I decided to become a therapist after being inspired by the hospice team that "held space" for my family when my mother was dying of cancer in 2015.
I worked as a librarian, writer, editor and consultant in the field of Library and Information Services for twenty years prior to obtaining my Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and bring my organizational and research skills to my work as a therapist.
I live in the Bitterroot Valley with my husband, two teenage daughters and two naughty dogs. When I'm not at work, you can find me shuttling kids around, cooking whole plant-based foods, or reading (for work and pleasure)!
I chose the name "Realization Therapy" for my business because of the threefold meaning of the term:
A "realization" can be an "aha!" moment in therapy when we have an important understanding that provides deeper insight.
The term "realization" can also mean "to make real" in the sense of achieving our hopes, dreams and desires.
And "realization" also has spiritual connotations in the sense of a spiritual awakening or enlightenment.
I believe that we all have an inner core of awareness that connects us to the divine and to each other. I try to bring this inner awareness into my work with clients and hope to help them identify it within themselves.
Mon-Wed (and every other Fri) 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
I prefer to work with individuals exploring issues of personal growth, self-esteem, spirituality, life transitions, and grief and loss. Many of my clients also experience symptoms of anxiety and depression. I believe that mental health is dependent upon the intersection between mind, body, and spirit, so effective psychotherapy must be holistic. As a certified health coach, I am qualified to offer nutrition and lifestyle suggestions in addition to mental health counseling.
I believe that all emotional suffering comes from our thoughts and beliefs about our experiences. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) may be the form of therapy that has the most empirical evidence to support its effectiveness because it helps clients to change their thoughts and behaviors, which has a direct effect on their feelings. But even when emotional suffering has been greatly reduced or eliminated, life will not be wholly fulfilling for some until issues of purpose or meaning are reconciled as well.
I use Gottman Method couples therapy to help clients improve their relationships with romantic partners, relatives and friends. This approach focuses on emotions in order to resolve conflict. It also emphasizes building safety, trust, bonding, love, intimacy, friendship and positive interactions. When working with two people in therapy, I consider the relationship to be the client. My goal is to help partners develop skills to manage conflict, enhance friendship, and create a system of shared meaning.
Through the practice of mindfulness, we are able to observe our mental processes as separate from us. While our thoughts, feelings and memories can be disruptive, and are constantly changing, our core observer-self (which is sometimes referred to as consciousness or pure awareness) is always peaceful, and calm. This same inner essence (consciousness/awareness) exists in all people and things and connects us to one another. I have been personally practicing mindfulness meditation since 1996 and use evidence-based mindfulness approaches and techniques clinically to treat a variety of conditions.
I particularly enjoy group work not only for its benefits to clients (which include group cohesiveness, the instillation of hope, and an increased awareness of universality) but also because clients learn as much from each other as they do from group leaders. I currently facilitate a weekly DBT graduate group and co-facilitate a weekly DBT skills group for adults as part of the Missoula DBT Collaborative. We eventually hope to be able to offer DBT skills groups for special populations (such as adolescents, women, etc.)
I am working with a team of therapists in Missoula to provide a comprehensive Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) program which includes weekly individual therapy, weekly group therapy, clinical consultation and telephone coaching. DBT has been proven to be effective in treating clients with mood instability and impulsive behaviors and can help improve personal safety, relationships, work, and emotional well-being. For more information about the services offered by the Missoula DBT Collaborative, visit our website at www.missouladbt.org.