Background: I have had the opportunity to work in the roles of both a case manager and counselor at Renz Center. Previously, my employment and internship experience involved working with adolescents in the school and group-home settings, as well as working with adults at an outpatient treatment center.
- Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) License #149-01-7714
- Certified Alcohol and Other Drug Counselor (CADC) #32292
- SMART Recovery Facilitator
- Master of Social Work (MSW) from Aurora University
- Bachelor of Arts in Sociology (BA) from Northern Illinois University
- CADC Coursework at College of DuPage and Aurora University
Employed at Renz Center: Since 2011
What you enjoy about working as a clinician: I enjoy having the privilege to see people grow and improve their lives. It is a wonderful experience to see someone take the first few steps towards recovery—resulting in becoming a healthier, happier person. I am fortunate to learn from the people I work with as they progress towards their goals.
Areas of specialty: I work with men and women from a variety of different backgrounds. I have experience working with those whom have experienced homelessness, and through that work have gained an appreciation for identifying and encouraging utilization of resources in the community to aid in meeting basic needs and achieving goals. I currently run a Dual Diagnosis group–a group aimed at addressing both a substance abuse and mental health disorder, concurrently. This group uses the evidenced-based practice of Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP), a program that focuses on identifying wellness tools to promote overall recovery and wellness. I am also a trained SMART Recovery facilitator and run two SMART Recovery meetings. These meetings focus on changing unhelpful thoughts to change behavior-patterns related to any type of addiction.
Therapeutic approaches: I focus on the person-in-environment and strengths-based perspective when working with others. It is my belief that everyone has strengths that have helped them in life. I attempt to help people acknowledge and capitalize on those strengths to help them in their sobriety and other areas in life. I also incorporate motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy, and meditation and mindfulness techniques in my work with others. I vary each approach depending on the needs of the person, as what works for one person may very well not be the right fit for another. In group counseling, I like to use experiential activities to help present educational information and encourage those in group to learn more about themselves in the process.
- “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi
- “Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today.”- Coach John Wooden
- “In a world where you can be anything, be yourself.” – Etta Turner