Education & Expertise

BA in Psychology from the University of Houston

Master’s in Social Work from the Graduate College of Social Work at the University of Houston and currently hold a LCSW.

PhD in Social Work from the Graduate College of Social Work at the University of Houston.

I have experience working with geriatric populations, adolescents with substance abuse and/or behavioral issues, children with emotional/behavioral issues and adults ranging from eighteen to eighty. The issues dealt with within this adult population range from depression, anxiety, PTSD/trauma, substance abuse/addiction, borderline personality disorder as well as midlife to later life challenges.  Most recently, I spent several years running a Dialectical Behavior Therapy group for persons with eating disorders.

Prior to going into private practice, I worked as a Behavioral Health Specialist for The Community Behavioral Health Program (CBHP). The CBHP is a joint venture between The Harris County Hospital District (HCHD) and Baylor College of Medicine that places psychiatrists and psychotherapists into HCHD community clinics. During my tenure with the CBHP, I rose to the rank of Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry, Baylor College of Medicine – a rank I still hold as voluntary faculty.

I received extensive training in Motivational Interviewing from clinicians at UTMB. Used to help persons move away from rigid, maladaptive patterns of behavior, this approach helps clients identify and solidify their own reasons for wanting to change. Used primarily with issues of substance abuse and addiction, it can be applied effectively to any clearly defined behavior that the client wants or needs to change.  

I received training through the Houston Galveston Trauma Institute in the treatment of PTSD. Often times, depression, anxiety, and personality issues are related to underlying traumatic experiences. These traumatic experiences can become overwhelming for some and the urge to avoid, numb, or ignore the trauma only increases and lengthens the duration of PTSD symptoms. Psychotherapy helps clients to process traumatic memories in a safe, supportive environment; clients can take ownership of their thoughts and memories rather than feeling like their thoughts and memories are in control of them.

I have attended intensive and advanced intensive trainings in Dialectical Behavior Therapy through Marsha Linehan’s organization Behavioral Tech. In her work developing DBT, Linehan found that, for these complex clients, talk therapy alone often did not translate to change. This led to clients becoming discouraged and dropping out of therapy. With Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, the client often felt the clinician was too focused on change leading to clients feeling misunderstood and dropping out of therapy. DBT seeks to strike a therapeutic balance between validating clients’ experience with pushing for change.