Bio

IMG_0756

Born in Australia, raised in the California East Bay, and transplanted from Oregon in 2011, I am the fortunate mother of two rambunctious sons and a lover of all things outdoors. Utah, with it’s snowy mountains, red deserts, and endless wilderness opportunities has become a special home for me. I also have personal experience with PPD and birth trauma PTSD. It took me years and much searching to find the resources I needed. My career is dedicated to providing those services to the families I work with and connecting folks to other valuable support.

My early career started in the prevention and treatment of child abuse, sexual abuse, and domestic violence intervention with young children and mothers. I worked as a home visitor and parent educator for many years before going to graduate school. I trained other early childhood educators in attachment and trauma informed approaches to parent education and repairing mother-child relationships. This work set the stage for my devotion to what I consider the best form of child abuse prevention: sound maternal mental health.

I have trained other healthcare professionals in the field of reproductive mental health for the last ten years and believe all women deserve specialized treatment from experts in this field. This means having an in-depth understanding of the many signs and symptoms which are often missed or misunderstood as well as understanding the multitude of treatment options available including both wholistic and prescription options. To that end I co-founded WellMama Maternal Mental Health Services in Eugene Oregon in 2007 and founded and currently run the Utah Maternal Mental Collaborative, www.utahmmhc.com. Resources on maternal mental health treatment, local support groups, and resources for providers can be found on the UMMHC website.

My passion is helping couples struggling around the time of pregnancy, postpartum, infertility, and other reproductive health challenges. The enormous stress related to pregnancy and birth, the postpartum period, infertility, miscarriage & loss, abortion, adoption, early parenting, and the impact of those challenges on a partnership have been the focus of the last twenty years of my career as a social worker. I have worked with hundreds of couples facing pregnancy & postpartum depression and anxiety, and other reproductive health events. With proper help, you will feel like yourself again!

I also specialize in relationship conflict, infidelity, and couples dealing with an addiction or issues around sexuality and intimacy utilizing the Gottman Method of Couples Therapy.  Your relationship can be strengthened! I’ve helped many couples over the last eight years improve their communication, resolve anger and grief, enjoy their sex lives again, and find peace around parenting struggles. Conflict decreases, connection and fun increase.

I have a particular interest in the impact that trauma, nutrition, and hormones have on emotional and physical health and work with many other trusted community partners to help clients formulate an integrative wellness plan to meet individualized goals. My approach combines attachment/trauma, mindfulness, cognitive behavioral and DBT, Jungian/psychodynamic, somatic experiencing, emotionally focused therapy and Gottman Method practices. In a nutshell, I use what I believe will work best for your individual personality and situation. I approach clients with flexibility, creativity and solicit your feedback at each session.

Clients tell me I’m a gentle “straight shooter” with a coaching style and am known for direct, honest, judgment-free, yet focused feedback. I offer concrete tools for managing bothersome symptoms as quickly as possible and welcome clients of any religious affiliation or none as well as all gender and sexual identifications. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have and offer 20 minute phone consultations at no charge.

EDUCATION

  • Graduate of Portland State University, Oregon: Masters in Social Work 2003
  • Graduate of Humboldt State University, CA: Bachelors in Child Development 1997
  • Certificate of completion on Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders, Postpartum Support International 2007 
  • ISIS (Integrating Spirituality and Sexuality) sex therapy 12 hr certificate of completion 2014
  • Completion of Gottman Method Couples Therapy Levels I & II 2016

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS/AFFILIATIONS/ACTIVITIES

  • Utah Maternal Mental Health Collaborative Founder & Executive Director
  • Director of Maternal Mental Health -The Healing Group SLC, 2012-2015
  • Co-Founder and ED at WellMama Maternal Mental Health Services: Eugene, OR 2007-2011
  • Educator on supporting early childhood attachment with families at risk for child abuse/home visitor: Relief Nursery Eugene, OR 1998-2005
  • Postpartum Support International- Southwest Regional Coordinator 2011-present
  • Statewide Educator on Perinatal Mental Health since 2007

Member of:

  • Postpartum Support International
  • Trauma Informed Care Network Salt Lake
  • National Perinatal Association
  • Utah Association of Women in Psychology
  • The LGBTQ-Affirmative Psychotherapist Guild of Utah
  • National Association of Social Workers
  • Mormon Mental Health Association (I am not LDS but many of my clients are. I respect any spiritual tradition others may have, or none)