While growing up in Kennewick, Washington, I heard my father speak about the value of career satisfaction. He loved his work as a statistician and realized his experience of loving his work was something special. He encouraged me to pay attention to what interested me, to not force myself to do what didn't seem right.
At an early age, I was fascinated by people and our emotional nature and began studying those around me. I practiced unconditional positive regard, not knowing what that was, in order to get people talking about what was really going on. Years later, coming home from Eugene on a bus, I decided to pursue a career in counseling, even though I had given up studying psychology, gotten a business degree and was currently pursuing a career at a natural foods grocery in Portland, Oregon. Deep down I realized that counseling was what I felt strongest about, and I was getting in trouble at work for spending too much time talking with the customers.
I worked as a paraprofessional counselor at the Portland Women's Crisis line, led women's support groups and connected with an extended non-profit community addressing women's issues. My colleagues were making huge strides for women victimized by violence, but working for little or no pay and burning out. I realized I wanted to figure out a way to help people make a positive contribution to society and earn a decent living.
I obtained an MA in Counseling from Antioch University and began a private counseling practice. I was inspired to help people go deeper than traditional career counseling and find a meaningful connection with work life, but found barriers to the process of getting clear. Anxiety, negative self talk and values conflicts were common and needed to be addressed. At that time, counseling was not considered the job of a career development specialist, and counselors did not do career counseling. But over time it became clear to me that finding satisfaction in work life often required addressing psychological barriers and developing a stronger sense of self, and that I might be more effective if I combined approaches. This led to pioneering a holistic approach blending psychotherapy and career counseling.
I have found that personal counseling and career assessment have an amazing effect when combined. Reflecting on deeply-help personal values and interests, and assessing one's skills and interest in learning, is immediately clarifying. Experiencing this clarity helps us take actions that have a positive effect on self-esteem and self-confidence because they make practical sense and are internally rewarding. Addressing mental health issues and complex life transitions helps clear the way to pursuing work you love.
I bring this blended approach to collaborative and mediated divorce proceedings in my role as a Collaborative Divorce Coach and Vocational Expert. I advocate for the empowerment and choice of a spouse that is returning to work as a function of divorce.
A past president of the Oregon Career Development Association, I continue to play a role in moving the field of career counseling forward. I offer training and supervision to counselors new to a holistic approach to career development. I actively participate in many local and national professional organizations and regularly attend continuing educational and professional conferences.
MA in Counseling Psychology, 1983, Antioch University
BS in Business Administration, 1976, Lewis & Clark College
Current member and past President of the Oregon Career Development Association
Member of the Oregon Counseling Association, Employee Assistance Program Association, International Association of Collaborative Professionals, Oregon Association of Collaborative Professionals, and Bridges Collaborative Divorce Solutions
As a Licensed Professional Counselor, I practice in accordance with the Code of Ethics adopted by the Oregon State Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists.
Please call or email me to set up a free phone consultation or schedule your first appointment.