I have been fascinated with healing and mental health, and especially how the mind, body and spirit are connected, ever since I was very young. I obtained a Bachelors degree in Psychology in 1977, then in Nursing in 1985 to try to merge these fields together. After working in pediatrics and then in adolescent and adult psychiatric settings for some time, I decided to obtain a Masters in Psychiatric Nursing to enable me to open an outpatient private practice. I worked with New Life Clinics doing Christian counseling as an outpatient therapist from 1995 to 2000, and then opened my own practice in 2000. Since then I have had private practices in both Boston and Denver, doing traditional and non-traditional types of therapy, with those from a Christian background as well as with those that prefer a more standard approach.
I have observed that the mind, body and spirit are so interconnected that it is essential to work with all of them in order to obtain lasting change. As a nurse, I saw people with medical illnesses that had psychological roots. In my counseling practice, I saw how mental health issues affect physical functioning. With both, I saw how important our beliefs are to all levels of healing. I saw so many people in my practice that wanted deeper healing and not just symptom management. They also wanted more than to just “talk” about their problems, with little or no input from the therapist. They wanted direction, intervention and guidance. I decided to become certified in several trauma techniques, based on the research that trauma is held and collected in the body and that “the body never lies”. I also decided to give my clients what they were asking for: structured goals, the ability to talk, but also to learn new coping skills. Others simply wanted to get to the root of their issues, and clear them out. In the process of really listening to my clients, I also discovered something else. They were right! Most people know what they want in therapy, but have been afraid to ask for it. As the medical model has taught us, “the doctor knows best”. Although that is sometimes true, I believe nobody knows you as well as you do. In working with my clients and collaborating together to come up with the approach that best fits them, while still maintaining professional standards, I have found that people are much more satisfied with their therapeutic experience.
In addition to maintaining a private psychotherapy practice since 2000, I have also taught nursing students in their psychiatric rotation as a Clinical Instructor at both Rutgers University in New Jersey and at Centennial Peaks Hospital in Louisville, CO with the University of Colorado Health and Sciences Center. I have supervised other therapists and obtain personal supervision and ongoing training on a regular basis.
- Bachelors of Science, B.S., Psychology; University of Colorado, Boulder. 1977
- Bachelors of Science in Nursing, B.S.N., University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver. 1985
- Masters in Psychiatric Nursing, M.S.N., Rutgers University, Newark, NJ. 1991
- Supervised Practice for Licensure: Boston Health Care for the Homeless; Boston, MA. 1993
Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, RN, CS
A Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist is an advanced practice psychiatric nurse that has obtained a masters degree in psychiatric nursing, and has been licensed to do psychotherapy, with both the state as well as with the American Nursing Credentialing Center (ANCC). The degree is geared toward teaching practitioners how to be outpatient therapists with families, individuals, couples and adolescents, as well as having the option to work within hospitals and other health institutions as educators and developers. Our training is always inclusive of learning the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual foundations of disease and wellness. Our clinical experience or actual one-on-one counseling training is equal to other therapists who are trained in psychotherapy within any other discipline (such as M.S.W., Masters in Counseling, etc,), with the added knowledge of how the body interacts with the mind and spirit to collaborate in both illness and healing.
Clinical Nurse Specialists are also trained in how the body influences the mind, and we are able to prescribe medications if we choose. I have chosen not to prescribe medications at this time. I prefer only to focus on doing therapy during the session. However I am familiar with some natural and nutritional interventions that support the body on overcoming such things as depression and anxiety. If you are interested in taking medications, we can discuss the pros and cons, and if you decide to pursue this, I can connect you with other RN’s and MD’s who can prescribe the medications for you, and work collaboratively with them if you should desire. I can also educate you on your medication side effects and choices, as I am required as an RN to stay up to date on medication issues through continuing education.
In my spare time I enjoy working on several books I am writing, reading, dancing, hiking, skiing, traveling and spending time with my husband, family and friends.