Creativity, healing and social activism are part of a triad that I hold dear as a human and as a therapist. I have been in the field for about 14 years. I received my master’s degree in 2007 while living in New York City for 10 years. My previous career as a hairdresser and makeup artist led to my getting a master’s degree in art therapy, with a concentration in substance use disorders and trauma focused therapy. Growing up in a musical household and having a theatre background taught me early that using creativity in positive ways can offer a healing space. Some twenty years later after studying sculpture and art history and studying art abroad I was able to synthesize all of this and apply it to working in the helping professions.
I began working in psychiatric facilities as a student in New York. My grad school program allowed for additional internship experiences which allowed me access to working with a variety of populations. I worked for the Gay Men’s Health Center in Manhattan, a program designed to help those during reentry after being in prison and with Alzheimer’s patients and the homeless. I worked with a psychodrama therapist running a facility for the homeless and for a horticultural therapist with Bellevue Hospital. This was also my first job out of grad school, working in an outpatient program for those with a dual diagnosis. My thesis research was in the utilization of art therapeutic interventions to treat trauma with children in the foster care system. This tied to my doctoral research in using expressive arts therapies to treat intergenerational trauma in social systems. I have four years of doctoral studies with Capella University and hope to complete my doctorate at some point. I also was invited to work on a special project with the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan, to help develop an art looking/art making program to aid families dealing with autism bettering communication between family members. This was while a student in grad school and was successful enough to be continued for over a year within their community access program.
As a professional I have worked with children, adolescents, adults and families. I provide couple counseling as well in private practice. I have designed programming for treating substance use in the LGBTQ community which is a personal passion due to lack of specific focused treatment and care in behavioral health. I have worked in substance use treatment for most of my career and would like to continue to offer those services and aid in developing various types of programming for this population, having done my doctoral work in addictions psychology. I am passionate about what I do and hope to continue to be of service as a therapist and a scholar/practitioner. I am skilled in Motivational Interviewing, CBT and was trained with a theoretical perspective in Object-Relations, Jungian analytic theory and as a person-centered therapist. I also look forward to continuing developing my leadership skills and aiding others in their personal and professional development.
Areas of Expertise:
Trauma focused therapy