I grew up in rural Eastern Washington, wheat country near Washington State University, with what I consider "basic values" of faith, family and country in addition to what was an extremely strong work ethic. For me this includes a deep sense of responsibility to encourage and assist others whenever possible, it has in turn led me to 2 rewarding career fields: education and mental health.
Some of my earliest memories, when I was about 3-4 years old, are of seeing my parents help a family with 5 young children who had run out of gas near our farm. I learned by what I saw early in my life that it was "the right thing, the expected thing" to do: namely, to care about the needs of others and assist where you can. I have clear memories at that young age of bringing clean towels to the bathroom so all 5 children could take a bath, of seeing my mother cooking and serving this family a hot meal and then seeing my Dad filling their car with gas.
From this and from many other similar experiences I learned the significance of noticing and caring about the needs and concerns of others which I believe greatly influenced my decision to become a K-12 educator and spend 30 years in the classroom teaching, which subsequently, almost accidentally, led to my work in mental health. Over the years I observed many children who were very bright and extremely capable, but academically doing poorly due to other issues and/or emotional distractions. Wanting to better address this problem brought about my transition from education into mental health. This has in turn led to the opportunity to work with people from all walks of life, all socioeconomic backgrounds, including those who are incarcerated, have a history or substance abuse, PTSD, trauma and/or a variety of mental health issues.
I continue to want to be a "life-long learner" myself and to grow and develop skills and techniques that will be effective in my work. It is in this context that I find each individual or family that I work with very unique, valuable and with their own set of experiences, strengths and challenges. This is what continues to be for me very rewarding, I want to be able to come along beside individuals in a safe and confidential environment and utilize strategic, evidenced-based treatments that are effective and at the same time congruent with that individual's personal goals and needs.
It is a privilege to work with veterans! I am excited about this new experience as I continue to see individuals in a private practice and enjoy my amazing family and the special friends that are in my life. Hopefully I will contribute in positive ways to those whose lives I touch in this new endeavor through Skytherapy.