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I began my academic pursuits as an anthropologist. This interest in people and how they function has spilled over into my practice as a therapist as well. The field of anthropology has taught me that there are thousands of ways to view the world and our relationships to each other. In my practice I make every effort to respect this fact by asking my clients what THEY want to achieve in their sessions with me. Because of this approach, I might take a little longer than most in the initial assessment phase of therapy so that I have time to learn the mechanisms of change for that person, or for that family. Once I begin to understand these mechanisms I can utilize them to help my clients reach their goals.
The anthropological approach has sparked an interest in me to learn and practice some therapeutic techniques which lend themselves toward harnessing each individual’s world view, culture, values and support systems. Those include, but are not limited to, General Systems Theory, Solution-Focused Therapy, Ericksonian therapy featuring “the utilization principal,” Structural Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Rational Emotive Therapy (RET), Strategic Therapy, and Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT).
My early professional life was in the field of education. I received a BA in Education and taught school in Arizona in the Tucson area for several years. I worked with all age groups during my teaching career. I became particularly interested in instructional activities which utilized as many domains of intelligence as possible, especially the neglected area of kinesthetic intelligence. I completed a program with a renowned educator in therapeutic gardening with children. I also learned about programs involving children in construction projects and taught several units in adobe construction with children of all ages. I began to notice that a group of students who were classified as “learning disabled” or “ADHD” began to excel in lessons that included activities catering to kinesthetic learning styles. This is not just coincidence, as it has long been documented that individuals diagnosed with “ADHD” have exhibited superior kinesthetic intelligence. The high rate of professional and Olympic athletes previously diagnosed with ADHD is testament to the untapped strengths of many children labeled as “disabled” in our educational system.
While I was teaching, I decided to work toward a degree in clinical social work. In this program I had two clinical internships each lasting a year. The first was working as a school social worker at a local high school. The second, was working in the family therapy clinic at the Tucson Veterans Hospital. After receiving my master’s degree I began practicing family counseling at a community mental health clinic in Tucson. Here, I received a great amount of experience and training and was able to earn my LCSW, the professional license to practice independently. I have been in private practice for the past 12 years. Additionally, I have held contracts with T.U.S.D., Tanque Verde School District, Calli-Ollin Schools, Rose Academies, HaSan School, and Tuller School. These contracts have included group and individual counseling services for students as well as sessions for parents and training for staff.
I have provided several trainings/workshops in Arizona. I have several published articles in Tucson Parent Magazine in the areas of child development, parenting and education. I look forward to posting a blog soon. I have two audio C.D.’s published, one is a set of children’s music designed to help children with certain behavioral and developmental milestones. The other C.D. is a compilation of original jazz compositions performed live in Tucson with my band.
I have two children, both boys who are in their late teenage years. I still play music professionally in southern Arizona in various venues. I enjoy gardening, cooking and motorcycle riding. It is a blessing to be able to go to work in my own practice and feel good about the work I do and the people I am helping.