I have loved partnering with clients as a behavioral health coach and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist for the past thirteen years.
In an earlier career path, I acquired an MBA and worked for decades in the finance arena. I held several positions as Controller with small companies, and finished out that era in my life as president of a federal credit union. While my earlier career path was successful and fulfilling in some ways, I longed to work in a direct way to impact people’s lives. After returning back home to upstate New York to care for my elderly parents, the space was provided for me to reevaluate my future. It did not take long to realize what that new future would look like. I returned to the path I originally started in my early college years, becoming a helping professional, which had been interrupted by life events. I applied right away for a Master’s in Counseling degree program in my late forties.
Post masters degree, I interned with a private boutique therapy practice, immersed in working with the whole family, rather than just the individual who may be struggling at the time. After seeing first-hand the dramatic positive change which occurred when treating the entire family system, family coaching was the only path forward for me. I have also held positions in both residential and intensive outpatient programs, run a variety of client groups, and worked with couples.
After completing my internship and becoming licensed, I started a concierge private practice in Santa Barbara, CA. I partnered exclusively with parents of adolescent or adult children who were having difficulties or leading a crisis-driven life, often related to substance abuse, mental illness, or inability to individuate. I have presented my model to mental wellness agencies and residential treatment center staff, serving as an advocate for parents and their needs during treatment of a loved one.
Through the work with my clients, it became increasingly clear how helpful it is for families to have someone “walk the path” with them through the struggles, and for them to have flexibility rather than a weekly therapy session in a designated time slot. We formed a bond, celebrated the victories and strengths of their adult children, and managed our way through the difficult weeks. I am still in touch with many of those families, and honored to remain a part of their lives.
Subsequently, I spent several years working with a small behavioral health care coaching team. We worked with entire families in a long term and intensive manner. The focus was on the other members of the family moving along with their own work, in order to heal the family system and not just one person.
It is with great pride that I work now alongside Ruben. I believe in the core concepts of his model, which he developed after decades of working with families in their living rooms and out in nature. Ruben and I have been friends for about twelve years, and have often looked for an opening to work together. The last time we discussed collaborating, it turned out to be opportune timing for both of us. Ruben holds the highest level of ethics and integrity personally, and runs his business aligned with his values.
On a personal note, I love my work. I meet amazing families who are strong, resilient, and open to change. And I get to be part of their world in a time when they can use a little bit of extra support, and share in their growth as they work through difficult issues and come out the other side as more loving and authentic people. It is often helpful that I have been in that place myself as a parent. It was a time that was incredibly painful and some days things seemed hopeless. There did not seem to be a resolution as I had been able to find for most issues I had tackled in my life. I did not have the strength or awareness to reach out for help from professionals, and I greatly admire any parent that does take that step. For me, my own work, or parallel process, came years after my daughter had done so much of her own hard work. But that investment in self exploration has given me a relationship with my family that was well worth it all. That is my hope for every person when I first talk with them on the phone.
I live in the beautiful town of Nashville, TN, and am the grateful mom to two incredible children, a son-in-law who makes me laugh a lot, and a granddaughter who fills my heart with joy. I am an author and country songwriter, and love being outdoors playing tennis or walking on a beach. I try to stay in the present for as many moments as I am able, to enjoy the richness of each day. And I am a work in progress, while being happy with who I am today.