- chronic illness and pain
- brainspotting certified
- premarital counseling (Dawn is SYMBIS certified)
- emotionally destructive relationships
- women’s issues (sexuality, pregnancy, miscarriage, menopause)
- older teens (16-17)
- adults (18+)
- seniors (65+)
Philosophy and Therapeutic Approach
I firmly believe we heal, grow, and find meaning in relationship, and this informs my therapeutic approach. Understanding how each of us bond with others, live separate from others and learn to accept both the good and bad in life are the keys to unlocking transformation. You and I will work together, using various methods, to alleviate the symptoms that are causing you immediate distress. It is also my sincere hope that we can uncover the root causes of the wounded parts of your heart to exchange beauty for ashes.
A good friend often used to tell me, “All we need is Jesus and a good counselor!”. I have had a couple of pivotal seasons in my life when a good counselor brought clarity, understanding, and healing. I wholeheartedly believe that the time I spent in therapy changed the trajectory of my life. I am so grateful. Whatever you are facing, I am committed to sitting with you non-judgmentally through tears, anger, confusion, or apathy. When you are ready, I am here to support you in the hard work necessary for change.
What to Expect in Therapy
I have been where you are, scared of making that first call to get an appointment, wondering how talking to someone will help anything, embarrassed of bearing my soul to a stranger. If you are reading this because you are contemplating entering counseling, I want you to hear me say, “You are courageous!”. E.E. Cummings wrote, “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”. Beginning counseling is one way we can grow authentically into who God created us to be.
Neuroscience supports the idea that psychological wounds are created and healed in relationship. My goal is to create space for all parts of you–angry, sad, ashamed, afraid–and approach them with compassion and curiosity. I desire to help you find words that honor your unique and beautiful story. I hope to provide safety, so you can heal from past traumas and experience new peace, joy, and hope. Also, I hope we can laugh! Life is hard, and sometimes humor really is the best medicine.
Personal Qualifications and Experience
My husband and I met in college and have been married for 23 years. We have four children biologically, and our fifth child is adopted from China. My kids are now ages 11-21. The last two decades have given me valuable life experience not only in marriage and parenting but also with trauma, medical needs, chronic illness, miscarriage, attachment, adoption, ADHD, learning disabilities, homeschooling, depression, and anxiety.
I completed my MA in Counseling from the Townsend Institute, at Concordia University, in Irvine, California. I have loved studying under Dr. John Townsend, the author of the Boundaries books, who combines the relational truths we find in scripture with best-evidence-based psychological practices.
I love to garden and be outside! I also enjoy working out as a form of self-care; spinning is my current favorite. I love hanging out with friends, laughing so hard we cry and cheering one another on in the ups and downs of life. I love Maverick City Music and singing loud alone in my car! My husband is my best friend, our kids are all a close second, and our three dogs are the cherry on top. Our life is not fancy, but it is full, and I am grateful.
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair (Isaiah 61:1-3, NIV).
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