Author and Theologian, Frederick Buechner believed that we are called to a place where our deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet. I believe that all people have immeasurable value and worth, and have found deep gladness in building relationships rooted in trust and vulnerability, while sitting with others in their pain and struggle.
Prior to my work as a therapist, I spent 12 years working for non-profit organizations in pursuit of justice. My heart’s desire is to live in a world with less hurt, more compassion, and greater awareness of each other. As someone born and raised outside of Chicago, IL, I know how to be direct and firm in love. I will not coddle you and let you remain the same! By completing my Master’s degrees in both marriage and family therapy, and theology, I am comfortable exploring spiritual and non-spiritual beliefs.
Much of my life I have worked with teenagers and absolutely adore them! I like to say when working with teens that my “inner junior high boy” will always be a part of me. I giggle internally when people use the word “duty” in a sentence, love to use humor, and find it my personal goal to help all teens embrace their awkwardness by being the most awkward one in the room! 🙂 When I see the hurt that teens are dealing with today, my heart is drawn toward bringing hope, laughter, joy, and healing into their individual and family experiences.
But as an adult, I have also found a passion for working with adults and couples. Drawing from my own experiences of hurt, pain, joy, and hope, and from living as an empathetic person in the world for 40 years, I have found it easy to connect to others in their experiences, both positive and negative. And, I believe that connection brings healing. This informs all my work with couples and with individuals.
In 2019 began volunteering with Camp Gratitude. This is a free weekly family camp in MN for active and retired military and families. To learn more about Camp Gratitude, to donate, or to get involved, check them out on Facebook or by clicking here.
How “In Tandem Counseling” got its name:
One time I bought my husband a GPS unit (those super cool devices we needed before we had smart phones!). He wisely traded this gift with a friend for a tandem bicycle; a beautiful, vintage, brown, one-speed, Schwinn Twin! We love our tandem bike, but it caused us some conflict early on.
We had to learn how to communicate clearly, work together as a team, and offer each other support, especially going up hills on a 1970’s Schwinn Twin with only one speed! (No matter how badly my legs were burning, I would hear him yell from the front seat, “Are you pedaling?”)! Riding our tandem bike around town, we learned a lot about ourselves and each other. We had to balance together on turns, began to cheer each other on during the uphill burn, communicate when and where our next move would be, when it was time to put on the brakes, and what sort of obstacles or traffic was coming our way. All in all, we found that tandem biking was great for our relationship!
When I was dreaming about going into private practice and thinking about what I wanted to offer as a therapist, I was reminded of our experiences on the tandem bike. My approach to therapy is very similar. When I am working with couples, I want to help create that same dynamic of healthy communication, teamwork, and support. And when working one on one with an individual, I think therapy is about teamwork, support, and healthy communication. You get to tell me what you need and want, too! And when we work together, we go new places!