I was going to be a veterinarian ever since I was 4 years old, growing up with my parents in Southern California. So deep was this belief that I decided to go to college at Colorado State University to get closer to a vet school with a good reputation for graduate studies.
After a year of pre-vet, I realized that I am way too much of a soft-hearted person when it comes to animals and there would be no possible way for me to watch animals to be in pain that often. Floundering for a new career track, I decided public relations sounded fun and glamorous and majored in journalism with a public relations emphasis. With my new degree in hand, I bravely moved to Manhattan to join a high-powered PR firm. Within four months, I came back to Denver after realizing that Manhattan's intensity doesn't match my nature, and that PR was a poor fit for me. While I strongly considered just moving to Key West and trying to model my life after Jimmy Buffet, I instead decided to go to graduate school in counseling psychology because I had always been drawn to people's concerns and trying to find ways to help others by discovering their inner strength. Luckily, this career has been a much better fit than my veterinary career, my public relations career, or my Jimmy Buffet emulation.
When I graduated from the University of Colorado Denver counseling psychology and counselor education program in 2000, I worked with children recovering from the trauma of abuse and neglect, and worked with their families to find safe ways for them to function together. I loved this work, and when I decided to leave the agency where I worked, it was with the clear intention of wanting to help new counselors learn how to work with children and families in a way that is respectful to their cultures, backgrounds and needs.
My students at University of Colorado Denver:
I found my dream job in 2004 working as a clinical supervisor and psychotherapist for the counseling center at the University of Colorado Denver, my graduate school alma mater. I supervise practicum students as they begin to work with clients behind a one-way mirror and in individual supervision sessions. I also see a caseload of university students as clients. My areas of emphasis include children, families/couples, cultural responsiveness and trauma. I feel so fortunate to be able to watch our excellent students began practicing what they have learned in their coursework and gain confidence in their role as counselors.
Classes I teach at the University of Colorado Denver School of Education & Human Development:
I am one of those nutty Colorado types who loves all the outdoor activities that Colorado has to offer. During the winter, I am snowboarding and snowshoeing every weekend. During the summer, I am rock climbing, horseback riding (I train horses and teach & guide horseback riding) and camping. I also love to read and spend time with my partner, Justin, my friends and family, and my Labrador, Joey.
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