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ABOUT ME
I have been in this field more than 17 years, both in inpatient and outpatient settings. My therapeutic orientation tends to focus a lot on Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Psychodynamic Therapy (or Insight-Oriented Therapy), Integrative and Eclectic Therapy, as well as Faith-Based Therapy (when appropriate). Having raised five children as a single parent while working full time, as well as completing my education in my later years, I feel that I am able to help those that are inundated with emotional turmoil.


 

My Philosophy
I believe that every human being is unique and the human entity is made up of four different components: physical, mental, spiritual and emotional. They all are significantly and intimately connected. There are provisions made for every individual to reach and maintain their optimal level in each of these areas. Medical professionals bring their skill and knowledge to help heal one’s physical ailments; teachers bring their expertise to increase one’s intellect; spiritual leaders (i.e. pastors, priests, etc.) bring their knowledge about spirituality; whereas, professional counselors help bring insight to one’s emotional pain and behaviors which are hurting them. Healing is a multidimensional process facilitated by integrating the physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional components of a person’s being. Each component affects one another in some way.

Education
- Argosy University - Ed.D. in Counseling Education (in process)
- Trinity International University:
--- Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
--- Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology

Accreditation and Certification
- Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) - #MH8071
- National Certified Counselor (NCC) #78071
- Certified Addictions Professional (CAP) #3270
- Certified Anger Management Specialist II (CAMS-II)
- Distance Credentialed Counselor (DCC)

Professional Affiliations
- Florida Council Against Sexual Violence (FCASV)
- South Florida Society of Trauma-Based Disorders (SFSTBD)
- National Anger Management Association (NAMA)
- South Florida Association of Christian Counselors (SFACC)
- NO MORE (attempts to end Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault)
- American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC)

 

Have you wrestled with any of the following myths about therapy?


Myth #1: Therapy is For Crazy People

Granted, the use of the prefix psycho to describe the profession has not helped matters, but the truth is that most psychotherapists, including myself, see people that are generally healthy and functional. Most decide to pursue therapy because they want more for themselves, whether it is to feel better, to make sense of their lives, or to improve their situation.
Just over a generation ago, it used to be that extended family and friends played the role of counselor in most situations, and therapy was reserved for those who had serious mental health “disorders.” Today, in our busy society of broken homes and interpersonal isolation, a therapist often serves many roles including guide, counselor, and supporter.

Myth #2: Therapy is About Being Analyzed.

“Hmmm, very interesting. . .” This phrase conjures up the outdated picture of a person lying on the couch with the therapist sitting off to the side distractedly stroking his beard (it was always a him back then).
Sigmund Freud is the grandfather of the treatment and understanding of mental health and disorders. The form of treatment that evolved from his research, which at one time was the only approach to treatment, was called. This became the springboard for other forms of treatment approaches, which today number close to 300. Though psychoanalysis is still used by specially trained clinicians and provides a valuable knowledge base, it is just one approach and often seen as outdated and impractical in its traditional form.
Most of today’s therapy involves a team approach toward working toward goals, not being psychologically dissected. The healing and growth in therapy offices of today usually emerge out of the relationship between therapist and client, where the emphasis is on humanity, empathy, honor and respectful dialogue. In fact, in some practices, consumer has replaced the term patient.
Finally, therapy is about self-knowledge; expanding one’s reference and perspective regarding themselves and those around them. Therapy is for those interested and invested in addressing the questions, Who Am I? How Did I Get Here and Where Am I Going?

Myth #3: Therapy is an Excuse for People to Just Sit Around and Talk About Themselves and Their Past

The truth of the matter is that you are the central figure of your life and most of us operate within narrowly and externally defined concepts of the truth of who we are. Seeking this truth can be a profoundly transformational journey that goes way beyond a self-absorbed rap session.
Today, therapy is an active and dynamic process. Though talking is an integral part of the therapeutic process, and the past can be a valuable resource for understanding present-day challenges; insight, accountability, active participation and integration are often emphasized. In addition, adjuncts to traditional talk therapies such as body-centered therapies like bioenergetics, and are just some of the approaches being used to facilitate and expedite the therapy process.

