Education and Experience

I received my Bachelors Degree from the State University of New York at Stonybrook where I graduated Magna Cum Laude.  I completed a double major with honors in Psychology and Philosophy.  My Masters Degree was earned from the New School for Social Research where I focused on Developmental Child Psychology, Behavioral Therapy, and Psychodynamic Therapy.  I obtained a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville where I was awarded a full scholarship to study Psychodynamic/Object Relations Therapy (including dream interpretation), Clinical Child Psychology and Existential Psychotherapy.  I then relocated to Topeka, Kansas to complete an internship at the Menninger Foundation/Topeka State Hospital where I specialized in psychological testing and therapy with patients diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and Dissociative Identity Disorder (Multiple Personality Disorder).  During this internship I was on a clinical team whose purpose was to develop a more effective treatment protocol for Borderline Personality Disorder.  In 2000, I was selected to participate in a one year long state sponsored child sexual abuse case consultation project in Tidewater, Virginia.
 
One primary area in which I specialize is working with children/adolescents and their families.  I have extensive training and experience in  assessment and treatment of ADHD/Learning Disabilities, Childhood Depression/Anxiety/Self-Esteem issues, Behavioral Problems, Acting Out, School/Learning Difficulties and Communication Problems within the family.
 
I also specialize in marital/couples issues.  Joan Duhaime, LCSW and I are the only practitioners in the Tidewater area who have developed and who offer Collaborative Marital/Couples Therapy (also known as conjoint marital therapy).  Collaborative Marital/Couples Therapy is a variation of couple’s therapy which involves two therapists who are present in the session along with the couple.  The many benefits of Collaborative Marital/Couples Therapy are discussed here.  I also practice the more Traditional Model of Marital/Couples Therapy where there is only one therapist present.
 
My training in Depth Therapy, Psychodynamic/Object Relations Therapy, Dream Interpretation, and Existential Therapy are effective tools in helping both men and women achieve greater self understanding, explore and resolve negative repetitive patterns and bring to light both the conscious and unconscious forces that influence our lives.  This work leads to the development of a stronger, healthier self.
 
I am also a fully trained and certified member of the IACP (International Academy of Collaborative Practice), the VACP (Virginia Collaborative Professionals) and the CDST (Collaborative Divorce Solutions of Tidewater); as well as a founding member and president of The Collaborative Practice Center of Coastal Virginia (CPC COVA).
 
Within the Collaborative Model, I serve as a Divorce Coach, Communications Specialist, and Child Specialist in helping to promote a peaceful, equitable and amicable divorce (without litigation) thereby minimizing trauma for both the parents and the children.
 
I also serve as a Co-Parenting Coach within both the Traditional and Collaborative Models of Divorce.  A Co-Parenting Coordinator helps parents to craft a durable, equitable Co-Parenting Plan that takes into account the needs and wishes of the children.  A successful Co-Parenting Plan allows the dysfunctional divorcing couple to transform into an effective Co-parenting Partnership that safeguards and promotes healthy development and the best interests of the children.
 
One enormous benefit of Co-Parenting Coordination is that any divorcing couple can utilize these services regardless of whether or not the divorcing couple have already hired attorneys and regardless of whether the attorneys are collaboratively trained. Read more about Co-Parenting Coordination here and Collaborative Divorce here.

A new endeavor began in 2008 when I, along with Joan Duhaime, LCSW, became co-hosts of a weekly internet radio show called Mind Matters. On Mind Matters we discuss various psychological topics or answer questions from our listeners. We have thus far done 150 shows which are all archived and free in the podcast section of itunes and on the internet radio station Toginet Live.