I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in California and Idaho (local to), as well as a Certified Biofeedback Specialist. I have a broad range of educational experiences that I draw upon as I've evolved into my current role as a Psychotherapist.
Internships & Supervision
From my early years of life my focus has been on the well-being of people. My first educational journey was in elementary education (BS) as well as reading education (MA). During my experience in the classroom, foremost on my mind along with lesson planning, was the quality of learning environment--listening, supporting, and encouraging student problem-solving, creativity, positive classroom relationships, and independent thinking.
During my studies in Reading Education, I had no idea I was on the verge of a pivotal, critically impacting health condition while living in Michigan. There was no easy diagnosis and I waited another 23 years to finally receive the answers I sought.
What to do in the meantime? The best I could do. It was a crippling illness, I could not walk or stand at my sink to do dishes for 5 minutes without collapsing in utter exhaustion. Drenching night sweats plagued my sleep and became a chronic problem for which many, many doctors could not figure out and I was told that I was normal or "just experiencing stress."
My initial solution, dealing with the unpredictability of life, was to make a self-care plan to guard my energy and to buy time to figure out my daily life, support myself, simplify, and learn how to work with my new physical territory.
While in a holding pattern of health as a priority, I detoured my path to continue as a student, choosing art, something that brings a great deal of satisfaction. I also reasoned that if I am forced into down time and into slowing my pace, I might as well make it count. By the time I had completed the schooling, I had two degrees (AA) in art that is useful personally and professionally as I work with my clients today.
Detouring for self-care paid off as I learned to manage my condition on my own. I was feeling well enough then to apply for teaching positions and taught multi-grade school and functioned as principal of a one room K-8 and at another time grades 1-4 among a team of teachers.
After my husband and I got married, I managed his dental office for 11 years and its highlight was connecting with people and listening to and remembering their stories from visit to visit.
Following the loss of a child, my husband and I sought counseling to deal with our grief. We did not know at the time that I had both Lyme Disease and Celiac Disease, which alone and together impact ability to conceive and complete pregnancies.
In the process of life, human beings come up against a realm of obstacles that can be addressed through the positive attention of a qualified psychotherapist. It was during this period of time that I felt the prompting to explore psychology, started facilitating a psycho-education group for women, and finished an MA in psychology/marriage and family therapy, completed the required internships, and became a licensed therapist in 2017. This has been my best trip.
Then, in 2011, soon after being diagnosed with Lyme Disease, I was introduced to the amazing effects of microfrequency biofeedback to assess and neutralize symptoms which supported my recovery. When I first purchased the equipment, I was thinking about how great this was for my family and me. Then, it gradually dawned on me that this is worth sharing with others who struggle with health conditions to increase the quality of functioning in home, work, and/or school environments.
I started seeing biofeedback clients in 2016, progressed through several levels of certification to the most advanced level--Certified Biofeedback Specialist. Many clients I see for emotional and mental health symptoms of anxiety and depression can benefit from not only neutralizing symptoms, but also a way to build insight into possible reasons why the symptoms are there in the first place. Unwind the layers, help yourself communicate with medical providers, possibly discover hidden health issues that stimulate brain stress and therefore secondary mental health symptoms.
One of the ethical issues facing mental health providers is to rule out whether the client is suffering from a medical condition. Most therapists rely on medical professionals to test and provide the collaborative medical picture. But, what if they don't have the test or don't know what tests to use? What if it is an obscure type of stigmatized problem like Lyme disease and even your therapist rolls his/her eyes.
In my practice, when I get the drift that a client's mental health symptoms may generate from a medical perspective, they are referred to appropriate practitioners who specialize in chronic and autoimmune illnesses and who use specialty labs. Because tests are not the entire picture, it is important to seek assistance from practitioners who are trained in clinical diagnosis of chronic illnesses. Clients can potentially get a diagnosis and finally understand themselves and what is required. I have been there, adjusted, learned, resourced, sought qualified referrals, walked that road.
While biofeedback is not diagnostic, it can put an eye on your health, symptoms can be assessed and patterns of functioning observed that prompt referrals for proper diagnosis and treatment or conditions previously thought primarily behavioral or emotional.
I remember when I for the first time in many years was "seen" and when the assessment rang clear, the pathway opened up and my life once again changed, and this time for the better. And, I'm making out of my life a way to live in my space and to help others navigating similar life challenges.
My life changed drastically all because of a tick.
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