Myth #4: Therapy Takes Forever.

In the days of psychoanalysis, therapy required five sessions a week, often for many years. It was a rigid process based on a power differential between doctor and patient. Today, flexibility reigns. Therapist and client are generally considered equal partners determining mutually agreed upon schedules, tasks, and goals.
To give you an example, a gentleman came see me recently because he was confused about an issue regarding his relationship with his parents. He said he had a sense of the source of the problem, but needed confirmation and clarity. An hour later, he said he felt relieved and confident he could handle the situation appropriately. He also expressed gratitude for my presence as a resource should he need my services again. Sometimes this is all that’s needed. However, most situations are more complex and involve a more comprehensive treatment approach. In other cases, some people come to therapy wanting a deep level of understanding and change in many areas, which can take longer. Ultimately, the frequency and length of therapy is dependent on the client’s needs and goals.

Myth #5: Therapy Is Too Expensive.

Many therapists work on a sliding-fee scale, or can refer you to someone who does, and a large percentage of insurance companies now provide mental health coverage. The way we feel about ourselves and our lives and the quality of our relationships all contribute to the happiness and satisfaction we experience in life. When these elements are out of balance, it can seriously compromise our physical, mental, and emotional states. Therapy can assist in understanding how things got out of balance in the first place, and help create a more satisfying way of relating to others and ourselves. I read somewhere once: “You can’t afford not to invest in your emotional health.” It is interesting that we don’t hesitate to invest in cars and computers and what we put in and on our bodies, but we seem to resist the idea of investing in our emotional health and well-being.

Final Thoughts

The final truth is that people that call themselves psychotherapists are just that, people. We do not have all the answers, we cannot read minds, and we are not gurus or sages.  We have education and training in mental health and we have a desire to assist others in healing emotional pain and removing obstacles to achieving a higher level of and satisfaction in their lives. So it is my hope that by dispelling some of the myths around psychotherapy, I have provided a better understanding of its history, purpose, and potential for healing.

I believe everyone has the potential to live free of emotional pain and fear, it takes courage to come to counseling, tell your story, and trust that you will be helped and not judged. I value the trust you place in me very highly and honor the effort it takes for you to seek help. Together, we will find what needs to be found to get you where you want to be in life.

ARE YOU FEELING…
Emotionally disconnected 
Misunderstood
Stuck rather than in love
Plagued by the same issues
Concern the children are being affected

Are you suffering from racing, obsessive, or negative thoughts, difficulty sleeping, or intense stress? Have you experienced an event that you haven't been able to move past? Does your mental state disrupt your lifestyle or your relationships? Or maybe there's just something about yourself that you can't quite figure out. If any of this sounds familiar, I would like to work with you to find your Personal Wellness Solution! If you stay open-minded, honest, and are willing to do something different, we can work together to find understanding, ways to cope, & ultimately relief.
I have spent a lot of time working with drug and alcohol problems in addition to issues with mental health, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar, etc. in adults. I have also enjoyed working with children and families for the past several years, finding that if one family member is sick it affects the whole family.


I do not claim to "know it all", nor do I "understand" everything. However, I am willing to learn from you, the expert on your life, & together, we can work toward healing. Many of my clients have found success through meditation, lifestyle changes, discovering the root of issues, & finding new ways to think about things....

Phone/Skype Therapy. If you are interested in exploring deeper issues in your life including childhood issues and need the convenience of phone sessions then call for a free phone consult. We can discuss your individual needs and you can get a feel for how your sessions will be. My 25+ years’ experience taught me that taking the first step is the hardest part. You can make the changes that will positively affect your life. We will focus on your strengths and support you through these changes.

