My practice is founded on creating a safe space for you to work on your most authentic, whole and healthy self. Aside from being a traditional mental health counselor for the last 11 years, I have also been working as an equine assisted psychotherapist for the past 9 years.
While I have mostly focused on counseling adolescents and adult individuals in the recovery from eating disorders, trauma, anxiety, depression, and relationship issues, I strongly believe in the importance finding your voice, acceptance of self, and awareness in the relational and cultural patterns influencing us.
Animals, particularly horses and dogs have had a strong influence in my life, and believe in the relational, mind-body and spiritual transformation that occurs in their presence. I take an experiential and relational approach, focused on mindfulness and self-discovery facilitated by our equine friends and teachers. I believe that the relationship with the horses will also help you deepen your relationship with yourself, not only in recovery, but way beyond.
In addition to a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology, and a PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision, I am trained in
- Gestalt Equine Psychotherapy (GEIR certification completed 2013-2017)
- Trauma-Focused Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy
- Relational Cultural Therapy
- Animal Assisted Play Therapy (level 1 and upcoming level 2)
- Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning (PATH Intl., 2018)
- Harmony Horsemanship Level 1 Instructor
I am continuing to learn and grow in terms of my knowledge of animals and incorporating them in psychotherapy. I am currently a Level 1 Instructor Harmony Horsemanship and undergoing training and certification for the Animal Assisted Play Therapy with my German Shepard, Ares.
Lastly, I am a tenured associate professor of counseling with Marymount University, teaching counseling graduate courses in the Clinical Mental Health Program.
I am partnering with Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program in Clifton, VA. I am so excited to be working in collaboration with the NVTRP staff and horses!
In additional to working with Max, Rain and Teddy, I am so excited to introduce our new equine facilitated psychotherapy partner, Casey, aka Snuggleberry. He’s a kind and sweet off-track thoroughbred (OTTB) who raced until August 2019 and is happy to explore a new career in psychotherapy.