Our Clinical Team
I am enthusiastic about self-improvement and the empowerment of others. I have worked in private practice for over two years. Prior to working in private practice, I worked in community mental health for more than three years. I also volunteered for seven years with an Indiana based program, which served local youth through education and outreach. I have experience with individual, family, and group counseling. I began learning DBT in 2016 and I have learned that I love to teach skills and engage clients in learning and growing.
I work very well with clients that struggle significantly with disordered behavior and are ready to work and open to trying new skills and approaches. My approach is direct and kind. I work hard to partner with my clients to allow them the independence and knowledge for their growth. I enjoy watching the growth and skills acquisition happen and take joy in the success of my clients and the client of my team members.
What inspired you to pursue your profession?
As a kid growing up, I struggled in almost all domains of my life. I had a dysfunctional home life, I struggled in school with academics and behavior. I was constantly in trouble for poor decisions, and often because I was oppositional and impulsive. I experienced trauma, homelessness, and repeated rejection and failure. I had deficits in knowledge, self-control, and attention. I frequently goofed off in class, and I would often talk back to teachers and other people in positions of authority; in fact, I was even arrested once for vandalism.
During one of my sophomore social studies classes, I sort of heckled my teacher and asked him, “when am I ever going to use this information again?”. My teacher, Mr. Perreault, a former lawyer, did not respond the way other teachers had when I challenged them, meaning he really did not take my attitude or behavior personally. He took my personality and what he knew about me into consideration when he answered me. He let me know that unfortunately our education system is not designed for hardship and defiance; he stated the educational system which I was a part of was designed for the success of those who could comply and adapt. He also let me know that if I could not do that, then I would likely experience more hardship, failure, and disrespect from others. He said that beyond high school, I could look forward to interactions with the adult world which I would not be able to avoid, and despite any accommodations high school made, the adult world does not often accommodate a lack of knowledge. He further explained that the system and the world that I lived in would allow me to fall by the wayside, if I was so intent on doing that; so essentially, if I did not need to use the material that I was being taught ever again, then I have failed.
The fear of failure and the thought of being disrespected for the rest of my life was overwhelming. I worked very hard in the years following, but I had a lot of catching up to do.
My early experiences with hardship, family mental illness, and dysfunction, as well as, the motivation to not fail, inspired and equipped me to work with others who struggle with behavioral challenges, and they continue to help me be effective and nonjudgemental in leading Plum Behavioral Health.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
I see myself working for Plum to help expand the services that we provide to to all 50 states. It is my hope we can offer freedom for both therapists, as well as, clients.
We can either make ourselves miserable or empowered. The amount of work is the same. Through kindness and unconditional positive regard, I help my clients become the person they want to be. I bring a nonjudgmental, collaborative, and creative approach to talk therapy for those who are struggling with emotional, anxiety, depressive, trauma, or relational issues. I view psychotherapy as a personal journey of self discovery and self acceptance, where the therapist joins this process as a passenger, guiding the client towards understanding and love.
I am very passionate about working with people and helping them gain insight into themselves in order to have greater independence. I am a strong believer in collaborating with people to brainstorm how to improve their functioning and lives. I love this field and feel very privileged to do this work. I have a bachelor’s and master’s degree in social work from the College of St. Scholastica. I have experience working with individuals diagnosed with serious and persistent mental illness. In college I focused on the needs of older adults and I enjoy working with this age group.
Now a Licensed Graduate Social Worker, I graduated with a BS of Psychology from Minnesota State University, Mankato and went on to study Clinical Social Work at Simmons College where my academic specialization was Child and Family. My experience has been primarily focused on working with adults with serious and persistent mental illness such as depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, and anxiety disorders. I have also served agencies in an intern capacity as a mental health therapist, family advocate, and youth advocate. My interest has developed into working with children with complex trauma, adults with SPMI and co-occurring disorders such as substance abuse, as well as families. My personal philosophy when it comes to therapy (and life in general) is that if you want to see different, you have to do different. I believe people can experience positive change in their life, but that change only comes when a person makes the initial choice to change and continues make that choice. As a clinical social worker, my job is to help support a person in making those choices toward positive change.
I am dedicated to providing services that are evidence based, ethical, and person centered. For the past 16 years, I have worked with children, adults, and families in a number of capacities including community based, school based, and virtual settings. Today, I primarily work with adolescents and adults in the areas of grief and trauma as well as adjustment difficulties, symptom management, and life stressors.
In addition to being part of the Plum Behavioral Health team, I also practice as a teletherapist in several other capacities. It has been so exciting to be part of the ever-growing world of telehealth over the past three years of my career! I really appreciate the ability to serve clients who may be experiencing transportation or provider barriers, meet their goals from the comfort of their own home.
I graduated in 2002 from University of North Dakota with a bachelor’s in Social Work and an emphasis on substance related disorders. In 2010, I graduated from UND with a Masters degree in Social Work. I have extensive training in the area of trauma impacts and I am a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional.
My career as a therapist began in 2009. As I began my career, I worked primarily with adults with serious and persistent mental illness. I have worked in outpatient mental health clinics and have come to enjoy working in private practice. I found as my career evolved, I especially enjoyed working with adults, including older adults who are faced with grief, loss, trauma, complex health issues, depression, anxiety, PTSD, and life transitions. I help adults who have experienced grief, loss, and trauma.
I focus on individual’s strengths and utilize Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness, Motivational Interviewing, and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). Each individual I work with is treated with the utmost respect. I help those individuals identify ways they can find solutions to issues, relationships, or situations that bring them into see me.
I am an LICSW (licensed independent clinical social worker). I graduated with my bachelor’s in social work from the College of St. Scholastica and with my master’s in social work from the University of Minnesota-Duluth. I teach part time at the College of Saint Scholastic in the Bachelor’s of Social Work Program.
Outside of work, I enjoy my family, nature, hiking, running, reading, yoga, meditation, and watercolor and acrylic painting. I had a certified therapy dog who brought me and others great joy. I hope to someday train another very special dog.