MSW, LICSW, RPT, SEP
Thanks for stopping by! I’m a master’s level clinical social worker and I love what I do! I’ve always been drawn to social work but didn’t know it right away. In college I majored in Sociology which was interesting but not quite the right fit. During this time, I volunteered with children’s programs and at a domestic violence shelter. After college I volunteered for a year with a post adoption agency helping people re-connect with their biological families. From there I began what would turn out to be more than 13 years working for American Indian organizations, serving the American Indian community. In one agency I worked with families- parents and youth. My work with this community has been more than work to me and was meaningful and supported both my personal and professional development. Early on, I realized it was time to return to school to obtain my Master of Social Work degree. I received my master’s degree from Augsburg College and have been licensed since 2008.
I also found play therapy early in my career and the ideas in this type of work resonated with me and my experiences. I soaked up as much learning as I could and in the process became an RPT (Registered Play Therapist). I began doing this work almost exclusively for years when I was called to join another organization serving the American Indian community and I would spend more than 8 years there, first in a co-occurring (substance use and mental health) intensive treatment program and later providing and expanding outpatient mental health services. Throughout much of this time, I was a clinical supervisor to therapists in training. I also found that learning is a passion for me. Our field has been learning so much about trauma and the nervous system that there are many opportunities for this. I embarked on a 3 year trauma training program called Somatic Experiencing (SE), which specifically looks at what happens in the body and nervous system when there is a traumatic event(s) or chronic stress and interventions to resolve this. This made so much sense to me, as many of us know there are somethings that feel alive in our bodies even though we may have talked about and processed these experiences many times. I have also done extended courses in attachment and more recently expanding my learning into parts work. Starting with some Ego State learnings and then completing Level I Internal Family Systems (IFS). I am enjoying blending IFS and SE into really transformative work.
When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my 2 kids, husband and our dog. I enjoy baking, getting outside for walks and watching movies, HGTV or cooking shows.