I am especially passionate about working with people as they navigate significant changes in their approach to religion and spirituality. So many people have experienced harm as they were looking for meaning and community and this can often leave them confused and isolated, whether they choose to remain a part of that community or to leave it. They might feel that they have let down their families, their communities, or even a higher power. Internally, they may question whether or not they can trust their own judgment as they question beliefs that were once closely held. In cases where people choose to leave a religious community, they may find themselves feeling unmoored and unsure how to make decisions or find other types of meaning and community. If you are in this position, the good news is that you are not alone. Adverse Religious Experiences (AREs) and Religious Trauma Syndrome (RTS) are common, though not well-known or widely discussed. As a former pastor and as someone who had to personally navigate these types of changes, I understand the unique challenges that come with trying to recover from the specific harm that occurs in religious settings and the ways that it overlaps and intersects with everything from mental health concerns and substance use issues to gender and sexuality.
The experience of therapy can be unique for each person: maybe you’re wanting to increase your self-awareness and experience personal growth and would like someone to provide reflective listening to support you in that effort; maybe you’re navigating significant life changes and are looking for compassionate support as you do so; or maybe you’re noticing that difficult experiences from your past are still affecting you today and would like someone to help you process those experiences and find healing. There are therapeutic approaches that fit these and so many other life experiences and we can work together to find the best approach for your needs.
I truly believe that you are the expert in your own life. I approach therapy in a collaborative way, using careful listening and support to help each person listen to their own inner guidance and make full use of their strengths. I have experience in a wise range of settings. I enjoy helping college students and adults who struggle with developmental trauma, attachment trauma, religious trauma, and mental health conditions like anxiety, depression ADHD.
I earned my Masters in Social Work from the University of Illinois at Urbana and I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Illinois.