STEP 1: Find Your Counselor > STEP 2: Schedule an Appointment > STEP 3: Experience Life Change
- play therapy
- children and families impacted by trauma
- adoption, foster & kin
- parenting and family dynamics
- creative movement for children
- burnout/compassion fatigue
- first responders/military
- adults (18+)
- seniors (65+)
“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”
Philosophy and Therapeutic Approach
I believe deeply in the organization and connection of the family system. Difficulties in family functioning are often due to unhealthy relationship patterns, burnout or compassion fatigue from career(s), trauma, or unprocessed past experiences. Addressing the natural structure of the family can be a great starting place to help both kids and parents understand the unique family dynamics that exist, and untangle obstacles to create positive change
I work with families, children, and individuals to develop healthy patterns. Together, we will identify your current challenges, practice skills to process and overcome them, and form the language to communicate more clearly with loved ones.
What to Expect in Therapy
When I work with individuals, the therapy process begins with discussing personal counseling needs and possible therapeutic methods to implement moving forward. Rapport is essential to the therapy process. As a counselor with specializations in trauma, addiction, first responders, and families, I am confident in my ability to support inclusive systemic techniques for positive change.
When I work with children, the first session is all about building a healthy, stable framework for the child. I want them to feel comfortable painting a picture of all the details of their experiences. Counseling with children always begins gradually, establishing trust as we get to know each other and the safety of the therapeutic relationship. p. The child is then able to show me how they communicate best, whether this is through the language of sand, play, talking, art, narratives, manipulatives, and/or creative movement. I am flexible in developing a form of relational connection that works on a case by case basis.
My goal is to provide kids with age-appropriate tools to make choices that promote safety and positive change. As a parent, you will often be included in the therapeutic process to practice communication tools and grounding and calming techniques for times of family distress. Our overall goal is to help you create a strengthened bond of trust and communication for your family system.
Personal Qualifications and Experience
I hold a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a dual specialization in trauma/crisis and addiction. I am also a trained Synergetic Play therapist and consistently implement sand tray therapy into sessions. I was a military wife for 12+ years and have now transitioned to the wife of a first responder. I am a published co-author on multiple topics including PhotoVoice therapy, burnout, compassion fatigue, and vicarious trauma in first responders. Additionally, I am a trauma-informed equine therapist.
I hold a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and began my teaching career in a severely high-needs community. My experience as a teacher helped me recognize the need for healthy, safe tools for family interactions. I found that meeting this need can be particularly complex within military and first responder families.
In response, I dove into studying burnout, compassion fatigue, and vicarious trauma in first responders. I presented the results of my studies at The National FEMA Higher Education Symposium and published them in The Journal of Emergency Management. I am also a trained facilitator of the child sexual abuse prevention program created by Stewards of Children and Darkness 2 Light. In addition, I am the Crisis Support Director at my home church. In this role, I provide prayer, trauma-informed support, guidance, and mentorship within our church community.
I live in Sedalia, Colorado on a beautiful ranch with my husband and two young children. In addition to clinical mental health counseling at Cornerstone, I am a trauma counselor on a cattle and horse ranch in Palmer Lake Co; working with the amazing children and adolescents impacted by adoption, foster care, and kin experiences.
I am continuously blessed by both the human and animal relationships that I experience each day. I deeply believe in the gift of prayer, connection, healing and empathetic counseling.
If for just one second you are considering counseling with a therapist at Cornerstone Christian Counseling, I pray that you are led to a relationship of healing, acceptance, and care; one that gifts your future Hope and provides the safe stepping stones to positive change.
check out these blogs written by samantha
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
– Dr Seuss
“One thing that I have learned from watching chimpanzees with their infants is that having children should be fun.” – Jane Goodall