Shifting our thinking and trying out new skills is not easy, yet just on the other side of that hard work are some rather unexpected and amazing experiences, at least that has been my life lesson so far. My life path took an unexpectedly painful turn when my athletic career was sidelined after an injury. Thankfully I had a great group of professionals around me to help me both physically and emotionally recover and ultimately shift my direction. I decided I wanted to be on that team of professionals helping others emotionally recover when injury, mental illness or the unexpected, sidelines plans. So next was grad school to earn a Masters degree in counseling specializing in Rehabilitation Counseling. During Graduate School I worked at Seattle Children’s Hospital helping youth and their families deal with the emotional blow of some of the most devastating news. I witnessed the incredible resilience and hope in children and teens. That experience lingered with me.
After graduation, my focus was on working with adults. Yet, the pull to work with youth was unyielding. Then an opportunity came up to work with youth in a Residential Treatment setting and I knew that was going to be the best place for my skills and my heart. There, I provided individual, family, and group therapy for children and adolescent clients. I worked with youth to set goals, create behavioral support plans, develop social skills, and communication skills. My primarily model is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). It is excellent at helping to increase distress tolerance, emotion regulation and increase interpersonal effectiveness. I now take that love of counseling Youth and Families to Bellevue Family Counseling where I can support youths working through difficulties and assisting them in strengthening and rebuilding relationships. I haven’t lost my passion to be on a team it has just shifted to being an emotional coach to my clients.