Originally from Pennsylvania, I have lived out west for over 20 years being drawn here by the wide-open spaces and places to adventure and be completely myself. After graduating from the University of Virginia in 1993 with a degree in business I decided what I REALLY wanted to do was become a raft guide. I drove across the country to Fort Collins, CO with my brother where I fulfilled my passion for rivers and whitewater, guiding many people of all ages down the Poudre River in summer and hurling myself down the mountains of Colorado on my snowboard in winter.
Having always been excited about interpersonal dynamics and healing from trauma, my own included, my discovery of wilderness therapy led me to obtain my Master’s in Educational Psychology, General Counseling from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah. During my graduate program I did my practicum at the University of Utah’s Women’s Resource Center counseling individuals and co-facilitating a support group entitled Body Politics: Women, Food, and Body Image for women dealing with body-image issues. I was also the President of Peers Educating to End Rape where I organized volunteers for a “Red Flag” demonstration to educate community members about sexual assault and facilitated sexual assault prevention education for students. In between semesters during the summers I was an instructor and course director for Outward Bound teaching youth and adults about living in the outdoors, guiding a raft, backpacking and rock climbing. Outward Bound’s higher purpose is to inspire people to live their lives to the fullest through encouraging compassion, service, self-understanding and acceptance, and group connection. Outward Bound helped me to combine my two passions.
I have called Durango home for over nine years being brought here by the opportunity for outdoor adventure and to fulfill my desire to work towards social justice and the prevention of sexual violence in our world. From 2005 until 2009 I was the Community Education Coordinator for Sexual Assault Services Organization (SASO) only leaving to continue to grow my private psychotherapy practice. At SASO, I provided sexual violence prevention education for over 5000 students and adults in the Durango area and supported many people in crisis through SASO’s hotline.
My dream to be in private practice as a psychotherapist has become a reality and I am excited to pull together all my learning from those that have been and continue to be my teachers…students, clients, co-workers, professors, mentors, supervisors, friends, family, and serendipitous encounters along the way. From one of those brief encounters I was told this:
“Learn much, so you can teach much.”
And so I have and so I will.