I am a licensed alcohol and drug counselor who is passionate about helping clients from diverse backgrounds pursue their wellness goals. As someone who values a person-centered approach to counseling, I use empathy and warmth to create a safe space where clients can express themselves, identify concerns, and cultivate hope.

Some personal interests that led me to pursue this field are: Most of us know what it is like to be impacted by a mental health or substance use disorder.  Even if we do not personally struggle, we almost certainly know someone who does. Despite these shared experiences, unfortunately, stigma still exists. When I became aware of how difficult this makes it for people to seek help, I knew I needed to be in a field that challenges misconceptions and breaks the “no-talk” rules of society. Now, I love that I get to teach others about mental health and chemical dependency and influence the way people see themselves and others.

Challenges that I enjoy about this career are: My favorite part of my career is being a part of the challenging process in which individuals begin to see themselves as capable of recovery, growth, and self-acceptance.

The best advice that someone has given to me is: The best advice I ever received was, “If you are uncomfortable, you are growing.” Truly, change is one of the most challenging aspects of life and it is only with effort and discomfort that we can transform ourselves. This simple statement always reminds me of the inherent value in new experiences and stepping outside my comfort zone.

My personal mental health goals include: One of my important mental health goals is seeking balance in life. To me, balance means acknowledging my physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual needs in an open and honest way. Some methods that I use to shift my awareness toward balance are: guided meditation, listening to music, and taking walks to clear my mind.

Some fun facts about me are: I love learning about and spending my time around plants and animals. I have had many fuzzy companions over my lifetime including hamsters, mice, rats, rabbits, ferrets, cats, and dogs.  Indoor and outdoor gardening is also is a big part of my life, and I am always looking for unique plants to add to my “jungle.”