My training as both a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Holistic Health Coach has given me the necessary tools to effectively help many people with a wide range of emotional, mental, and physical needs.
But it’s my personal, real-life, hands-on training that has truly given me my direction, my purpose, and my voice.
My two sons were born with Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy, a progressive, chronic, multi-systemic illness encompassing a wide range of physical and cognitive disabilities… and it comes with a poor prognosis. As you can imagine, this revelation completely turned my world upside down. I spent nine years searching for answers from every doctor and specialist I could find in my attempts to help them. I was exhausted, stressed, and terribly anxious. I had panic attacks and was often tearful. I could not sleep, and my mind was always thinking about what I should do next. I completely denied myself the things I needed; good food, adequate water and time with friends. During these nine years, I always put this quest to find answers for my children ahead of any need to take care of myself.
One day, I was taken aback by a field trip photograph of my son and me. I couldn’t believe the woman I saw looking back at me in that photo… a painfully thin woman with eyes sunken in, looking depleted and defeated with her son sleeping on her lap. She looked completely spent, as if she had absolutely nothing left to give.
I realized quickly that the woman I saw truly reflected the woman I was. But I didn’t want to be the woman I saw in that photo. I knew I owed it to my family and just as important, to myself to reclaim my purpose, my joy, and my life.
So I did.
It started with yoga… I then switched to a whole foods diet, made sure I drank enough water, and reduced my number of commitments. I met new likeminded friends and renewed my relationships with old ones. My sleep was sound, and I found that I was becoming a better, more patient parent because I was a healthier, happier person. I eventually channeled my newfound energy into an effort to start a nonprofit to financially support the University of Virginia’s valuable research on MMD. As a volunteer director, I was able to raise and donate about $500,000 directly to the lab.
Most of my professional training taught me how to help people reduce their sense of anxiety and sadness. It was through the course of my personal real-life experience, however, that I came to a deep understanding of how equally important it is to cultivate a positive and joyful outlook despite difficult circumstances. Indeed, I have found personal wellness and deep joy in the midst of this difficult journey –even at times because of it. This real life training has been just as invaluable to me in helping others on their own journeys as my formal training has.
I obtained both my undergraduate degree in Psychology and my Ed.S. in Counseling from the College of William and Mary in Virginia, and Masters of Science in Counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University. I became a Licensed Professional Counselor in 1995, and subsequently worked in a variety of settings ranging from crisis intervention for community clinics to group and individual counseling in my private practice.
I received my training as a Health Coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition's cutting-edge Health Coach Training Program.
During my training, I studied over 100 dietary theories, practical lifestyle management techniques, and innovative coaching methods with some of the world’s top health and wellness experts. My teachers included Dr. Andrew Weil, Director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine; Dr. Deepak Chopra, leader in the field of mind-body medicine; Dr. David Katz, Director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center; Dr. Walter Willett, Chair of Nutrition at Harvard University; Geneen Roth, bestselling author and expert on emotional eating; and many other leading researchers and nutrition authorities.
My education has equipped me with extensive knowledge in holistic nutrition, health coaching, and preventive health. Drawing on these skills and my knowledge of different dietary theories, I work with clients to help them make lifestyle changes that produce real and lasting results.
I now take great care of myself without any guilt. I know there is no other option. Not for me, and not for you. I welcome the opportunity to explore whether you might benefit from my support on your own journey toward holistic health.