I am originally from Eastern NC but have made WNC my home for the past 10+ years. After graduating from Western Carolina University with a BS in Criminal Justice, I decided to change my focus from rehabilitation to preventative counseling so that I could focus on individual and family struggles. xxx
I completed my Masters of Social Work in 2011 at the University of Pittsburgh with a focus in direct care: mental health. I began working in the community as a therapist in 2012 focusing on children and families. I became a fully licensed social worker in 2014. Along with counseling, I also supervise other associate licensed social workers on their journey to become fully licensed.
Understanding the complexity of mental health and the impact it can have on everyone in our lives has been my driving force to help my community.
I have known since an early age that my occupational passions reside in the altruistic realm. Initially, I pursued my combined interests of music and helping others by obtaining training as a music therapist at the University of Alabama (Roll Tide!). However, the categorization of music therapy as a secondary therapy limited my ability to provide care in many settings. Therefore, upon graduation I accepted membership into the 2008 Eastern North Carolina corps of Teach for America, an organization that places recently graduated college students in low-performing underserved schools. This experience and a two subsequent years of teaching as a special education teacher sparked my passion in the mental health field.
In 2013, I began my master’s program in mental health and school counseling at North Carolina State University. While in my master’s program I fell in love with the Western North Carolina mountains and their people. (Literally, I married a man from this area and moved back with him to renovate the old family home place.) In 2015, I began my career as a therapist, helping clients with issues at all stages of life. I feel exceedingly fortunate to use all my skills that I have gained on this windy path to being a therapist in the mountains and to live and work in such a beautiful area with such a great community.
I am originally from Northeast Ohio, but I have made my home in Western Carolina for the past 15 years. The pursuit of my passion for “helping” through my role as a therapist actually represents a second career for me. After graduating from Georgia Institute of Technology with a Masters degree in Computer Science, I spent the majority of my professional life designing and implementing Information Technology solutions for the healthcare industry. However, in 2004 I went back to school, and after 5 years of night classes graduated from Georgia State (Atlanta) with a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology. My “course change” to focus on working with children and families to help them to navigate the often “rough seas” of today’s challenging world has been a very rewarding personal decision.
I began working in the community as a therapist in 2008 at Hawthorn Heights, an adolescent residential facility in Swain County, and have been fortunate to been afforded several avenues to provide professional counseling services to schools, individuals, and families in Western Carolina. I look forward to continuing to pursue opportunities to learn and grow from those seeking help and bring innovative and caring approaches to finding a “life worth living”.
As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 20 years of experience in the counseling and mental health field, I provide skilled evidence based counseling to individuals, couples and families. I live in Western North Carolina with my husband, two children and our dog Bristol. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, my work, hiking, bike riding and crafting.
Working with children has been a passion of mine ever since I was in high school. It wasn’t until I was in college at Barry University in Miami Shores, FL that it became clear through a psychology class that mental health was the route I wanted to take in helping others.
After graduating college and working in the social services field I realized to be able to fully make a difference, I needed to further my education. Thus, I returned to Barry University and received my Masters Degree in Social Work in 2000 and was eventually licensed in 2002. This enabled me to continue my mental health work in South Florida in a more therapeutic capacity.
When I moved to Western North Carolina in 2008, I continued my career in mental health and have been working with children, couples and families ever since. I look forward to continue touching the lives of the Western North Carolina community and welcome the opportunity to partner with you on your journey of healing and growth.