Long before I began my studies, as a teen I was an advocate in my community. Gaining experience through volunteerism, meeting people struggling with mental health or addiction issues and advocating for those experiencing challenges in their lives due to discrimination.
After moving to Oregon in 2007 and realizing instead of spending my personal time serving my communities and advocating for change, I could make it my life’s work.
Beginning my studies in Drug and Alcohol Counseling because I believe we are all touched in some way by addiction, whether it is within our families, ourselves or through our friends and coworkers. Developing a deeper understanding of how addiction can affect our lives both practically and neurobiologically. Through my studies, I learned anything can be an addiction with the definition being “Problematic matter of use that leads to significant impairment or distress”. This can be many things other than drugs or alcohol.
Next, earning my Bachelor's in Social Work, followed by studying aging through the completion of graduate-level studies in Gerontology and earning my Master's in Clinical Social Work.
I have worked full time serving those experiencing mental health and addiction issues since 2009, first, in community mental health, followed by social work in local hospitals focusing on inpatient treatment with those experiencing dementia, anxiety, depression, addiction, and psychosis, sometimes due to substance use or severe mental illnesses.
What I have found is some of the most common reasons for seeking therapy can be when recognizing the experience of depression or anxiety that can accompany adjusting to major life changes or losses. This can create struggles with feelings, poor sleep, changes in appetite and the inability to focus on daily tasks
My goal as a therapist is providing the opportunity for you to work through those times in a safe place while exploring the feelings and thoughts necessary to return to your best self.