I became a helping professional, because I've experienced what unconditional love is and I want to help others to learn how to give and receive unconditional love too.
I discovered I had a passion for counseling while I was an upperclassman at the United States Naval Academy. Once I graduated as a U.S. Marine Corps officer, and I became a combat engineer officer, I found again that my most memorable moments with my Marines occurred while I was counseling them. After the military I obtained my masters degree of educaiton in counseling. I worked at elementary and high schools and in mental health and substance abuse outpatient clinics.
I grew up a military brat with both parents in the Air Force. I'm now a veteran and a military spouse. My husband and I have known each other since we were 17 years old. Relationships mean everything to me. After moving 27 times and still counting what I've learned is that I am at ease with change. Change and growth is what is normal to me. Whether it is relocating across the globe, making new friends, keeping old ones, or staying involved in hobbies and the community, I understand the fear behind taking that first step. That is my life. And it is the health and strenght of my relationships that has helped me overcome adversity and setbacks to make it an incredible life.
How we communicate affects how good our relationships are with our inner self, and with other people. Often the 90 day plans I create with clients focus on identifying the actions they need to take to realize their goals. How we make sure it is lasting change--is by creating congruency in our thoughts and feelings as we make the behavioral changes. But..as we do this we also make sure to stay true to your values.
I strongly believe that we must be more inclusive when trying to help others. I don't think many of us know what it feels like or knows how to love without conditions.
We all want to belong somewhere--and we each have unique needs, but the area in which we are all seeking greater belonging in is in the area of our relationships and how we relate to other people.
That is why the skills can reach across boundaries of age, sexual preference, relationship status (single, committed, pre-marital, pre-divorce, newly married, mature marriages...., post-divorce, stepfamilies, mending from infidelities...), or religious preference.
I have helped the following populations and seen how learning and using life and resiliency skills has helped alleviate issues and solved their unhappiness or dissatisfaction.
--adolescents who come from families where their model of a in-tact relationship is missing or conditional (how many people do you know personally still are married/committed to their original partner and parent of their children?)
-- people who are single and want a good relationship (but are uncertain of why this perfect-love relationship remains elusive),
--pre-marital couples who are hoping to make their relationship work for the long haul, but that's all they have....hope and not skills
--newly married couples who have love, but not the skill set to turn their puppy love into mature love that can stand the good & bad stressors of life (kids, jobs, finances, illnesses)
--couples thinking of splitting or are up for reconciliation before divorcing or separating
--mature couples who want spice back in their life before they stray into infidelity, porn, sexual addiction or any other destructive behaviors
--the GLBT population that are fighting for recognition, acceptance, and whose unique needs are often ignored, repressed, and short-changed
--and those suffering from PTSD and TBI symptoms. My focus is on helping people function in their daily lives, by helping them to learn new skills to cope with their symptoms, not re-trigger old memories.
Everyone hopes to be loved unconditionally--where there is only acceptance no matter what you do, say, think, feel. We often find it in our spiritual lives...but I also think one of the main points in life is to learn how to relate and love other people.
However, based on current trends and statistics many of us seem to be missing the mark.
So, even if you think "nah, I have no problems or issues, this is NOT for me..." I gently suggest you think again and ask yourself..."what relationships in my life would I like to be better, to whom would I like to be closer to or with??" The only way we can become better people, is if we look hard at ourselves and if something has not been working..., then to try something new.
The workshops I teach on relationships and marriage education for military and families in the community are based on research that proves that if you work on said skills, your relationships will improve.
This is not counseling..., I have that skill set and access to the theories that we've been trying to use to help "fix" people (when really the fix comes from people learning new skill sets and pulling upon their own resilience to solve their own issues).
Educating yourself gives the power to you and respects that you know how best to make the changes you need to make.
Also....based on brain research..., did you know that focusing on the past, old memories, unhealthy behaviors will only keep these neural pathways awake in your brain? The fastest and easiest way to fix undesirable thoughts, feelings, or actions is to replace them in the present with NEW learned thoughts, feelings, or actions. This has been proven in people categorized with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Substance Abuse, and Substance Dependence...
There is hope! Join me in marrying hope with new skills so that you are more satisfied with your life! I'll provide you with accountability and help you create 90 day plans to ensure your desired changes become your reality.