Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Me – and More!
I was born in a small orchard town in California in 1953, but moved to a suburb of Seattle in Washington State when I was 9 years old. My passion in school was choral music! I was also very active in a neighborhood church and Girl Scouts and taking voice lessons. After high school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do the rest of my life, so I took community college classes, especially enjoying choral music and the social sciences. But I had no direction and dropped out after 1-1/2 years of college. I worked as a clerical worker and eventually landed a job at the University of Washington where I spent 10 years as an Office Assistant in the Dental School. I thought I would eventually marry and have children, like most young woman; but in 1980, my life changed suddenly. I had to have a hysterectomy at age 27 to save my life. I was devastated. I thought a woman’s purpose in life was to be a mother. Since I couldn’t be a mother, I became despondent and thought of myself as a “defective cell in the universe that should be eradicated”! After grieving for a few years, I had an awakening. What was it that was so important to me about being a mother? — It was the need to nurture! So I began exploring what would give me the opportunity to nurture others. I didn’t want to be an office worker the rest of my life. I decided on a career in Social Work! I returned to college with a goal this time. I received a Bachelors Degree in Social Welfare (cum laude) from the University of Washington in 1985, and a Masters Degree in Social Work from the UW in 1987. My concentration in school was the Human Services track in the fields of Aging and Health Care.
From 1987 to 2003, I worked as a Social Worker in various agencies. I was a Geriatric Mental Health Specialist for community mental health agencies in Bellevue and Seattle, WA. I worked as a Hospice Social Worker and Bereavement Coordinator for hospices in Bremerton and Tacoma, WA, and a Bereavement Counselor in the oncology unit of the hospital in Bremerton. I went back to working as a Clinical Social Worker (counselor) for Lutheran Social Services in Bremerton. And then became an Admissions Coordinator and Social Worker for an adult day health program, and started a day program for younger adults with intellectual disabilities which was a lot of fun.
In 2003 I was laid off and had difficulty finding another agency job. I eventually decided to go into private practice as a Clinical Social Worker, using all the skills and knowledge I had acquired in the previous 16 years. All of these experiences had been very fulfilling to me, and my clients taught me a lot over those years. In private practice, I have specialized in Aging, Disabilities (physical and intellectual), Loss & Grief, Caregiver Stress, Infertility, Life Transitions, and Depression.
With the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, I began offering my counseling services online from home to protect my clients and myself, since most of us are in the high risk category with age and preexisting conditions.
I work with adults of all ages doing individual and family therapy. I use a holistic approach, focusing on my clients’ strengths, their support system, emotional, physical, psychosocial, and spiritual needs. My therapeutic orientations include cognitive behavioral, dialectic behavioral, hypnotherapy, Gestalt, humanistic, mindfulness, psychodynamic, transpersonal, and family therapies.
My compassion for my clients and their families comes from my own personal growth through loss, grief, and disability; as well as being a family caregiver for more than 15 years.