Before obtaining a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling, I worked as an attorney. I grew up in New York but over the last twenty years, I lived in the US, England, France, Switzerland, and now Belgium. I have extensive experience in managing the transitions involved in starting one’s life over in a foreign country and the challenges that often arise individually, within the family, and professionally.
Prior to starting a private practice in Brussels, I worked with expats from all over the world struggling with personal issues that were often exacerbated by the isolation or lack of support one experiences when transitioning to a new country. It is very common to struggle with the roles of trailing-spouse, full-time parent, professional, or student. Whatever the circumstances, living as an expat (short and long-term) poses challenges. It may put additional strain on relationships or lead to feelings of anxiety and depression. As such, my work with clients is to identify the struggles, causes, and to work together to problem-solve. The approach is therefore collaborative and solution-oriented.
I also have extensive experience working with caregivers of loved ones with dementia, a terminal illness that affects the whole family. Any caregiver role is exhausting, especially when juggling a career, family while also trying to maintain well-being. As such, when working with any caregiver, including parents of children at any age, the focus is helping them manage their own self-care so they are in the best position to care for others.
Countless evidence-based studies support the link between well-being and exercise. As a long-time runner, I experience the positive effects of exercise first-hand, which led to the idea of starting my first "walk and talk" support group while working as a counselor at the Mental Health Association in New York. During these outdoor sessions, I observed how much easier the conversation flowed between the group members and how the movement during the session significantly improved the members overall mood. Understanding the many benefits of movement combined with talk therapy, I then incorporated walking and/or running into individual sessions with equally positive results.
In addition to being a Mental Health Counselor, I am a certified running coach, mindfulness practitioner, support group facilitator, and a member of the American Counseling Association.