I am a Licensed Professional Counselor with a master's degree in school counseling and a Ph.D. in counseling, both from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. I received my master's in 2000 and have been working with children, families, and adults since that time. I have worked in schools, agencies, family shelters and for the past eight years have been in a group psychotherapy practice in Gainesville, VA.
I have opened my own practice in Leesburg both to be a little closer to home (I live in northern Loudoun County) and to bring my practice to a place that has been close to my heart all my life. I grew up in Loudoun County, attended school here, and raised my own family in Loudoun. I believe I understand at least some of the stresses in living in a place that continues to experience tremendous growth and change.
In January 2016 I opened an office in Gainesville, VA with limited hours. If that location is more convenient, please let me know when you initially contact me.
Over the past 15 years, I have developed a special interest in working with people with autism spectrum disorders. I have obtained more than 100 hours of specialized training and try to keep up with the flood of recent research as well as popular books and articles addressing the challenges and achievements of autistic children, teens, and adults.
My primary therapy strategy is child-centered (or person-centered) therapy, which allows my client to choose not only what to play with or talk about in my office, but also the pace at which we work. Person-centered therapy, which is based on the work of Carl Rogers, is somewhat slower than other, more highly focused types of therapy, but I believe this type of work gives my clients a sense of power and control. Ultimately change is the responsibility of the individual, and individuals who are able to regain their sense of empowerment are much more likely to make and sustain positive change.
I also work with people experiencing depression, anxiety, adjustment issues around family changes, grief and loss, attention-deficit disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and problems that generally come under a heading of "things just don't seem to be working out." I offer all my clients a variety of expressive arts, including sand tray therapy, which has proven to be effective not only with children but also teens and adults.
I am a Registered Play Therapist and Play Therapist Supervisor, a member of the Association of Play Therapy, the American Counseling Association and Northern Virginia Licensed Professional Counselors.