My approach to therapy is unique and tailor fit to meet your needs. I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the state of Florida. Therapy is by far my greatest passion. I help my clients overcome issues keeping them caught in unhealthy and destructive patterns that no longer serve a purpose. I am eager to help you and feel honored to assist in this journey. There are good therapist and then there are transforming therapist.
Learning About Me was the toughest yet rewarding work. I can go as deep as my clients want to go. I am not the type of therapist interested in treating and relieving symptoms. The symptoms are just indicators of the deeper issue. Fear and Ego. I won’t waste your time or mine with worksheets and homework assignments. It’s all or nothing. If you want to be transformed and your life changed forever then strap on and let’s do it.
I graduated from Florida State University in 1999 with a BS in Sociology and a minor in Religion. Soon after graduating I worked as a school teacher with Dyslexic children (none of which were on medication). After weeks of kids tossing papers and rulers at me, I realized that my passion was not to teach but rather to assist and help children channel their anger, frustration, anxieties, etc. into a more positive outlet and teach them that they can succeed and learn under any circumstance. This was the deciding factor to enter into the field of Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family therapy. After successfully obtaining a Masters Degree (MS) in 2002 from Barry University, I knew that I had entered the field that I would grow to love today.
Vividly I remember as a teenager being involved in my own struggles with drug and alcohol addiction. It’s easy to relate to parents who are torn apart and feel helpless when they are trying all they can to reach their children and loved ones. I have been sober for several years and had to do the tough at that time what I thought to be the tough work of self-discovery that I ask of my own clients. It is my belief that only through this tough work, can my clients truly understand who they are out of the context of the things individuals numb out through today (relationships, t.v, substances, shopping, sex, gambling and all other sorts of destructive behaviors). This is where the important work comes into play.
While it is important on identifying the addictive patterns individuals use to numb out their pain, we must also work on the underlying issues stemming and driving these addictions. Many of these originate from depression, anxiety, fear of rejection, low self esteem, feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness as well as family of origin issues stemming from childhood.
A little over 6 years ago with the birth of my daughter Grace I had my Spiritual Awakening. Sure I loved seeing clients and did a good job in symptom relief, which is really what people only wanted I soon found out. They wanted their toys mended, their wife or husband back, to decrease their anger just enough to keep the job and on and on. Anthony De Mello and his book Awareness opened my eyes to these basic truths. Basically they wanted to minimize their part and get the validation that they were “right” and others see the world “wrong”. That was exactly what I was giving them.
It took the birth of my daughter to realize that I still had so much of my own journey left to discover. This little new born girl made me see I had no idea just how vast and wonderful life was. I was terrified yet at the same time hungry for more. More love, more forgiveness, more integrity, more compassion, more awareness and most of all Unconditional Love.
I could only take my clients as far as I was able and willing to go. At that time, setting healthy boundaries, agreeing to disagree, compromising, learning to not escalate but deescalate were basic approaches to therapy. I understood only in theory what forgiveness meant. When it came to truly understanding myself in the context of the women I was to become, full of integrity, unconditional love for all no matter what they thought of me, letting go of all resentments even towards those I perceived as unfair or hurtful. The work around my own family of origin was incomplete.
Placed on a spiritual journey, I had no idea how the pieces would come together or who would assist me outside the realm of the mental health therapy field. Intuitively I knew that for me turning to the church for counseling felt empty and shameful. So many of my young teen clients feel church is the last place they can be vulnerable and open up.
My belief and love for God had not shifted. My understanding of His love, who He was and the connection to myself as it directly related to me changed. I felt flat, stale, full of fear and worry that my practice would not make it. I was fearful that as a single mother my daughter would see me as not “good enough”. What I needed was nourishment of the soul. Not a biblical scripture left up to the interpretation of others or mental health counseling. I was ready for the blockage, the smoke and mirrors be removed. A stripping and removing of the ego. Taking off of the layers of others toxic shame I had carried.
For me I wanted awareness and a sense of connection to God, Spirit, the divine. A personal life changing experience that would set me free from the bondage of my conditioning. Free from all I had come into contact with (family, society, religion, politics, education, etc). I was finally at the breaking point.
The universe opened doors when I started to knock. I found a spiritual life coach that started me on this life changing, soul cleansing, gut wrenching at times, but the most powerful shift and transformation of my life. I looked at every single tape or recording I was telling myself as a child.
No longer could I shove it down, put on a happy face and act as if. The way my mother so wonderfully taught me and her mother had instructed her. The journey of unconditional love was my mission. Not just for myself but for all. All things great or small. From the smallest beetle to the largest difficulties in my life. I became determined to do the work. My mentor and teacher I remember telling me, “are you sure your ready for this challenge because it is not for the weak”? Finally I was ready. No longer was I was satisfied with my life. How could I ethically and effectively be there for others? To and ask them to dig deep. Require them to be fearless in exploring themselves if I was unwilling to do so myself? My approach to life and therapy had been changed forever.
I was conditioned for a long time. Empty, I had no idea what I stood for, who my authentic self was, etc. I didn’t know up from down. Slowly I started searching, owning every thought, staying present in the moment, learning that life is not personal. It is not my job to get others to “get me”. My job is to do nothing and attempt to control nothing. I simply observe and allow others to be where they are and who they are.
Today I have zero desire to fix or control people. It is a journey of loving unconditionally. My goal today is to understand others. No longer always needing to be understood. I saw life not as right or wrong but as having infinite possibilities. Day by day I was opening my heart, caring less what others thought about me. My intentions are to love and do no harm. All I need to do is my best to stay aware and in the present moment.
The journey of higher awareness and higher consciousness has transformed me and my ability to work with clients. I do not sugar coat my questions. Counseling for me comes from a place of love. Most prefer the traditional and safe approach to therapy. Therapy that is watered down with quick fix temporary solutions given by therapist who claim to help but rush you right out the door at the end of the hour is not my approach.
Today I live my life with intention, purpose, love, healing, forgiveness, expansion, and depth. I have a burning desire to continue on this path. Listed below are the great authors, speakers and teachers that have paved the trail.
I now counsel with passion, fire and intensity, along side of you as your biggest cheerleader. For many my style does not fit. I am very direct. It is a disservice to you if I am not direct. You deserve the utmost respect.
You must be willing to look at yourself honestly and do the work of taking ownership for you part. Therapy will not be very effective any other way.
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about me and my approach to therapy.