Who am I?
When I was 19 years old, I fell in love with working with those who are in emotional distress or who are struggling to find greater peace, love and purpose in their lives, and so went on to get a
- Bachelor’s degree in Psychology – Bryn Mawr College
- Master’s degree in Social Work – University of Chicago
- Master’s degree in Christian Education – Union Theological Seminary of Virginia
- Clinical Social Work Licensure – in Casework, 1984 & Groupwork, 1985
Counseling is my passion. I now have over 35 years of professional experience in this field, and many more years than that in struggling as a human being, and in striving toward personal and spiritual growth. 😊
What is my approach to counseling with an INDIVIDUAL?
For me each person I counsel – a person like you – is a deep and marvelous mystery of God, and I will take joy in the adventure of getting to know you, and in the personal journey we will go on together to help you find:
- Peace – & greater confidence and hope in your heart
- Love – & greater harmony in your relationships
- Purpose – a clearer sense of the unique and divine meaning of your life. 😊
How will we go about this? Depending on you and your situation, by using:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): with a Christian worldview framework
- Pschotherapy: with exploration & alleviation of childhood’s impact on adult problems
- Healing Prayer: opening the door to the light of Truth to shine into fearful, sad memories
- Creative Approaches: Art, Poetry, Journaling, Fairy Tales, Bible Stories, Psychodrama
What is my approach to counseling with a COUPLE?
I love to work with couples. I firmly believe that a loving relationship, or a “til-death-do-us-part” marriage, can halve your life sorrows and double your life joys. 😊
How will I work with the two of you?
- Strengths – First I will seek to discover your talents, triumphs, and strengths both as individuals, and a couple, so that we can build upon those to expand your capacity to solve problems and to face difficult challenges.
- Readiness?? – I will make sure you are each ready for the work of the counseling endeavor. If either of you are suffering with untreated mental illness, wrenching emotional distress, severe trauma, or any kind of addiction then I will help you find the help you need to resolve those issues before we begin our couple work.
- Conflict for Closeness!! –
o Then I will help you identify the “Repeater Argument” – that is, the issue that you have argued about 100+ times and have never been able to resolve. If you end up being able to handle this one, you can handle anything!
o I will not act as arbitrator between the two of you (unless there is an absolute, black-and-white moral issue involved). I don’t want to hand down a judgement. Rather, I want to give you the tools for conflict resolution so that you will be empowered to handle your current dilemmas, and the multiplicity of dilemmas that you will face in the years ahead.
o I will be training you in ways to resolve this “Repeater Argument” and other arguments which will not only bring peace between the two of you, but will deepen your understanding of one another, and draw you closer. I’ve seen it happen! You can become healers of each other’s past wounds, supporters for each other’s present needs, and cheerleaders for each other’s future dreams.
What is my approach to working with PARENTS?
I wish that I could tell you that raising my three children was a continuous, happy, wondrous breeze, but no – while it had many sunny days, there were lots of rainstorms, and even a few hurricanes! You will learn a bit from my occasional successes, but a lot more from my too-frequent failures. In counseling you, I will be trying to pass along to you all the things that I wish I had known and applied to parenting my own little wild ones. 😊
Here are the five possible areas of children/parent concerns. Read them over and see which of them you might like me to help you with:
- Emotional Distress – Little people have all the emotional problems big people have, plus a few of their own. What kinds of problems? Problems falling asleep, sad moods, phobias, eating too much or too little, worrying, bad dreams, poor impulse control, low self-esteem, separation anxiety, and more. I want to help you find ways to alleviate that distress.
- Behavior Problems – From raising my own kids and from working with hundreds and hundreds of my young clients, I have a myriad of ideas which I can personalize for you and your child for helping you manage and reduce your child’s tantrums, aggression, sibling rivalry, defiance, obsessive behaviors, shyness, inability to sleep alone, school fears, bullying, being bullied, etc.
- Closer Hearts – The more ways you can find to bind your heart with your child’s heart when he is young, the better chance you will have of saving him from the perils that will surely come with adolescence. Nothing makes me happier than to help you strengthen those heart bonds!
- Like You Were Raised? It’s a very natural thing to treat our children as we were treated by our parents. But just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s good! There is great value in examining which of the ways you were parented that you want to use in your own parenting and which you do not want to use. Then we can team up together to discover how to increase those positives and eliminate those negatives!
- Play – In all my years of doing psychotherapy, I have never had an adult client complain to me: “My parents just enjoyed me too much.” Nope. Hasn’t happened. There is simply nothing better for a child’s sense of confidence, peace, and self-worth than knowing that he/she is lovingly enjoyed. I want to help you learn how to play with your child in ways that will help in his/her mental, emotional, relational and moral development. We will be using effective, research proven techniques. And all this while the two of you are having fun!
- What is my favorite kind of client?
My husband’s observation on that question: “The one she just saw.” 😊 And he really got that right! I so much want you to be the “next one I see,” so that you will then be “the one I just saw” – and therefore, my favorite. 😊
Baby Dolls & Ninja Swords: 6 True Tales of Play Therapy
Frozen Tears: 15 Stories of Blindness Before and Hope After Abortion
99 Devotionals: Heart Reactions and Soul Stretches from the Book of Acts
4913 Fitzhugh Avenue – Suite 102
Willow Lawn Area
Richmond, VA 23230
Call me at (804) 661-0641