I started working in the healthcare field over twenty-five years ago for the Virginia Mason Clinic in their Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Department. I then decided to go back to school in my forties to get a masters degree in psychology at Antioch University, Seattle with a focus on couples and family therapy. I worked for many years with parents and children in community mental health where I focused on trauma-related abuse issues in both adults and children in Snohomish and King Counties.
I then spent a number of years doing case management and counseling with adults with complex mental health issues often complicated by medical conditions that required a higher level of support both from family members and healthcare providers and caregivers. This led me to eventually work for a company that offered therapeutic coaching for clients who wanted to manage their health conditions better. While there, I obtained certification as a health and wellness coach which included training in positive psychology to help make and sustain behavioral changes needed to live a healthier and better quality of life. My background in health coaching led me to study alternative holistic approaches to mental health such as using biofeedback, focusing on nutrition and exercise, and body-based stress management techniques such as aromatherapy, meditation and breath work. Because of this, I have adopted a more integrative approach to helping people.
In 2016, I enrolled in a post graduate certificate program for behavioral health consulting and also started volunteering as a co-facilitator for chronic conditions workshops. As a behavioral health consultant, I worked directly with a medical team where I gained experience and training in collaborating with medical professionals, which helps inform my private work to empower clients in learning to be better self-advocates in their own medical care.
Going back to school in my forties gave me a deeper perspective of the challenges people often face in making life and work transitions and as an older adult, I also understand the stressors involved in preparing for retirement and/or facing how to continue to find meaning and structure in life while adjusting to illness or other losses either in one's own life or while care-giving others. Having been a caregiver for my own mother during the last two years of her life, I know the stress and emotional turmoil involved in that role both in adjusting to changes in work/life balance and collaborating with other family members and professionals involved in a loved one's care and passing.
I look forward with curiosity to hearing your story and sharing some of what I've learned over the years in our work together.
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