About Me

I have been a practicing social worker (Licensened Clinical Social Worker) and therapist for over 20 years. I am licensed with the state of Oregon (OR 2177) and have been in private practice for than more than 10 years. My office in located in an interesting old building on NE Alberta Street in Portland.

My career has taken twists and turns here and there yet has remained in the world of social work and therapy. It seems this is where I belong.  It is what I love to do and do well!

The last half dozen years or so I have become active in providing mental health services to soldiers and their family members. Each of the last four years I have worked on a military base with active duty soldiers and their family members who are stationed in Germany. Having had no prior military experience it has been both fascinating and incredibly rewarding. My interest in that grew from my involvement with Returning Veterans Project Northwest .  RVPNW  is a local program which offers pro bono services to soldiers in the Pacific Northwest and their families. I have been lucky to have been part of that program since its inception.

Though not a native of Portland,  I think of myself as nearly so. After completing a Masters of Social Work at the University of Illinois I worked and lived in Chicago for 7 years. That was long enough to learn that big city living was not for me. I arrived in Portland in 1994. Although I loved Chicago Portland was a welcomed change. I have enjoyed witnessing and participating in the evolution of Portland to the city it is today.

I have often been told I have the Midwestern friendliness and approachability (and still a little twinge of the accent.)  Having been born and raised in a small town outside Chicago seems the accent is here to stay.

Prior to creating a private practice I worked in community mental health and specialized hospitals. The work centered around children with chronic illness and their families, families of premature babies, women in domestic violence situations and suffering with substance abuse problems, as well as work with couples and individuals (both adults and children) with a variety of mental health issues to resolve.

Several years after completing my Masters of Social Work degree I participated in a three year training program in Family Centered Therapy which is based on the work of Murray Bowen and Family of Origin work. This work continues to inform my practice today.

I keep current on new learning in the field by participating in continuing education programs each year. I also participate in several consultation groups which involves meeting with colleagues to discuss new approaches, challenges and how to fit new understanding or learning into the work that clients and I do together. Recently I’ve completed certification training as a PACT-certified couples counseling practitioner, utilizing the principles of this Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy.

My office is located in a great old building on NE Alberta, close to many wonderful cafes, shops and an overly delicious bakery.

Casual and comfortable, I try to provide a small sanctuary for clients for the time that we spend together seeking insight, solutions or resolution of issues, or finding tools for living their best life, in the process of becoming the best version of themselves.

I have office hours weekdays, including late days and some early mornings, trying to accommodate for busy and varying client schedules. I do my best to work with scheduling needs.

A primary focus of my work is centered around relationships. Relationships – a primary aspect of daily living – are both exciting and complicated. We have relationships with our partner/spouse, immediate family, children and parents, extended families, classmates and colleagues, our communities and nature, and with ourselves (getting to know ourselves well),  and the list can go on and on….We are either in process, beginning, evolving, or ending relationships. And of course, it is more nuanced than that. Each individual brings something to the table in every relationship – identifying these aspects and their effects in our lives can sometimes be difficult, but can also be illuminating, connective, or freeing.

My interest in relationships and the way we engage with each other has led me to become certified in an exciting new modality called PACT Therapy. PACT stands for “Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy” and was developed out of cutting edge research in the areas of neuroscience, attachment theory and the biology of human arousal or engagement of the senses and body. I am an early adopter of this therapy approach, one of the few certified practitioners in the Portland-Vancouver metro area, and an enthusiastic proponent of the outcomes I’ve witnessed between couples doing this work. Whether engaging in individual or couples therapy, the tools offered by or practiced with PACT are really valuable.

For more in depth information about my practice and the kinds of work that clients and I do together, please see the Therapy page. To find out more about what to expect prior to scheduling, please review the Fees & Forms page. If you have any questions not answered here on my site, or simply wish to speak with me prior to scheduling, please do not hesitate to call the office at (503) 281-0243.