The first thing I want you to know is that I am deeply passionate about what I do. It's a privilege to sit in a room with another human being and have them share with you their suffering, their joy, their anger, their confusion, their sorrow, their successes. I view the therapy room as a sacred space, where one can truly be themselves, with no judgement, no criticism, only understanding and genuineness. It is my job to know your story, understand your perspective and guide you with your best interest in mind. I approach therapy with optimism and hope. I challenge my clients to open themselves up to change and personal growth by increasing their awareness around their thought processes, their patterns of functioning and their relationship with others.
Areas of Interest
I have worked in the mental health/social services and behavioral health field for over twenty years. My experience has brought me to where I am at today. This outlines the range of my abilities and the scope of my practice.
My professional experience in the mental health field began as I was pursuing an undergraduate in psychology. I worked directly with developmentally disabled adults early in my career and provided direct behavioral modification techniques. Once, I had my Associates of Arts degree in Behavioral and Social Sciences, I worked for the government's social service agency in Stanislaus County, California for several years practicing eligibility, case management, job skills training, welfare-to-work programs, became a trainer for staff on the programs, all the while obtaining my Bachelor's in Psychology and Master's in Social Work. I was honored to be a recipient of the Title IV-E stipend program which helped me further my education and support my children as a single-parent. During my Social Work Master's program, I interned at the Child Welfare Office and provided direct social work for foster parents and foster children for the first year of internship, the second year I worked in emergency response performing investigations of allegations of abuse or neglect. Once, graduated I worked as a court officer in the child protection program and determined ongoing risk, safety concerns and protective factors for all members of the family. I conducted social history assessments, made referrals to appropriate services based on needs, and determined recommendations for all involved for court. These assessments would determine whether to return the children to their parents, offer family maintenance services, reunification services, or termination of parental rights. There, I realized I have a strong passion to help those abused and neglected and an ability to determine what is best for all involved and prioritize the best interest of the children. However, my personal life called me elsewhere, and I moved to Idaho Falls, Idaho where I worked at District 7 Drug Court providing substance abuse counseling services for court ordered intensive out-patient treatment for felony and misdemeanor clients, adolescents and adults. After a while, I realized I needed to enhance my mental health practice and worked for a local private agency for several years providing mental health services and stepped into a management position of the adult substance abuse treatment program that included out-patient and intensive out-patient treatment services. I also developed the juvenile substance abuse treatment program. I have experience facilitating parenting groups, women's trauma groups, men's trauma groups, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) groups and relapse prevention groups. After several years in the addictions treatment field, I decided to focus my training on enhancing my skills with providing trauma focused treatment as I realized the underlying issues are oftentimes, unresolved trauma, stressors or other painful memories, and/or emotions that lead to symptoms of depression, anxiety, and/or other mental health concerns or substance abuse issues. I have taken advanced trainings in treating trauma and received specialized training from Dr. Edna Foa, who developed Prolonged Exposure for PTSD. Following this, I decided to obtain training in couples therapy as the trauma and/or stressors are often triggered affecting relationships and I realized additional skills/tools were needed to help clients understand and communicate effectively to improve the quality and connection within the relationship and also increase their sense of safety/security within themself and within the relationship. I have also furthered my training in EMDR and other somatic approaches to offer a variety of trauma-based techniques. In 2021, following the pandemic, I decided to open my own mental health practice, called Insight and Empowerment, LLC, this was due to the growing concern of individuals struggling with mental health and to meet the demands of the mental health crisis.
Modesto Junior College, Associates Degree in Behavioral and Social Sciences (2003)
Chapman University, Bachelor's Degree in Psychology (2005)
California State University of Stanislaus, Masters in Social Work (2010)
License and Credentials
Board Certified Licensed Masters Social Worker (2014)
Substance Abuse Professional (2014)
Board Certified Licensed Clinical Social Worker (2017 - LCSW-36400)
Board Certified Clinical Supervisor (2019)
Certified Clinical Trauma Professional II (2019)
Gottman Level 1 Couples Therapy Certification (2021)
EMDR Certificate (2023)
National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
Eye Movement and Desensitization and Reprocessing International Association (EMDRIA)