What I Do
My passion is to empower the people that I work with, and free them from what is holding them back. I adapt proven counseling and therapy techniques to meet my individual clients’ needs. I offer counseling for a number of different mental and emotional challenges right here in the Tri-Cities area of Washington. I currently specialize in treating PTSD, grief and loss issues, and the associated depression and anxiety.
I believe with all my heart in how I practice and always strive to improve it. I believe I give an excellent service for a fair fee. I want to help people. I want you to refer and continue to refer patients to me because my mission is to help as many suffering people as I am able. My personal promise to you is that I will give 100% of my focus, skills and knowledge to you in order to help you achieve the health you crave and to keep you from losing it in the future.
My education and credentials
I am a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. I received my Bachelor of Social Work degree from Eastern Washington University, graduating with honors. I received my Master of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan, the top-ranked clinical social work program in the nation.
Since graduating in 2005 I’ve become trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Motivational Interviewing (MI), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and other counseling techniques. These allow me to provide you with the best clinical care available, all of which have proven results.
What do the letters after your name mean?
It can be hard to sort through or understand all the credentials out there. The most important letters designate either the degree or the license to practice. For example mine as LICSW, which I’ve explained above. Those with doctorates typically put the letters PhD after their name. I’ve found the license or the degree is much less important than the training and skills of the person who is practicing.
There can be a dizzying array of letters after someone’s name, and some of them don’t take a lot of work to get. Always feel free to ask what it took to earn a specific credential or certification! Let me explain the letters after my name. The letters CCTP, for example mean Certified Clinical Trauma Professional. This sounds great, but in reality it only takes a two-day seminar and a test in order to achieve. Two days does not qualify a therapist to be a competent provider for trauma or PTSD, does it? This is why there are several folks with this designation in my area, it’s quick and it can be good for marketing. Level two takes some real work, which is one reason why no one else in the area has obtained it. It involved getting trained in a specific therapy that is used to treat trauma, which typically takes months. In my case I was trained and certified in EMDR, which took about a year of training, attending multiple seminars along with a minimum number of clients and hours under a supervisor. Following that I took 24 more hours of specialized training in complex trauma–having to pass four more tests along the way–before I obtained my CCTP-II.
Finally, I’ve earned a Board Certified Diplomate (BCD), which is the field’s premier advanced-practice certification, the highest credential a clinical social worker may receive. It’s a national designation, and is something of a golden feather in the cap of anyone who is a clinical social worker like myself. I need to be licensed at the highest clinical level for at least five years, take a certain amount of continuing education hours each year, and be recommended by at least three of my peers who rate my competency as an advanced practitioner over the course of a year. My application is evaluated to see if I have the required amount of broad experience and training to quality me for the credential before it is approved. This is why there are less than a dozen of us in all of eastern Washington.
Why did I bother to do all this? After all, most therapists do just fine in their practice without doing such a deep dive into a particular specialty. It is because I want to be able to deliver the kind of high-quality treatment that my clients deserve, pure and simple. It is also because trauma is a very deep field, and very few clinical practitioners really understand it. I want to be one of them.
Think we might be a good fit? Please email or call my office today at 509-531-6698 to learn more about my counseling practice in the Tri-Cities area (Richland, Kennewick, Pasco) of Washington state.