I am a licensed Clinical Social Worker in Grand Rapids, Michigan, specializing in therapy with children, adolescents, and families. I also provide parenting coaching and work with families who are in the process of blending. My therapy side kick is Gino, a German Shepard/Australian Shepard mix dog. You can read more about him on the "Meet Gino: The Therapy Dog" page. Gino is loving, gentle, and happy to make friends. He is attuned to emotional states and likes to comfort people when he senses heightened emotions. If you sit on the floor, he will likely prop himself in your lap. He is also amazing at listening without interrupting and keeping secrets. I trained Gino in French, but he also knows English commands (even though he likes to pretend sometimes that he does not).
I earned my Bachelor's degree in psychology from Kalamazoo College, and my Master's in Clinical Social Work at Michigan State University. I earned a specialization in therapy with families and children. Furthermore, I am a registered Play Therapist. My areas of expertise include therapy with young children (through upper elementary school), adolescents, relationships, parenting, depression, anxiety, and trauma. I have a varied background after working in the foster care and adoption fields, with the developmentally delayed population, and high risk youth and families. I also worked at the Gerald R. Ford Job Corps Center as the Center Mental Health Consultant. Job Corps is a residential, job training facility for individuals between the ages of 16 and 24 years of age, with benefits of earning a high school diploma or GED, and becoming certified in one of five trades. Please refer to www.jobcorps.gov for more information.
In 2004 I took on the role of volunteer coordinator for the Michigan Association for Play Therapy (MIAPT) annual state conference in Lansing, MI. Since then I have held different positions within MIAPT, such as President Elect, President, and Past President. I spent a few years co-hosting the play therapy networking meetings. These meetings discuss cases (confidentially) to receive support and ideas for improving the therapeutic value to our clients. It is also a good place for individuals who are new to Play Therapy to learn more about the therapeutic process. It is an open group, eager to help one another. Due to life changes and becoming extremely busy with my family, I have stepped away from these roles and activities for this time. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions about volunteering at the next annual conference in February, or if you would like to join in the next play therapy networking meeting. I would be very happy to get you connected with the right people.
I find my work with clients very rewarding. Every individual and family has a unique story to tell, with diverse concerns and struggles. I consider it a privilege and honor to be a part of my clients' recovery and development. Gino and I are looking forward to working with you.
Bachelor's in psychology at Kalamazoo College
Master's in Clinical Social Work at Michigan State University
Specialization with families and children
License and Certificates
Clinical Social Work, State of Michigan, #6801088826
Registered Play Therapist, endorsed by the Association for Play Therapy
Professional Activities and Memberships
Member of the Association for Play Therapy (APT)
Member of the Michigan Association for Play Therapy (MIAPT)