope with the stresses of life. My goal is to help people find mental and emotional wholeness to the highest degree possible.
My therapy style is dynamic yet respectful and empathetic yet challenging. I use an active, coaching style of therapy while offering compassionate support. I make use of books and handouts. I seek to empower clients to reach their goals.
As a spiritually focused person, I have a genuine love for people and a tested belief in God’s ability to heal their hearts from the inevitable injuries of living in a fallen world. I believe the spiritual part of our lives is important for emotional and relational healing. I embrace a Christian worldview and respect others’ beliefs.
I am married and have four adult children, each of whom are married. My husband and I enjoy hiking, kayaking, musical theater, opera (especially when daughter, Jenny, is the “star”). We love reading good books together next to the fireplace while listening to classical guitar. We keep up our “bed and breakfast” home for family members who visit.
Several life experiences shaped my values, passions and personal growth:
Growing up in a loving home despite her father’s battle with alcoholism
Volunteering for Young Life for 20 years in several capacities
Growing from good and bad church experiences
Taking the risk and cost to change professions in her thirties
Learning the unique challenges of adjusting to the dynamics of stepfamily living
Losing the affections of a former cherished spouse
Finding new love in Dan, with whom to share the empty nest years of her life
Writing books, articles based upon what she has learned as a life-learner and therapist for 30 years.
TRAINING & EXPERIENCE
I am a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (#LF00001029). I earned a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Seattle Pacific University in 1988. I completed my internship with Lutheran Social Services and went into private practice in 1987. I currently work at Shepherd’s Center Counseling with a team of 16 other Christian therapists.
I am a member of Family Systems Therapists Northwest, Pierce County Counselors Association (PCCA) and The American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC).
I have attended many workshops over the years, most notably on helping couples and individuals heal from infidelity. I have had the great fortune of learning from infidelity experts Shirley Glass, Ph.D., Janice A. Spring, Ph.D., Frank Pittman, MD, Dave Carder, MA and Emily Brown, Ph.D.
INTERVIEWs, PUBLICATIONS & honors
Speaker at the Restoring Hearts Conference, Divorce: Recovering from Shame after Betrayal, April 6, 2019
Listed in the 21st Edition of Marquis Who’s Who of American Women
Recipient of the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award
The Story Behind the Story, YL Relationships Magazine, Winter 1998.
Interview with The Peninsula Gateway, Therapist Helps Mend Marriages, July 27, 2011.
Overjoining Can Jeopardize Therapy, WAMFT Newsletter, Winter 2008.
How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair, article version, self-published, 2006.
Interview with Mike Hennessey on RelationshipCafe.com about infidelity.