I believe that each person is a child of God and made in His image. I also believe that the relationship between therapist and client is of the upmost importance, and that means meeting you where you are so that you feel honored, safe, respected, and heard.
Although my career began in the field of gerontology, since early 2000 I have specialized in working with children, ages 2 and up, who have experienced trauma, abuse, and attachment problems. My experience includes working for 11 years with sexually abused children and their families, where I studied and learned the effects of trauma on the brain and how to alter those effects through therapeutic interventions. I have had extensive training in the neurosequential model of development and the impact of trauma on the developing brain.
In addition to sexual abuse, my work with trauma has included treating children who have experienced long term emotional abuse, neglect, and exposure to domestic violence, alcoholism and drug abuse. I also have experience working with children who were adopted either internationally from orphanages or through the American adoption agencies and are now experiencing attachment problems with their adoptive parents. Trauma can also include bullying, death of a loved one, divorcing parents, moving, and many other challenges that children face that can be traumatic for them.
I do not work with children whose parents’ divorces are in progress. I do work with children whose parents have finished the divorce process and have their court orders in place.
As a Registered Play Therapist/Supervisor, my expertise is in Child Centered Play Therapy. In CCPT, your child is given the opportunity to express themselves in their natural language of play. Through play, children can reveal their experiences, express feelings, modify behaviors and develop problem solving and coping skills. However, I also utilize other techniques such as art, sand tray therapy, Animal Assisted Therapy, and therapeutic games and activities which empower and enable children and teens to enjoy therapy and to express deeper feelings that are difficult to put into words.
In addition to trauma and abuse, I have experience in treating a variety of mental health needs in children and adolescents, including anxiety, depression, ADHD, grief and loss and Autism Spectrum Disorder. In my work with children, I want parents to know that they are an integral part of the therapeutic process, and I will work with parents in a teaching and supportive role to help their child and family thrive.
I also see adult clients at various stages of life who are experiencing depression, anxiety, loss, family issues, and other challenges. In addition, I have worked with many women who are dealing with unresolved childhood trauma that is now impacting their quality of life and relationships.
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Supervisor. I received a Bachelor of Social Work degree in 1983, and earned my Master of Social Work degree from the University of Georgia in 1989. I have worked in the mental health field for over 30 years.
I am a Registered Play Therapist/Supervisor which involved several years of supervised play therapy experience, extensive play therapy training hours, and graduate level coursework in child development and psychopathology. I am a member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), the Association for Play Therapy (APT); the Sam Houston Chapter of the Texas Association for Play Therapy (SHAPT). I am also currently serving on the SHAPT Board of Directors. I have provided many trainings on my work with Child Centered Play Therapy and Animal Assisted Therapy with trauma and abuse at the local and national levels, and internationally with the Australia Play Therapy Association and Play Therapy Australia. I also have advanced supervision training and was a play therapy supervisor locally and with the above Australia associations.
I live in Houston with my precious puppy dog, Joey, who I rescued. I have two older brothers and two younger step-sisters. I have traveled several times to Australia and look forward to spending more time there in the future, as well as traveling to many other places in the world. I love learning about and being around other races and cultures. I am passionate about nature and the outdoors and love hiking, biking, and kayaking. I have been an avid Houston Astros fan since childhood and am an animal lover and advocate. My personal relationship with Christ is the center of all that I am and that I do.
Registered Play Therapist (RPT) – Supervisor