My mission is simple, I help people who are disappointed with their relationships, create better relationships. I guide individuals and couples to develop skills that deepen their relationships with themselves and their partners that build connections to create the relationships they desire. I know from over 16 years of training and helping individuals and couples, that here are effective strategies to help people thrive personally and in relationships.
I want to take this opportunity to share a little about myself and my approach to counseling. I get that it is hard to find a counselor based on an internet search, so I will do my best to describe to you who I am.
Before I tell you more about my professional work and education, I want to share a little bit about me and my approach to counseling. As with most professionals, my life experiences have influenced who I am as a counselor. Growing up on a farm in the Red River Valley, I learned that when things get tough, you put your head down, roll up your sleeves, and get to work. I like to take my professional knowledge and expertise and make it practical for my clients to use in their lives. I won’t ask you to do something that I wouldn’t also do in my own relationships.
What I do in counseling is focus on the patterns that are taking you away from the relationship you want. I focus more on the process of what is happening in your relationship, than on the content. If you are looking for a counselor who will try to convince your partner to do something, I’m not your counselor. If you are looking for a counselor who will listen to you and your spouse argue and then pick sides with who is right and who is wrong, I’m not your counselor. I also dare to say if you are looking for a counselor to solve all of your problems, I’m not your counselor either. My role as a counselor is to give you skills to help you manage through difficult times and build a relationship that lasts. I cannot predict whether your relationship will make it or not, but I can tell you what patterns are likely to end it, and what you need to do to make your relationship stronger!
I am a counselor who loves to learn about the science of love and relationships. Honestly, I geek out about it! I have a bucket list of experts I want to train with professionally before I am no longer practicing in the counseling field and every year the list shortens. I get star struck by the experts at conferences. If you work with me long enough, you will find that I take time away from the office every year (sometimes multiple times a year) to go to trainings all over the country to learn from the very best in my field. I think it is important to be active in the counseling field, network with other professionals, have my opinions and assumptions challenged, and to learn the latest in what is effective in the counseling field.
And now for the other stuff! My professional education and experience. I began working in the mental health field in 1996 which was when I decided I wanted to obtain a graduate degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. In 2001 I began providing counseling with individuals, couples, and families. I have worked in inpatient and outpatient organizations, non-profit and state agencies, and in the university setting. In addition to providing direct counseling services for clients, my experience in the field involves training therapists and developing and implementing programming on a local and statewide level. I have also published a number of research articles in peer reviewed journals in the areas of ethics, training counselors, couples therapy, and cultural competence and have presented at both state and national conferences including American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy and National Council of Family Relations (NCFR).
I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and an Approved Supervisor of Marriage and Family Therapy in the state of North Dakota. That means I have completed additional extensive training beyond the licensure in my professional field and continue additional education to supervise others working towards their license in Marriage and Family Therapy in North Dakota. I also have highly specialized and unique training in couples counseling, infidelity, and sexual health issues. As the sole certified Discernment Counselor in North Dakota, I provide a researched based process for couples on the verge of divorce. Additionally, I am the only certified Sexual Addiction therapy candidate in the entire state of North Dakota and greater Minnesota training extensively with the world renowned expert in sexual addiction, Dr. Patrick Carnes.
I can honestly say that being in private practice has been the most exciting time in my career. I most enjoy the freedom and flexibility to train with some of the best in the field and put those skills to use by providing counseling in a comfortable atmosphere. If you are interested in setting up an appointment, or if you’d like to chat about how I may be able to help your specific situation, call me at 701-478-4144. If you have any other specific questions about counseling services I have a page dedicated to frequently asked questions where it may be answered or you can email me through my contact page. I look forward to working with you!