Philosophy, Focus, & Areas of Interest
For as long as I can remember, I have seen and approached the world in terms of all that is possible. My own career success and my own healing journey inform my approach to supporting others.
I love supervising, teaching, mentoring, and supporting new social workers to do the work of professional development and self-care in the context of a demanding profession. I also love supporting women and LGBTQ people, especially, to do the work of personal growth.
I believe that everyone has an important story to tell and that creativity, in all forms, is key to effective outcomes in social work practice, education, human services, and leadership. In every context in which I work, I believe that creativity makes all the difference.
My Path & Expertise
Throughout my 34 years of social work practice, I have consulted with social service agencies on LGBTQ youth and school climate issues, educational stability for youth in foster care, and the therapeutic use of poetry and creativity as a tool of mental health for youth and adults. I provided clinical supervision for social work interns and new practitioners in the school setting. I was a school social worker in St. Paul Public Schools in Minnesota for 24 years. I designed and facilitated support groups for LGBTQ youth, and support-based writing circles for LGBTQ youth, women in sobriety, youth in foster care & other at-risk youth populations.
I launched Think In Possibilities in 2006 to offer support groups and writing circles for youth, women, and LGBTQ people, (and) to train educators and social service providers how to integrate creativity and poetry in their work with youth and adults.
In 2003, I began teaching as an adjunct faculty member in the School of Social Work at St. Catherine University and University of St. Thomas, inspiring and preparing students to step into their social work career. I completed my Doctorate in Social Work in 2017.
In addition to my private practice, I am a full-time social work faculty member in the MSW program at Walden University.
Let’s work together!
Contact me for a free 30-minute consultation.
My work is informed by beliefs in the following approaches:
Everyone has an important story to tell.
Being heard & understood is central to our well-being.
My approach to social work and to clinical supervision is to walk alongside you as you tell your story, make sense of your life experiences, heal, and grow. The work we do together is heavily informed by positive psychology, poetry/bibliotherapy, and practices for self-care and well-being.
Dr. Martin Seligman (director of the Positive Psychology Center) brought the term and science of positive psychology into being in 1998. Positive Psychology is defined as, “… the scientific study of positive human functioning and flourishing on multiple levels that include the biological, personal, relational, institutional, cultural, and global dimensions of life” (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000).
Because I am drawn to this strengths-based view of the human experience, I pursued and earned a certificate on the science of positive psychology through the University of Pennsylvania via Coursea.
Bibliotherapy, Poetry Therapy & Therapeutic Writing
My personal and professional experience has convinced me of the immense healing power of writing, journaling, and poetry. I am an active member of the National Association of Poetry Therapy.
Guided therapeutic writing, bibliotherapy & poetry therapy each utilize and recognize the therapeutic value of literary materials, poetry, film, and writing in the learning and healing processes.
Practices for Well-Being
My personal and professional experiences have convinced me of the immense importance of, and powerful tools for, self-care. Like the fields of positive psychology and poetry therapy, there is significant research showing powerful evidence of positive outcomes for those who integrate mindfulness, self-compassion, gratitude, and kindness into their lives.