So you want to know more about me? I’m flattered!
I’m a Registered Family and Marriage Therapy Intern in the state of Florida (license number IMT3103). I provide counseling with a focus on Maternal Mental Health and Reproductive Issues in Tampa, FL. My desire is to help women and couples who have experienced infertility, reproductive loss (miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth, terminating a wanted pregnancy, hysterectomy, etc.), birth trauma, or after the loss of an infant after birth.
What you probably want to know most about me, is can I help you not feel broken, depressed, ashamed, and so darn lonely? And my answer to that is a big ole YES. I provide compassionate care to help heal and mend the feelings of brokenness, grief, anxiety, shame, and isolation that are a part of the reproductive story when infertility and/or loss are involved. I’ve dedicated my work to supporting and advocating alongside folks who are navigating infertility, are in the midst of perinatal palliative care or a NICU stay, and those who have already met their angel baby.
In a session with me, you’re going to feel heard, supported, and a sense of relief. We’re going to laugh too. I work best with people who are tired of feeling the way their currently do and are ready for change. Working with me isn’t going to help you eliminate stress and relax to get pregnant (who started that crappy rumor anyway?). What we are going to do is remove the power that your reproductive story has over your life right now which will reduce the anxiety, depression, and grief symptoms you’re experiencing right now.
Another thing you might be wondering is why I’m doing this. I mean, this isn’t exactly a light and easy subject to be focusing on all day. It all comes down to my personal experiences. With my second child, I had a traumatic birth due to a hemorrhage. Infertility has been thread into my family in so many ways. When my husband and I started trying to get pregnant with our third child, we struggled. After a while I decided it was time to go to the doctor, where it was discovered that I had severe Endometriosis and cysts. Each month, I remember feeling so defeated. My marriage struggled. It was easily one of the most difficult times in my life. I thought, where is God? Can’t He hear me? What’s wrong with me? Maybe I’m not good enough. After surgery we did finally get pregnant and in 2018 we decided a complete hysterectomy was the best treatment option for my endo. Now I struggle with surgical menopause in my 30’s which has been a process to say the least.
I’ve watched firsthand how loss can tear a family apart. I’ve watched my friends struggle in the aftermath of infertility and loss with no one to talk to about it. I’ve watched depression and addiction take over families who had a stillborn child. This journey is tough and I never want another family to feel lonely and isolated like my friends, family, and myself have had to experience.
Why faith based counseling? I feel like you should know up front that I am a Christian. That guides me in everything I do, including my faith based professional services. That means, we can talk about spirituality, faith, God, the Bible, etc. in our counseling sessions and I’m cool with it. If you don’t want to talk about those things, that’s cool too. We can still work together. I work hard to ensure that every client that walks through my door feels comfortable, listened to, and cared about.
Some boring resume type stuff you might want to know (in case you’re reading this at night want some help falling asleep). My undergrad degree is in Business Management, mostly because at 18 years old, bossing people around sounded like a solid career plan. Once I grew up a little, I realized that my heart was pulled towards a helping profession. So I went back to school to get my graduate degree. I graduated from Liberty University with a Masters degree in Family and Marriage Therapy. I have experience in various settings, including at an acute mental health hospital and a crisis pregnancy center.
I take an integrative approach to counseling. I draw on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) therapeutic approaches (that’s fancy speak for I focus on values, mindfulness, and challenging negative thinking). I have received extensive training such as the Resolve Through Sharing bereavement method and many years of personal study. My background includes professional coaching, leading group therapy sessions, creating materials for and speaking at workshops, and teaching small groups. I’m a member of American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and Postpartum Support International (PSI).