My Work: My passion is working with families and my area of expertise is in understanding the perspective of children and adolescents within their family context. I enjoy working with children because I absolutely adore their honesty and simplicity; I appreciate and honor their viewpoints and contributions to family work.
My Philosophy: As a systems therapist my core belief is that we are not isolated; we are connected to our families, friends, neighborhoods, communities, and environments in the broader sense. All of these aspects of our environment impact us in various ways. I don’t think of people as mentally ill and though I am qualified to do so, I do not label people with DSM diagnoses. I don’t believe that the medical model is useful for the majority of life’s struggles and therefore do not pathologize the people I work with. I think of all of us as struggling with life; human problems, issues, and concerns; most of which can be overcome through talking therapies. I don’t think that psychotropic medications are the answer to human problems and though they can be a temporary support to talk therapies, they are not effective at addressing the root causes in the long term.
Professional: I have worked in the social work and therapy field for over twelve years. My experience includes volunteer crisis counsellor on a suicide hotline, home based therapy and social work, private practice with individuals, couples, and families, and five years of agency work with adolescent girls between the ages of 12 and 18. I have experience working with people from a broad range of cultural, ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds. I currently work for a provider health organization doing brief family therapy work (six sessions) with people whose ages range from 13 to 70 years old.
Education: BA in Psychology, Master of Science in Social Work with specialisation in Marriage and Family Therapy, Post Graduate Certificate in Juvenile Sex Offender Counselling.
Professional Affiliations: Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (LMFT), Clinical Fellow with the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT), and Certified Social Worker (USA). New Zealand Association of Family Therapists (NZAFT) Clinical Member and Approved Supervisor, New Zealand Association of Counsellors Provisional Member, International Family Therapy Association (IFTA) Member.
Personal: I was born and raised in New York City the fourth daughter of ten children; my parents had seven girls and three boys. I have three wonderful grown daughters and four amazing grandchildren who have taught me more than they can imagine. I currently live in Wellington, New Zealand with my husband.