I graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1991 with a degree in Clinical Psychology, specializing in Behavioral Medicine. My internship was at the Medical College of Virginia, where I did rotations in Inpatient Psychiatry, Outpatient Psychiatry and the Consult & Liaison Divisions.
I have been licensed by the Board of Health Professions in the state of Virginia to practice since 1993.
Initially, I worked for Henrico Area Mental Health and Mental Retardation Services in the Richmond area for several years. There I worked with adults, children, and families on the Outpatient Unit. I also co-led several groups and did assessments. I worked with a practice in this area which offered clinical services to nursing home and assisted living residents.
I have been in private practice in northern Virginia since 1999 seeing primarily adults (including older adults), couples, and older adolescents. I receive referrals from physicians and through word of mouth. Many of my clients come from different cultural backgrounds than myself. I have enjoyed working with and learning from people of many diverse backgrounds. I also have a number of church referred clients, some of whom discuss issues of faith in the context of therapy.
Another exciting area of my work is helping athletes improve their performance. Having taught Sports Psychology for several years, as well as conducted mental training for college athletes at George Mason University, I have experience helping high school, college and professional athletes use methods that are supported by research to take their game to a new level. This involves working specifically on their goals and values, managing arousal and anxiety levels, learning to accept negative emotional states and using various methods to focus on their game. In addition, many athletes learn where they encounter problems (e.g. anxiety, inconsistency, lack of confidence), and determine how they may get in their own way. Teaching mindfulness (from the Mindfulness Acceptance and Commitment program as well as Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction approaches) in this area is one of the most energizing and exciting things I have done in my career. It is empowering to watch athletes formulate goals, work to achieve them and succeed.
I have taught at the college and university level (undergraduate and graduate) at the University of Richmond, Northern Virginia Community College and currently as an Adjunct Assistant Professor for George Mason University for many years. I developed a website with a team of researchers called www.therapyadvisor.org, a project funded by NIMH for the purposes of disseminating information about research based treatments. Another interesting area of research work I completed was as a Clinical Interviewer with Henry Jackson Foundation studying enlisted soldiers and their mental health issues using the Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnosis (SCID). I have also taught international athletes and coaches visiting the United States as part of a Sports Diplomacy program through the U.S. State Department.
Recently I published a book called Game-Changing Coach: Mindful Strategies for Peak Performance (2018). You can purchase the book at Amazon or iUniverse.