As a licensed psychologist, my practice focuses on guiding patients to understand the underlying causes of whatever brings them to me. I offer my patients a variety of tools and strategies to help them feel better about their lives. People come in for a host of reasons. My intention and focus are to help people sort out what’s bothering them and come up with the best ways to address those issues.
I earned my B.A. in psychology from the University of New Hampshire (1984), my M.A. (1986) and Ph.D. (1990) in psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology, which is accredited by the American Psychological Association. The California School of Professional Psychology, now Alliant International University, was one of the first professional schools for psychologists, and I chose it because it held students to the most rigorous standards while teaching what, at the time, was a new, emerging scientist-practitioner model.
Prior to beginning my private practice in Silver Spring, Maryland, I had several clinical experiences. During a graduate school internship at a residential treatment center for children and adolescents, I led groups and family therapy. Simultaneously, a highly respected child psychologist taught me play-therapy skills used when working with young children. I completed a two-year, post-doctoral fellowship at Saint Elizabeths Hospital and the D.C. Commission for Mental Health Services, where I double majored in group and family therapy. Following that training, I worked in a children’s mental health center, an outpatient clinic, and a center for victims of child abuse. I led a group-therapy program for children and adolescents who had been sexually abused while in a residential treatment center. These experiences prepared me well for opening my own practice in 1992.
I work with adults in couples and individual therapy and with adolescents in family and individual therapy. After seeing an increasing number of couples in my practice, I completed an advanced couples training program in 2009. I continue to hone my couples-training skills by participating in an ongoing, peer-review group where other professionals and I review the latest literature and share strategies that work well with couples. Since I believe in continual growth and improvement, I meet regularly in a small group of professionals with a senior advisor who provides detailed analysis of difficult therapy cases.
My other areas of clinical interest include women’s issues and co-parenting. Responding to a growing need for support, I have honed my expertise to work with step-families and with late adolescents and young adults in transition.
I completed my dissertation on women who were sexually abused as children and how this relates to depression in adulthood. This research fueled another area of expertise, which is working with both adolescents and adults who have been abused. I also provide therapy to trauma victims, including sexual and emotional abuse survivors, incest survivors and survivors of other types of crime. Serving as a facilitator to organizations, I provide employees a chance to gather together and process their feelings following a work-place trauma.
I have provided supervision, consultation, and served as a community liaison to train clinical staff in outpatient behavioral health centers. From 1994 to 1996, I taught Introduction to Psychology and Abnormal Psychology at Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland.
Since 2002, I have appeared regularly on several FM stations in Maryland discussing a broad spectrum of mental health issues impacting individuals and the community as part of the Maryland Initiative to Increase Public Education, a Maryland public health initiative. The stations include: 98.7 WMZQ; HOT99.5; DC101; BIG 100.3 and 97.1 WASH-FM.
I’ve addressed several topics over more than 17 years, including serving as a panelist for a discussion about preventing child abuse. Following three weeks of sniper attacks in the Washington, D.C. area in 2002, I provided advice on coping with trauma to audiences of the Today Show, Canadian TV and a local cable TV station.
• Licensed Psychologist in Maryland since 1992
• Licensed Psychologist in the District of Columbia since 2008
Post-Doctoral Training Program
• Post-Doctoral Residency, psychology resident, Saint Elizabeths Hospital, Washington, D.C. Double majored in Group and Family Therapy, 1990-1992
Post-Doctoral Certificate Programs
• Couples Therapy Training Program, Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. Completed one-year training program, May 31, 2009
• Brief, Solution-Focused Therapy Program, Baltimore-Washington Brief Therapy Institute. Completed one-year training program, September 30, 1997
• Peer-Review Group focusing on Couples Therapy, meeting monthly
• Couples-Therapy Supervision Group, meeting biweekly
Professional Associations and Memberships
• American Psychological Association, member since 1992
• Maryland Psychological Association, member since 1992
• National Register of Health Service Psychologists, member since 1997
• Mental Health Association, member since 2001
• Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, member since 2008