Welcome to my website! You are likely here to learn more about me as a therapist and what I do. So here is a summary...
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor with over 30 years of experience with children and families. My specialty areas are for children and youth from 3 - 19, although at times I will see younger children (screening is necessary for two year olds) or through college age.
For children under 10 years of age, I most often use play therapy and include other modalities as needed. With older children and adolescents I incorporate creativity and expressive arts, including sandtray, art, and games as well as nature and play-based activities. I include parents when possible in treatment including family therapy. I began offering appointments over Zoom for telemental health due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These continue to be an option as needed. More information regarding my practice and modalities used can be found on the second page.
After working with a mental health center for over 27 years, first in Murfreesboro and then later in Smyrna, I transitioned to private practice beginning in late 2016 and was full-time beginning January 2017. I was able to join a small group of independent therapists I had previously worked with, all of whom I have known for over 25 years.
I then began a new journey in August 2021 as a full-time instructor at MTSU in the Dept. of Social Work! I began teaching part-time as an Adjunct Professor first with MTSU in January 2018 and then Lipscomb that summer in their Play Therapy Specialization for their Master's in Mental Health Counseling. I have truly enjoyed teaching the next generation of social workers and therapists. They inspire me!
I have continued my practice, just on a slightly smaller scale. I also enjoy supervising, presenting and training- and these will also continue. I have information regarding my trainings as well as supervision opportunities on separate pages on this website.
I like to network with other professionals and serve our community and am a member of the following organizations:
Association for Play Therapy (since 1991, past chair of the Credentialing and CE committee)
Children and Nature Network (charter member)
Educator's Neighborhood of Fred Rogers Institute (appointment for academic year 2022-2023)
Health Parks Healthy Person TN (advisory group member to represent children and mental health)
Magnolia Harbor Care Farm (board member)
Rutherford County Coalition Against Child Abuse (previous board member)
Rutherford County Psychotherapy Association (current president)
Social Work Association of Middle Tennessee (board member)
Tennessee Association for Play Therapy (co-founded 1992-1993, retired as president in Aug 2022)
World Assoc of Sand Therapy Professionals (co-founding board member 2019- 2020)
On a Personal Note...
I was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee where for most of my childhood we lived on a small farm before moving to a small town in Kentucky. I returned to Nashville to attend Lipscomb University and stayed in Tennessee afterwards.
Having always been a social person, I enjoy having friends and doing things with them- Girl's Day Outs with my female friends are important! I get pretty passionate about sports events with "my teams" involved, so it's not unusual to hear me shout for my Bisons (the "Battle of the Boulevard" in basketball is epic) or Vols in sports events- esp SEC football and now basketbal too! On a quieter side I do love to read, play games, and just be out in nature. I especially enjoy the beautiful Smoky Mountains or just about any beach. I hope to someday live at least part of the year at the beach or the mountains.
Suess Landing at Universal Studios!
I've been married for 33 years to my childhood sweetheart! We have been blessed with two sons and have enjoyed doing things together as a family - from game nights to scouts, and especially going on vacations! That's when we can get away, relax and do some really fun things together - though it can get a little harder to get together now that they are both young adults pursuing their own dreams- which means I treasure our times together even more. I have absolutley loved being their mom sharing the parenting adventure with their dad by my side. My younger son was recently married, so I now have a daughter-in-law as well! I can't wait to see what is next in store for our family.
I was also blessed with a really great mom whom I shared so much with! She taught me to enjoy life and be thankful for our blessings. Her acts of service both in and out of our church were a great example as I was growing up. She always loved working with children and was a beloved grandmother as well. When people tell me I remind them of my mom- I take that as the highest compliment! I miss her every day but so grateful for all of our time together.
Finally, my story is not complete without acknowledging how my faith is the foundation of who I am and what I do. I do not impose this on clients, but my faith is part of who I am. I will always be thankful for my earthly blessings of faith, family, friends and career. I often take comfort in the following scripture: