I grew up in the North shore area and Boy Scouts was an important part of my life, both while growing up and now as an adult. My experiences in the Scouts encouraged me to live by the Boy Scout codes and laws. These include service to others, leadership, trustworthiness, loyalty, courtesy, etc. After attaining the rank of Eagle Scout, I attended high school at a boarding school located in Lynchburg, VA. This experience fostered independence and encouraged me to develop my open-mindedness and willingness to take risks. I was determined to get out of the community that I grew up in and experience new challenges on my own.
After high school, I got my B.A. in Communications at DePauw. After graduating from DePauw, I went back to serving with the Boy Scouts as a District Executive in North Dakota. For the past several years, I have been a preschool teacher at North Shore Montessori School. I have been dedicated to helping three to six year olds grow academically, socially, and emotionally. I recently attained a M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with high honors from National Louis University. Personality wise, I am kind and have a strong sense of humor. I am also direct, passionate, and open-minded. These traits have helped me to be a strong, empathetic therapist for my clients.
Being a preschool teacher for the past several years has helped me to see the importance of meeting young people where they are and getting on the same level as children. This is important for working with any population, but particularly 5-10 year olds when it comes to communicating and building relationships through the use of games, play, or art therapy.
Early Adolescents (10-13)
I have had firsthand experience working with the early adolescent population when I served with the Boy Scouts. This can be a difficult age when it comes to making friends, discovering interests, and figuring out who you are. It is important to focus on strengths and to use Person Centered Therapy to empower young people to see what they are good at and what they should pursue in the future.
Middle Adolescents (14-18)
Middle Adolescence is also a crucial time for developing independence and self-advocacy. This is a time where many individuals begin to go off on their own and start to make more major decisions for themselves, with less support and guidance from their parents. It is important to be empathetic and genuine when working with any age group, but preteens and middle adolescents are especially vulnerable. Emotions can be very high at certain points!
When clients are College age (18-21), oftentimes young people are wanting full autonomy from their parents. Many individuals want to make decisions for themselves at this point. They are facing important life choices such as where to attend school, what career they would like to pursue, etc. Relationship forming is also critical for this age range. Young people are learning to develop healthy adult relationships with other people. It is important to be genuine and authentic with this population by providing guidance while helping young people to navigate adult relationships and decision-making.
Working with couples can be a unique experience. Most tension in couples stems from communication and trust. I utilize John Gottman’s approach to empower the couple and help them to break down communication barriers. It is also important to show empathy and give equal attention to both partners so one individual does not feel left out or forgotten.
Some of the activities I enjoy doing for fun include hiking, camping, attending concerts, and volunteering with a local Cub Scout pack. I also enjoy spending time with friends and family.