About Me

Education

  • BSW – Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, 1973
  • MSSW – University of Texas at Austin, 1977
  • Theological Education by Extension, Education for Ministry, University of the South, Suwanee, Tennessee, 1991

Experience

TitleLocationDates
PsychotherapistPrivate Practice - Austin, Texas3/92-present
Consulting Social WorkerBertram Nursing Center - Bertram, Texas12/09-6/10
Psychological ConsultantSouthwest Conference of the United Methodist Church9/07-6/10
Consulting Social WorkerTown & Country Physical Therapy - Austin, Texas4/01-12/08
Clinical DirectorNew Life Institute - Austin, Texas6/01-12/07
PsychotherapistNew Life Institute - Austin, Texas3/94-12/07
Social WorkerCo-facilitator of the Austin Amputee Support Group9/90-10/06
Consulting Social WorkerAdvanced Prosthetics - Austin, Texas4/02-5/06
Consulting Social WorkerRehab Designs of America - Austin, Texas2/92-8/02
Family TherapistChild & Family Services - Austin, Texas3/92-3/94
Medical Social WorkerSt. David’s Rehabilitation Center - Austin, Texas5/87-9/89
Consulting Social WorkerUT Speech & Hearing Center - Austin, Texas4/85-5/87
Consulting Social WorkerRound Rock Hospital - Round Rock, Texas1/85-5/87
Social WorkerGirling Home Health Care - Austin, Texas11/84-5/87
Medical Social WorkerSt. Peter’s Medical Center - New Brunswick, NJ9/81-6/84
Director of Social ServicesCresthaven Children’s Center - Austin, TX11/77-5/81

Philosophy/Training Emphasis

I have been in the field of social work for 34 years and have a variety of experiences to bring to the therapeutic process. My training is eclectic and I use many different theoretical frameworks including but not limited to: Systems theory, Crisis Intervention, Psychodynamic theory, Existential theory, Erikson life-stage development, Attachment theory, Empowerment and Advocacy, and Cognitive Behavioral Theory. An individualized assessment and treatment plan is devised for each client depending upon your needs and stated goals.

Since 1997, I have been in a Systems-Centered Therapy (SCT® and Systems-Centered® are registered trademarks of Dr. Yvonne M. Agazarian and the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute, Inc., a non-profit organization) training program. A systems approach can be transforming in uncovering the authentic self. In addition there are some techniques for undoing anxiety and depression which are life changing. Learning ways to undo one’s defenses can lead to deepening self-awareness which leads to less suffering and more joy in life.

Weaving spirituality into psychotherapy can be a very healing therapeutic process. If you are interested in this, it is an approach with which I am comfortable. In the late 1980s I began a regular practice of centering prayer and meditation. This led me to pursue additional spiritual training in a four-year course of study and distance degree through the University of the South’s School of Theology in a program called Education for Ministry. In addition, I have a long-time interest in spiritual formation and development. I have been in spiritual direction for many years which I think helps ground me and helps me be more present. I worked for many years as a psychotherapist and the clinical director with New Life Institute, a spiritually-based counseling center associated with the Methodist church. I have a special interest in working with those struggling with forgiveness issues and have led several workshops on this topic.

My extensive experience in the medical social work field gives me a unique perspective for those dealing with a variety of medical conditions. I have worked with many amputees over the years in a rehabilitation center setting, co-leading a peer support group and working as a consultant for several prosthetic companies. I also have experience working on several other services within a hospital setting including: neurology, general medical/surgery, intensive care nursery, ER, and rehabilitation. I welcome those dealing with chronic medical conditions such as MS, Parkinson’s, and other neurological conditions.

I have a special interest in providing premarital counseling and working with couples. I am certified by the Prepare-Enrich program (www.prepare-enrich.com) to provide services offered by their program. This program emphasizes “premarital counseling, marriage preparation, marriage counseling, and marriage enrichment. It includes a comprehensive couple assessment along with feedback using skills-building exercises.” Couples receive a printout of the assessment and their exercises workbook upon completion of the program.

I enjoy working with college students and young adults struggling with life transition issues, stress, anxiety, and relationship issues, including relating healthily with parents.

I also have a special interest in the topic of mothering. I have worked with many women who are struggling with mothering or are interested in enriching their mothering experiences. I have many years’ experience as a mother (and more as a daughter!) and bring this to the therapeutic process.

Personal Life

I am married and have lived in Austin since 1973. My husband and I have two adult sons and we enjoy doing many family activities together. There are many activities that I enjoy outside of work including: supporting a Kenyan medical clinic, reading, yoga, meditation, centering prayer, spiritual direction, cooking, gardening, exercising, traveling, a variety of church-related work, volunteering for Faith-in-Action Caregivers, and participating in the Community Partnership Development Council for the UT School of Social Work.