I am a clinical psychologist by training. I graduated in 1999 with my doctoral degree and for 18 years worked for a large nonprofit organization in the public mental health system in western North Carolina. As the Clinical Director, I was responsible for supervising and mentoring other clinicians as well as overseeing the care that all of our clients received. During my time in this role, I had the opportunity to learn a great deal about what helps people recover from all kinds of difficulties and life adversity. I also learned a great deal about courage, perseverance, risk-taking, resilience and the importance of hope. In 2017, I relocated to western New York in order for my husband to take a faculty position at Buffalo State College. We have been pleased to realize that the culture and the people of WNY are very similar to the midwestern towns where we both grew up. For this reason, we have really enjoyed settling into our new life in the village of Hamburg!
Several years ago, after recognizing the commonality of the experience of trauma, I began to get very curious about what we have learned from the last two decades of research in areas such as developmental psychology, neuroscience, attachment, the epidemiology and prevention of chronic health conditions and trauma treatment. I began to read books, watch videos and attend trainings that presented the work of researchers, clinicians and thought leaders in the trauma field - people like Bessel van der Kolk, Peter Levine, Gabor Mate, Dan Siegel, Pat Ogden and Stephen Porges, just to name a few. I began to realize that, unless trauma treatment is well informed by the most recent research, it may not be as successful as it could be and could, in some instances, even be re-traumatizing. I also became increasingly excited as I discovered that we have actually learned alot about how to effectively help individuals that have experienced all types of trauma and negative life experiences.
As I began to prepare for moving to Buffalo and starting a private practice, I became invested in providing a psychotherapy service that is "neurobiologically informed" - taking into consideration the way in which our brain and our bodies are impacted by the events that have happened in our life and the quality of the relationships that we have had with others. It is very important to me to offer my clients a therapy experience that has the best possible chance of being helpful. For this reason, I remain a perpetual student - always seeking new information and new understanding about what it means to be human and to have human experiences.
In addition to my formal training and informal learning, I also have had personal experience with a chronic health condition for over 20 years. I understand, firsthand, the challenges, the frustrations and the moments of hopelessness that can accompany chronic and serious health conditions as well as the difficulty of finding healthcare that is well-informed, sensitive and, ultimately, helpful. For this reason, I strive to offer my clients the type of experience that I, myself, want to receive.