Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Licensed Addiction Counselor
I attended Washington State University majoring in Sociology, and during my junior year, I studied abroad in Sweden as part of an International Student Exchange Program. At the end of the school year, I teamed up with various traveling companions and spent several months seeing Europe on the cheap: backpacking, utilizing the Eurail, staying in hostels, and eating the traditional bread & cheese dinners. Some of the highlights were being in Eastern Germany soon after the Berlin Wall came down, spending time in Russia, and traveling through Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and Turkey.
I returned to WSU and graduated in 1991, then worked for a year at an outpatient drug and alcohol rehab program in Seattle called CareUnit Clinics of Washington. I quickly discovered that I needed more education, so I moved to the other side of the country and obtained my Master's Degree in Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I served a year-long internship at Duke University working in their outpatient psychiatry services with an interdisciplinary team of mental health professionals.
That foundational experience cemented my interest in mental health and therapy, so I returned to the West and settled in Missoula where I worked for several years in various programs, to include treatment programs focused on chemical dependency and substance abuse and outpatient/ inpatient hospital programs for mental health. I learned much in those years, but also came to realize that my greatest strength is the one-on-one therapeutic relationship with patients who find themselves struggling with the difficulties of life--issues beyond substance abuse and issues that don't necessitate hospitalization. In 2006, I started a private practice.
I was raised on a farm on the Yakima Indian Reservation, located in Eastern Washington, and am the youngest of five kids. I spent my youth working on my father’s apple orchards and grape vineyards during the summers, which I didn't always enjoy. As an adult, however, I love growing things, tending to my yard, digging weeds and cutting flowers (which I use to decorate my office). I am married with one child, too many dogs, a flock of chickens, and searching for the right cat to join the family.
I love living in this area, for all the reasons that everyone else loves it too. I enjoy good food, great books, fun friends, and a whacky family.
I also really enjoy my work.
Flowers from my garden
Graduated Summa Cum Laude Washington State University, 1991
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) since 1997
Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC) since 1996
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) 2010
Master's Degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1994
Specialization in mental health and second-year practicum at Duke University.