Executive Director of Child & Adolescent Treatment Specialists, PLLC. (CHATS)
Specialties: Specialties: Children, Adolescents and Young Adults, Anxiety Disorders, OCD, Separation Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Depression and Mood Disorders, Trauma Work, Issues Involved in Emotional Regulation and Inflexibility, Parenting and Family Issues, Identity Issues, Emotional Preparation and Adjustment back from Church Missions.
Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (1997): Brigham Young University, APA Accredited Program.
Dissertation: The effects of sexual abuse through the life-span in females: a Meta-analytic and development approach.
APA Approved Internship: Primary Children Medical Center, Inpatient and Outpatient Unit.
Work Experience: Worked in Private Practice setting since 1995. Worked as part-time faculty at Brigham Young University seeing adolescent/young adult clients.
Therapeutic Approach: Through therapy, and applying scientifically validated treatments, psychologists help people of all ages develop more effective habits and live healthier, happier and more productive lives. In addition therapy can help people learn new skills so that they can better cope with future challenges. I am integrative in the therapeutic approaches I enlist, believing that the therapy can be tailored to each individual and their unique situation. I often utilize: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT); Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy; Parent Led Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Child Anxiety; Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP); Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT); Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT); Interpersonal Therapy (IPT); Interpersonal Reconstructive Therapy (IRT); Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) and Positive Psychology.
“There is in every child at every stage a new miracle of vigorous unfolding.”
—Erik Erickson (1902-1994)
“Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
Every person, including children and teenagers, has a story. Life can be a struggle at times. Though childhood and even adolescents is idyllically viewed as a carefree time of play and growth, in reality many children and teens are challenged by issues of anxiety, depression, divorce, trauma, sexual abuse, behavioral problems, developmental concerns, or other challenges. These issues can interfere with the child/teens positive development, growth, emotional and behavioral functioning and sense of mastery and can cause difficulties and concerns for both the child/teen and their family. I believe good evidence-based therapy is effective and helpful in addressing the above noted difficulties.As a clinical psychologist, I specialize in working with children (ages 3-12), adolescents (ages 13-17), and young adults (ages 18-25), as well as their parents and families. Through utilizing evidenced based therapy, my clients learn skills and develop coping abilities to successfully work through the challenges and difficulties faced in the course of their development.
Deciding whether to start treatment is sometimes a difficult choice. You may feel nervous to try therapy out. Overcoming the nervousness is generally worth it, however, especially since therapy can often improve the quality of your or your child’s life. Though therapy often involves difficult issues, it does not need to be unpleasant, especially where children and adolescents are involved. Most of the children, adolescents and young adults I see, find therapy to be a positive and meaningful experience that helps them thrive, feel a greater sense of success and mastery and develop a more positive identity as they move forward in their lives.
Therapy is a collaborative process between the client, therapist and (depending on age) the parents/guardians. Together, we will make sure that all parties involved feel safe and comfortable. For each client, a personalized treatment plan and therapy goals are developed, consistent with the clients’ values and targeting their particular areas of concern. Together, you and your therapist will work together to identify and change thought and behavior patterns that interfere with you or your child feeling and being at your or child’s best.
Certain difficulties may at times respond more positively to certain therapeutic approaches than to others. These approaches will be discussed with the client and again, depending on age, with the clients parents. For example cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and exposure-response prevention (ERP) are known to be particularly helpful for individuals with obsessive compulsive disorder. In the course of this treatment people are helped to face and address their obsessions and compulsions. This includes noting, accepting and even going toward their anxious thoughts while slowly changing their usual behaviors or compulsions that are associated with their anxious thoughts. This ultimately lowers a person’s anxiety and decreases suffering. If the individual with OCD is a child or adolescent, family members are helped to understand and learn how to best help and support their child or teen. Thus, this particular treatment would be discussed and potentially utilized in the course of therapy.
Throughout all therapy, new strategies are learned and practiced, new skills are developed, and treatment progress is continually monitored.
“Nobody, as long as he moves about among the current of life, is without trouble.”
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across waters to create many ripples.” “Do small things with great love.”
I have often thought that many of the individuals whom I have seen in therapy (of all ages) are some of the strongest and bravest people I have known. I learn so much each day from each person and family I work with.
I continue to work as a person and a therapist on values that are important to me. These include being genuine, compassionate, warm, kind, empathic, creative, intuitive and honest. I enjoy my work immensely and I love the challenge of understanding and working together with each new individual and family. Based on that experience, I have come to believe in the true power of each person to make positive changes in both one’s own life and also in the lives of one’s family. Small, consistent changes have a big effect over time. I feel privileged to be a part of and a witness to this work.
I also believe in and value gaining knowledge and experience. I love to read and learn new things. I have continued to learn both formally (continuing education, conferences on new and effective treatments, and continued reading) and informally (from each of my clients). I keep up to date on recent research and am always integrating new evidence and research-based knowledge into my practice. I am always curious to find the best and most effective treatments for my clients. I continually focus on improving my clinical skills and education about what works, while being attentive to the relationship and individuality of each of my client and my clients’ families.
I hope the above information is helpful. I appreciate you taking the time to visit our website. If you want or need further information regarding my background or training or therapy in general please feel free to call our office. I look forward to getting to know you.