If the strategies that have always worked to help you hold it together aren’t working anymore, I can teach you better ways of meeting your needs, especially in your relationship. By working with me, you can learn to build a happy marriage, reduce your anxiety, and overcome depression.

How can you tell if you would benefit from couples therapy?
You keep arguing about things that are not important and these arguments quickly escalate.
You are leading separate lives and you feel like your partner is your roommate.
You argue about money, sex, infidelity, children and in-laws.
Your relationship is in trouble after an affair.
Couples therapy can help you make sense of what is going on in your relationship. If you are having trouble communicating, counseling is going to help you to talk about it and work through it.
Couples therapy is an investment in your relationship. Request an appointment today.

I’ve never talked to anyone. I’m used to handling things on my own. Aren’t people who go to therapy weak?
Not at all. People who ask for help know when they need it and have the ability to reach out. Everyone needs help now and then. You already have some strengths that you’ve used before, that for whatever reason isn’t working right now. Perhaps this problem feels overwhelming and is making it difficult to access your past strengths. In our work together, I’ll help you identify what those strengths are and how to implement them again in what is happening now.
What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?
The difference is between someone who can do something, and someone who has the training and experience to do that same thing professionally. A mental health professional can help you approach your situation in a new way– teach you new skills, gain different perspectives, listen to you without judgment or expectations, and help you listen to yourself. Furthermore, therapy is completely confidential. You won’t have to worry about others “knowing my business.” Lastly, if your situation provokes a great deal of negative emotion, if you’ve been confiding in a friend or family member, there is the risk that once you are feeling better you could start avoiding that person so you aren’t reminded of this difficult time in your life.
Why shouldn’t I just take medication?
Medication alone cannot solve all issues. What medication does is treat the symptoms. Our work together is designed to explore the root of the issue, dig deep into your behavior and teach strategies that can help you accomplish your personal and/or relational goals.
Medication can be effective and is sometimes needed in conjunction with therapy.
How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. I tailor my therapeutic approach to your specific needs
How long will it take?
Unfortunately, this is not possible to say in a general FAQs page. Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them and the length of time therapy can take to allow you to accomplish your goals depends on your desire for personal development, your commitment, and the factors that are driving you to seek therapy in the first place.
I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?
I am so glad you are dedicated to getting the most out of your sessions. Your active participation and dedication is crucial to your success. After all, we only see each other for a session a week. It’s the work you do outside of our sessions that will really help you see your personal growth and development.
My partner and I are having problems. Should we be in individual counseling or come together?
If you are concerned about your relationship, and you would both like to work with me, I would initially work with both of you together. After this work, if one of you would like to continue in individual sessions, I could work with only one of you. It is not helpful to move from individual into couple’s work with the same therapist because of potential trust issues.

Life can and should be amazing! Let's work together to take yours to the next level. Relief from depression, anxiety, and other emotional struggles is possible. Your marriage/relationship can be exciting again. Learn how to "get out of your head and into your life"! Let's work together to develop a plan best suited to meet your needs and goals. I have specialized training and experience in the areas of trauma and substance abuse. Confidentiality is critical. I frequently work with professionals who require absolute discretion. It's your life, get more out of it!!

We all face challenging times in our lives that lead us to feel difficult emotions, such as sadness, anxiety, fear, or feeling overwhelmed. These difficulties can a person’s relationships, work-life, and other important areas. Our goal as licensed psychologists is to provide compassionate, professional, and highly effective services to individuals, couples, and families seeking to address such difficulties and achieve a new level of satisfaction in their lives. You will find our psychologists don't seek to simply understand the problem, they aim to transform it. See for yourself why we are the oldest psychology practice in Wesley Chapel (Tampa area).
Whether you're looking to address new difficulties, overcome longstanding obstacles, or simply reach a higher level of performance in your life, we’re here to serve you. We’ll work together with you to develop a personalized plan to identify the obstacles that are preventing you from living the life you want and deserve. We utilize a variety of effective strategies to help our clients rapidly achieve their goals.