I became a therapist after several difficult (and beautiful) years of mining through many layers of my own grief and confusion. If I trace my path back to the very first catalyst that changed my direction in life, I end up back when I was 21. I was going into my senior year in college as a geology major, and my father had just died after a short and intense bout with colon cancer. Before he died I had no intention of entertaining the idea that death was a possibility. In looking back, though, the lurking of the unspoken was always there like a huge abyss that I couldn’t quite comprehend. I was nervous, confused, and nearly mute about it all. My father’s decline was quick and he died 9 months after he was diagnosed with cancer.
To say I was devastated is a profound understatement. I was sick, lost, depressed, shocked, angry, and so sad. I was a thin shell of myself. At 21 years old I was being pushed out into the adult world without the anchor who had always been there for me. For almost four years after his death I struggled with finding my center again, understanding what had happened, who my father was to me, and who I had become. I was fortunate to have found people who were supportive, two very helpful therapists, and a place to live in northwest Washington, near the ocean and mountains, which kept me close to the rawness of nature.
I came out of the closet when I was 18 years old, and in retrospect I can see how I struggled for many years to integrate myself into the world without a sense of shame or deprecation. It is work I continue to do, and it’s also work that I feel compelled to help others through. Living in a world where civil rights are not a given, and where some groups of people are seen as lesser-than means that we will need to help each other to realize our value. I have a particular interest in helping people who identify as transgender or genderqueer to integrate their identities and start their gender transitions. Gender is an amazingly complex aspect of our identities, and I love exploring with people what meaning gender has in their lives.
And as someone who is married and navigates the complexities of a complicated and sometimes chaotic blended family, every day, I absolutely love helping couples to relate more deeply and effectively. It’s really exciting for me to be in the presence of two people in my office who are connected and want badly to be able to learn how to have a deeper, more satisfying relationship. Being at the helm of a family is no easy task, and the power of a productive and healthy relationship to help us through can be pretty amazing.
I practice out of my offices in Boulder and Denver, and I divide my time between my practice and my work as a Family Therapist at Fire Mountain Residential Treatment Center in Estes Park.
I’m a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Colorado (License #5621).
I have a BA from Mount Holyoke College, in South Hadley, MA. I graduated in 1998 with a major in Geology.
I have an MA in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology, with an emphasis in Wilderness Therapy, from Naropa University, in Boulder, CO.
My experience includes working with dual-diagnosis teens as an Expedition Therapist at Catherine Freer Wilderness Programs in Oregon; as a Grief Counselor at local hospice organizations; and with LGBTQ-identified youth in Boulder County Public Health’s OASOS Program. I have specialized training in attachment work from a somatic perspective, grief companioning, and grief and loss work with young adults ages 18 – 24.