I'm so glad you are here. It means, more than likely, you are a parent like me and maybe feeling a little overwhelmed, frustrated, and/or even quite concerned about your child. Perhaps...
- You tried traditional routes and you are simply not seeing results
- Your teen still feels misunderstood and alone despite individual therapy
- You are beginning to shut down and loose hope that things are ever going to feel better at home.
As a parent, I understand how scary it can feel when our children are unhappy or spinning their wheels. As an art therapist and counselor, I understand the importance of truly connecting to my clients through the power of creativity and compassion. It is my passion to provide a space where teens feels seen, heard, understood, and most importantly, truly empowered to create a happier life.
Most of my training and experience has been with children and adolescents, however, I have also worked with adults in a variety of settings. While at Ursuline College, I completed my extensive clinical training at Cleveland Clinic-Lutheran Hospital Behavioral Health, Art Therapy Studio - United Cerebral Palsy, Akron Children's Hospital - Expressive Therapy Center, and New Directions - Residential Dual-Diagnosis Addiction Treatment for Adolescents.
Whether I was running art therapy studio groups for adolescents at a residential treatment or doing individual sessions with children with cancer, I witnessed time and time again how creative expression provided a voice to that which had remained unsaid for far too long. The art allowed my clients to see parts of themselves not yet visible, often bringing a new level of understanding to the chaos and turmoil in their lives.
After graduation, I had the privilege of working with adults in crisis on the acute psychology and detoxification units at the Cleveland Clinic - Lutheran Hospital. Running groups in an environment where people are often experiencing deep and profound pain, can be challenging. However, I found once again, that art and creative expression simply found a way through the chaos and created opportunities for deep insight and a new way to cope with stress and anger. Combining creative expression with mindfulness, cognitive behavioral techniques, and education about addiction and mental health often allowed patients to envision a new way forward.
In addition to my private practice, I work with children and teens at Akron Children's Hospital as an Art Therapist for the Expressive Therapy Center. It is an honor to watch patients light up when given the opportunity to be creative. Whether it is a child dealing with a complex, chronic medical condition, a parent concerned about their child's survival, or a teen experiencing suicidal thoughts and self-harming behavior, the art allows them to connect to something "life-giving", something softer and kinder than their pain. Through a variety of groups, individual sessions, and home visits for palliative care patients, I am invited into each patient and family's life to witness and hold space for their pain, sadness, and stress. I am also witness to many miracles of recovery.
I bring all of this experience, passion, and care into every group, individual session, and workshop. I strive to create a non-judgmental environment so teens can find new ways forward and parents can feel supported.
- Ursuline College: Master of Art in Counseling and Art Therapy, 2014
- The Ohio State University: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, 1994
Certifications and License
- Licensed Processional Counselor State of Ohio: C.1400187
- Board Certified Art Therapist: 16-297
- EMDR (Level 1 training and working toward certification)
- DBT (partially trained and working toward certification)
- MARI Practitioner since 2014
- Usui Reiki Practitioner: Level II since 2007
- I have taken several nature awareness and survival classes and spent 3 days in the forest with only water, a mosquito net, and toilet paper.
- I have played volleyball since I was 13 years old and still love the game.
- I have been to Quito, Ecuador and stood on the equator. Yes, you can balance an egg on a nail there.
- I have been an artist for more than 30 years!
- I have two wonderful children, ages 13 and 17.
- I have been happily married for 22 years.
- I love connecting people to their creative intuition and power.
- I have two cats, Charlie and Daisy
- I used to teach children's painting classes at community centers and summer camps.
- I can cut a rug with the right music and enough space.
- I started a community garden but the ground hogs won.
- I have lived in the Cleveland area my whole life.