Philosophy: “Whatever we practice, we become.” These words have become my philosophy since I have discovered the power of mindfulness, self-compassion and loving-kindness. When I began my training as a clinical psychologist, I was taught the brain was fixed, just as we used to think autonomic nervous system responses were fixed. Now we know, thankfully, that we are able to change our brains and our conditioning through practice. My passion has grown to learn all I can and to stay on top of the current research about neuroplasticity and the ability to measure brain changes with fMRI studies. I am quite hopeful that complementary practices such as meditation, yoga, relaxation practices, breathing, and imagery can create changes that are not invasive, do not have side-effects, and are effective. My enthusiasm has been sparked after taking many classes in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for depression and Mindfulness Based Compassion Training.
Quieting the mind, living in the present, recognizing that we are not our thoughts, reducing self-criticism and increasing self-compassion, being aware and attentive; these are some of the skills that lead to a sense of inner peace and the ability to cope with the increasing chaos in our world. Mindfulness-based psychotherapy is about inner change, not about depending on external conditions or looking for external validation. These approaches are complements to allopathic medicine.
I am happily retired, now, from my practice, and have the freedom to write about and put into form what I have learned in my training. I’ve realized I haven’t lost a bit of my identity as a psychologist, but rather am expanding on what I know and able to use it day-to-day to contribute to the greater good.
My doctorate (Ph.D.) is from Georgia State University and I was licensed in the State of Georgia and in Washington. My clinical experience over the past twenty-five years has included work with anxiety disorders, trauma, chronic pain, health psychology, coronary-prone behavior, neuropsychology, fibromyalgia, depression, and stress management. I worked with individuals, couples and groups. I served on committees of the American Psychological Association (APA), International Council of Psychologists, Georgia State Psychological Association, American Group Psychotherapy Association,
Atlanta Group Psychotherapy Association, Washington State Psychological Association and the Puget Sound Group Psychotherapy Network. I have special certification in group psychotherapy and served on dissertation committees. Some of my happiest moments were guiding beginning medical and pharmacy students at the University of Washington in a course designed to help them retain their empathy during their career. In addition to private practice, supervising and teaching, I have a strong research background having worked at the University of South Florida V.A., Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and at the University of Washington Pain Center as a treating psychologist. I have published in academic behavioral health journals and written a chapter entitled Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Multiple Sclerosis and Lupus: Meeting the Challenges, in The Handbook of Counseling Women.