Is to help you become your BEST you...
on your terms.
I created Become YOUR Happy LLC in Wexford, PA, after relocating from the DC Metro area where I had a successful private practice for many years. My mission has always been to help people thrive and become better as I see such wonderful potential in all who have come to see me.
It's important to feel comfortable with whomever you choose to work with. I can offer you compassion and understanding, techniques, and perspective to name a few.
I'll do my best throughout this site to answer your questions. Of course, if you have additional questions, please contact me.
For starters, I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), and a clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). Here is a video about LMFTs training and perspective and how it may help you...
My training is a bit unique from the typical therapist, as I am specifically trained as a couple and family therapist. Most therapists are trained as psychologists or social workers who typically view the problem and solution within the thinking patterns of only the individual. The difference in my training as a LMFT is that my perspective on problems (for an individual, couple, or family) involves examining all the various influences that the individual, couple, or family may have in context with one another. Some of these influences include the family, school, society, and cultural system, though obviously there are many more.
Additionally, I have worked with many people who have experienced some sort of trauma (big or small). I have trained with Peter Levine regarding Somatic Experiencing, an approach that utilizes our natural tendencies and resilience in a way to work through trauma. In this approach, trauma is addressed by using a combination of techniques that enable you to become more aware of your bodily sensations which aid in the healing process (similar to mindfulness). You can read more about that here. I also utilize various research findings, and love the work of Lisa Ferenz, Bessel van der Kolk, and many others. One important concept to which I subscribe is that we are naturally hard wired to heal, and sometimes we just need a safe space and guiding hand to tap into that healing process.
How I Do Therapy
I believe that people tend to know what is best for them deep down, and it is my job to assist them in discovering what they feel is the best solution. I am systemically oriented in my therapeutic work, seeing a problem as embedded in relationships either within the family, or even the larger societal system. Together, we will explore the root causes of your problems and evaluate specific approaches you can take to accomplish your goals. Another fundamental part of my approach is compassion and empathy. I tend to see the positive in people and can hold a significant amount of pain when clients reveal the hurt inside. I feel privileged to be a part of their healing journey.
After receiving a B.S. degree in Family Studies and Psychology, I attended the University of Maryland where I earned a M.S. degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. As a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) I was trained in psychotherapy and family systems, and am licensed to diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders within the context of marriage (or couples) and family systems.
After the Masters degree I completed two years of supervised clinical experience, conducting individual, family, couple, and group therapy, after which I took a national licensing exam and completed requirements for licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist.
I am a clinical member of the AAMFT, Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.
Part of being licensed to practice therapy involves attending numerous trainings and workshops annually, which I continually participate in. Post Graduate work has included a 3 year training program on a specific type of trauma treatment, called Somatic Experiencing, and you can read more about that here.
I have been working with clients for many years now. While working in the public mental health sector, I dealt with a wide variety of situations involving relational or mental health issues. I have also worked in managed care evaluating treatments for people in all different levels of care, such as hospitalization, detoxification, intensive outpatient programs, community support, and targeted case management. After working years in the public sector, and managed care, I opened my doors to full time private practice. You can read more about my areas of expertise here.