Licensed Psychologist & Owner
Not Accepting Clients
Licensed in OR
Licensed Independent Social Worker
Not Accepting Clients
Licensed in OR & WA
Licensed Professional Counselor
Licensed in OR
Coming December 13, 2023
I began my career as a dispatcher/call-taker for police, fire, & ambulance service. I became a police officer, a member of the Critical Incident Stress Management and Peer Support Team. There, I gained valuable experience helping fellow first responders with their reactions to traumatic events, as well as the day-to-day wear and tear of the job.
My dad was an officer for almost 40 years so I grew up a policeman's daughter. This experience helps me understand what it's like to be affected by the police member's work.
I've also been happily married to an officer for 20 years (and counting!). Again, this gives me another perspective, another source of understanding.
I believe experience as a first responder and my work with them has been my greatest teacher. But I have also formally prepared to assist first responders to be mentally healthy. I earned a PhD in Counseling Psychology and an M.S. in Criminal Justice. I trained in EMDR, the recommended treatment for trauma. I studied factors that influenced officers' ability to cope with traumatic stress, factors that helped officers maintain work-life balance, and the decision-making processes of seasoned first responders regarding leaving the job. I've studied the work of others to better my understanding of the impact of the work to prepare compelling arguments for better services and coverage for mental injuries from the job. I am also Board Certified in Police and Public Safety Psychology.
My heart is in my work. When I was an officer and peer support team member, I found a shortage of mental health providers who understood the unique nature of the work. I realized my greatest contribution would be to fill this gap. I've taught other providers what I know about the first responder culture but there's no substitute for experience. I get it. I've had many roles in the last 20+ years in the profession: dispatcher/call-taker, victim services, police officer, and clinician. I've also had the benefit of decades of personal roles: daughter, wife, and friend of officers. All of these experiences have given me a well-rounded understanding of the impact of the work.
I accept Kaiser, Regence BCBS, Moda, Providence, Optus, PacificSource, Aetna, Cigna, First Choice, Canopy, ESI, Uprise, and worker's compensation benefits.
My professional experience has spanned both the fire service and the mental health field. On the fire side, I did 7 seasons in wildland on handcrews, rappel and short-haul crews throughout the PNW. I also put in 5 years as a volunteer with 3 years as a resident for a rural district outside of Kennewick, WA. As for mental health, I have provided both conventional counseling as well as crisis counseling to children, adolescents, and adults. From 2019-2021, I was able to merge the two sides as I rode along with Spokane Fire Department as a ‘co-deployed’ first responder. In that role, I got a strong sense of the increasing level of difficulty some of the calls entail as I responded alongside a Spokane Fire paramedic to try to resolve emergency behavioral health calls. Many of these calls were resolved in conjunction with Spokane Police Department. These experiences have been fortified by multiple ride-alongs with various police agencies in the Portland-Salem metro area.
I am a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in OR and WA. I received my Master of Social Work degree through Louisiana State University in 2019. Much of my clinical training is crisis and trauma focused. I am trained in EMDR through EMDRIA and was recently trained in the peer support model of EMDR (ASAP). Much of my clinical approach is rooted in psychodynamic, existential, and Jungian theories as well as Cognitive Behavior Therapy.
Throughout my pursuit of a fire service career, I strove to determine what it would take to be a good firefighter. I was blessed to have received incredible advice from the phenomenal mentors who spent time with me as I navigated my path. Oddly enough, it was this that lead me to see my calling in a different light. I began to see the value in mentorship, in helping someone else get dialed in, and being there for someone going through hard times. It is my hope in my role here to carry on that legacy with all first responders by providing a confidential, structured, and efficient approach.
I accept Kaiser, Moda, Providence, Blue Cross Blue Shield, First Choice Health, Cigna, Canopy, ESI, and worker's compensation benefits.
My experience includes nearly 16 years in law enforcement, and I have worked diligently to bridge my clinical background with my law enforcement career. I have worked in various capacities throughout my career timeline and have developed expertise in creating evidence-based programs that have been catalysts to helping individuals move through the stages of change. I was fortunate to be a part of a progressive team of law enforcement professionals who were committed to developing an effective peer support team in the county where I serve and through that experience, I have developed strongly held beliefs about the importance of building sustainable, innovative peer teams. I have seen the effectiveness of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) with first responders and veterans firsthand and want to do my part to educate, raise awareness, and utilize this effective tool for combatting trauma. I recently finished training in the peer support model of EMDR (ASAP) and am in the process of getting certified in EMDR to continually refine this skill.
I have a Master’s Degree in Counseling and Human Resource Development from South Dakota State University and moved to Oregon in 2006. My law enforcement career started in 2008 and I am still going strong. I received my counseling license in 2012 and am also a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor III with the State of Oregon. Having intricate knowledge of how substances impact the human mind has been indispensable in my career in law enforcement and as a therapist. My clinical approach is rooted in the theoretical models of Existential/Humanistic, Cognitive-Behavioral, and Solution Focused Therapy. I utilize Motivational Interviewing as the framework for most of my clinical interactions and choose a strength-based coaching approach in therapy. I have also been trained in Critical Incident Stress Management, Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST), Acute Stress Adaptive Protocol (ASAP), and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).
After college, I moved to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota and became acutely aware of the importance of understanding the culture of the population you are serving, especially when choosing a therapeutic intervention. First responders have a culture. It’s a culture of giving, serving, and self-sacrifice for the betterment of others. Most first responders chose this profession because they wanted to make a difference in their communities. I understand firsthand how trauma and stress injury change our brains. Critical incidents, stress, trials, hypervigilance, shift work, long hours, insomnia, and burnout take a toll on us and our families. The good news is stress injury can heal with the right approach and one can achieve relief from trauma symptoms. First responders and veterans are resilient; we do not have to suffer in silence. I am passionate about helping individuals find a sense of renewed purpose, encouraging mindful movement outside of the therapy walls, and developing grit and resilience in all contexts of life. I aim to serve those who serve, and I am truly honored to do this work.
I was born and raised in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Growing up within a law enforcement family, I knew that no matter what I ended up doing in life I primarily wanted to give back to my community by supporting people. I attended New Mexico State University focusing my studies within healthcare. I began my career in healthcare working alongside law enforcement as a victim advocate and assisting with the sexual assault nurse examiners unit.
In 2018, I relocated to the Pacific Northwest with my husband and our children. Though the days are not as sunny as I was used to living in New Mexico, I love the changing seasons and picturesque landscape. A majority of my experience is in outpatient clinical settings as a Certified Medical Assistant and Phlebotomist.