Marriage and Family Therapy
My clinical work uses a range of skills and methodologies to help couples and families diminish self-defeating behaviors and establish effective ways to meet goals and the challenges of family life. I have a diverse background in marriage and family therapy, training with many of the innovators in the field. My MFT training in began San Antonio, Texas in 1985, where I completed an Externship Training at the Community Counseling Clinic at Our Lady of the Lake University. There I developed clinical skills from a diverse range of short-term therapy models. Later in my doctoral training, further training in solution-focused methods at the Family Therapy doctoral program at Texas Tech University, as well as training under Dr. Susan Hendrick and her research with close relationships and love styles. I continued my specialization in family approaches during internship at the renowned Dallas Child Guidance Clinic, the second oldest child guidance clinic in the nation. There I worked directly under the supervision of Anna Beth Benningfield, two-time President of AAMFT (American Association for Marriage and Family Therapists).
In 1992, I obtained Clinical Membership in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT), the national certification for MFT therapy in the nation. In my Systems-Oriented work, I assist couples build their relationship such that they discover their strengths and build the type of relationship and family life that they truly want to live in.
Substance Abuse, Addiction, & Recovery
In Dallas, at the DCGC, I completed an in-patient rotation in alcohol dependency at the Dallas VA Medical Center and then in 1993 was awarded a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the Chemical Addiction Program at the VA Medical Center. During my fellowship tenure, I worked on a multidisciplinary team, providing group therapy, individual treatment planning, testing, and educational programming for patients. I also worked with other Fellows in Occupational Therapy, Nursing, and Social Work in developing a couple’s group program.
In my counseling center work, I have provided assessment and counseling services for substance abuse for 19 years. I also became a Certified Instructor, certified by the Prevention Research Institute, teaching the Prime for Life substance abuse educational course for college students. For many years I served as a certified evaluator and treatment provider for the Georgia Multiple DUI Offender Program.
Currently, my experience and expertise is used to identify and address substance abuse problems in all clinical work; I work with individuals who present with substance abuse problems at all ends of the spectrum. In my practice, this involves working with clients following residential or in-patient treatment by preventing or treating relapses, as well as working with clients who may not see their use as a problem. My many years of clinical experience allow these sensitive problems to be addressed tactfully in sensible, practical ways. I remain informed of research developments in the ever-changing field of addiction, chemical and process addictions, through updates from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and other resources.
Group Therapy (click on Group Therapy to learn more about the "Changes" Adult Psychotherapy Group)
"Changes" is the on-going interpersonal psychotherapy group for adults that is on Tuesdays, 6 - 7:30 PM. Please contact me if you want to be screened for group. I possess over 25 years experience in leading groups and I view group therapy as the optimal treatment of choice for many types of problems. My training in group therapy began in 1985 and since that time I have facilitated groups at the Dallas VA Chemical Addiction Program, Jewish Family Services (Interpersonal Groups & Cancer Support Groups), Bexar County Women's Center, Georgia Tech Counseling Center, and in private practice. In 1994, I completed the requirements for full clinical membership in the American Group Psychotherapy Association and in 1996 became Certified with the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. Throughout the year, I continue to train in group methods to satisfy requirements for his group psychotherapy certification. As a System’s-Oriented therapist, I continually train in Systems-Centered Trainings, both regionally and nationally. By continuously being involved in training, I remain aware and abreast of innovations in the fields of group dynamics, communication, and group therapy.
Anxiety & Depression
My practice is dominated by work with individuals dealing with anxiety and depressive mood symptoms. A focal point of clinical work is employing treatment methods that have been demonstrated most effective in remedying anxiety & mood problems. The treatment methods untilized produce change in enhancing mood and reducing anxiety/stress. These methods also function to help individuals and couples reduce symptoms before they emerge as problematic. Thereby, problem patterns related to symptoms may transform, reducing relapses. I work in conjunction with concurrent psychiatric treatments and provide referrals for psychiatric consultation when warranted.
Personality and Chronic Interpersonal Problems
Many maladaptive patterns in interpersonal functioning are related to ways of coping developed in childhood and in earlier life experiences. Ways of coping in life become outmoded; however, many times we continue to use coping and social skills that are not effective in the current life context. Therapy can be effective in identifying such patterns and modifying them to fit current needs. Past traumatic experiences also may evoke styles of adapting that later in life may interfere with effective styles of relating, both personally and professionally. I employ clinical methods designed to address such patterns and develop new, adaptive styles of relating and approaching goals. I work with clients who have some trauma history and refer to a skilled group of clinicians for more extensive/complex trauma cases.
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
I have performed psycho-educational testing for the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD and learning disorders for over 20 years. During my initial training, I held a three year position at the Texas Tech University Counseling Center focusing exclusively on the determining educational and psychological diagnoses and interventions. Internship duties at Dallas Child Guidance Clinic involved intensive training and evaluations for children with a range of learning problems. Finishing internship, I worked as a School Psychologist with the Dallas ISD Special Education Department, exclusively focusing on the evaluation of children and adolescent needs.
Now in private practice, I focus on identifying such conditions with adolescents and adults, guiding them and their families to make the adjustments that best help them succeed in education, career, and their personal/family life. I am vigilant in staying current in the research of ADHD and I make research results available to all of clients.
Testing & Evaluation
Testing services are provided to evaluate symptoms of distress and disturbance, including most types of objective and projective personality evalutation. Assessment targets identifiying the clearest understanding in diagnosis and treatment recommendations. Assessment is also provided to assess adult ADHD and substance abuse. Contact my office for a listing of all testing services and see charges for individual tests under POLICIES/PAPERWORK.