About Me


Professional Licenses
Education
Certifications and Training Credentials

Beyond the Degrees

My formal degrees and credentials are important, but my life experience is equally important. I have more than two decades of counseling experience working with a broad spectrum of clients and issues.  In the USA and abroad, I have supported clients dealing with a wide range of issues – anxiety, depression, serious illnesses, relationship stress, conflict, grief, abuse, torture, migration, and third culture/adjustment.

I am a citizen of the USA, but have spent half of my professional life living in Asia (Nepal and Bangladesh), the Middle East (Egypt and Jordan), Africa (Kenya and Swaziland), and the Caucasus (Armenia). Out of this emerged my specialty and expertise in working with challenging life experiences and trauma/PTSD whatever the source: accidents, physical illness, violent conflict, torture, war, betrayal, abuse, or generational issues.

I also understand firsthand the positives, as well as the pressures and adjustments, of living and working internationally and the secondary trauma and compassion fatigue experienced by humanitarian workers.

How I work and why

My way of working with clients has changed over the years in response to what I have experienced and learned. I began my career using talk therapy with individuals and couples in the United States. Then, through living in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the Caucasus and working with refugees inside and outside of the United States, I began to understand how structural violence and conflict (historic or current), impacts whole communities and societies. I felt the need for broader, context based ways of addressing trauma.

This led to my working with an interdisciplinary team of colleagues at Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding to develop STAR – Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience – an integrated framework for individuals and communities dealing with trauma. The STAR approach integrates neurobiology, restorative justice, conflict transformation and faith/spirituality. Read more about it in my book, The Little Book of Trauma Healing: When Violence Strikes and Community Security is Threatened (Good Books, 2005). 

As Director of STAR, I continually searched for trauma healing methods and techniques that were effective, efficient, congruent with the emerging findings in neurobiology, and safe for use with and by individuals and groups.  Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) fit all these criteria.

EFT was developed by Gary Craig on the foundation of  Psychologist Roger Callahan’s groundbreaking Thought Field Therapy. Both techniques are part of the rapidly emerging field of Energy Psychology.  Cognitive, emotional and behavioral shifts take place more rapidly than with talk therapy. EFT is effective in addressing a wide range of issues. Research demonstrates it is especially effective for trauma and challenging life experiences that create stress and anxiety. It lends itself well to sessions via the internet or by phone so distance is no obstacle in my ability to provide services worldwide*. I also am certified as an EFT trainer with AAMET International (Association for the Advancement of Meridian Energy Techniques).

I have three ongoing professional goals: (1) to continue to provide caring and quality care to those I serve, (2) to keep abreast with the rapid changes taking place especially in the field of trauma  so I can incorporate them into client sessions, and (3) to explore ways to introduce and integrate EFT and trauma  into work with communities dealing with historical trauma or situations of conflict and violence.

*Online sessions are available only if you live outside of the US or in the State of Virginia.


Professional Licenses

  • Licensed Professional Counselor (VA, USA) # 0701002640
  • National Certified Counselor (USA) # 50307


Education

  • MA Counseling Psychology, United States International University, San Diego
  • MA Linguistics, University of Pittsburgh
  • BA English Literature & Education, Eastern Mennonite University

 
Certifications and Training Credentials