As a former special education teacher and coach for track and field, I have found great pleasure in watching young people overcome challenges and soar above obstacles. After 20 years in the classroom at a northern Bergen County high school, I shifted my career path into the counseling office as a Student Assistance Counselor. Here, for over a decade, I have been able to help adolescents and their families navigate a wide spectrum of issues including substance abuse, anxiety, and depression, as well as school avoidance/ refusal, and truancy. Serving as the Anti-bullying Specialist, I have worked with both victims and aggressors to identify and face their vulnerabilities with resilience.
Personally, I enjoy caring for my family and two fun dogs when I am not working. I love to cook for a crowd and I tend to get a little carried away when cheering on my favorite athletes at every level from youth sports to the big leagues.
APPROACH TO THERAPY
My deepest professional goal is for my clients to learn and to utilize skills to manage life’s most intense moments with courage and grace. I believe in a client centered approach to counseling where the client is the expert of their needs. I am confident in risk assessment procedures, crisis de-escalation and SBIRT for substance use. I love working with coaches and athletes to build safe climates where mental health attention is normalized as a component of team culture.
In addition to my work with teachers, coaches, and students, I am also thrilled when I have the chance to work with parents in our district on many different issues they face. I am currently studying to become a certified teacher of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction through Brown University’s Mindfulness Center. I intend to offer the course formally to groups and to adapt the tenants of the course curriculum for use with individuals as well. I believe that by practicing and cultivating the attitudes of non-judgement, patience, and trust in therapy we lay the foundation for growth and ease in this journey.