I am a licensed clinical social worker and certified oncology social worker and specialize in counseling individuals and families coping with cancer, chronic disease, chronic pain, trauma-related issues, grief/loss, and other health concerns. I currently split my time as the owner and sole practitioner of Ridgeline Counseling Services, LLC and as a call-center counselor for Cancer Support Community’s Cancer Support Helpline. In addition to healthcare counseling, I have practical experience and knowledge in many public health matters including maternal & child health, policy, prevention, and health behavior & education.
I have a rich history working within and navigating the traditional medical model in hospitals, research institutions, and community-based health clinics. I also have experience working with integrative health practitioners who deliver complimentary treatment modalities. It is common for patients, primary carepartners and family members to experience fear, confusion, anxiety, isolation, and loss of control as they navigate the health care system while simultaneously coping with a major illness. I have significant experience assisting patients and their caregivers through this maze while reducing psychosocial distress.
I believe the power to heal the mind and body intrinsically exists within all of us. My comprehensive approach to health includes – mindfulness meditation, physical exercise, holistic nutrition, spiritual enhancement, and a variety of integrated behavioral health practices.
I utilize elements from Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, Meaning-Centered Psychotherapy, body-centered Somatic Experiencing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Existential Therapy, Strengths-based Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Humanistic Psychology to help my clients achieve improved health and well-being.
My primary areas of focus are: anxiety, depression, trauma, life transitions and adjustment, decision-support counseling, health system education, grief and loss, end-of- life care, long-term treatment side-effects, palliative care and pain management, men’s health, carepartner stress, and communication strategies and coping skills for the entire family. I believe my clients are truly “the courageous” because it takes a lot of courage, strength, and vulnerability to face adversity head-on and move toward a place of empowerment.
Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, I moved to Bozeman, Montana in 2007. After graduating from Emory University in Atlanta, GA in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, I moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina to attend graduate school at the University of North Carolina where I earned two master degrees in Social Work (MSW) and Public Health (MPH) in 2000. Since graduate school, I have worked in North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, and Montana utilizing my skills in a variety of ways ranging from crisis-counseling, research, education, advocacy, program development and management, and community organizing & engagement.