My expotitions have led me to South Africa and back, and, most recently, to chasing history lessons and beauty across North America in a self- converted Sprinter van named Ubu.

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I grew up in a typical suburb of Chicago, living in the same house my whole life until I left for college at University of Illinois – a whopping 3 hours away from home. Even as a little kid, I was known in my family for killing a good movie experience with all of my “but whhyyyyyyy…” questions. I guess it’s pretty natural then, to expect all that questioning to lead to a love of history and exploration, which led to a desire to major in secondary education. Teaching history, of course.

Throughout my early teens and twenties, I actively volunteered with whatever youth group/organization presented itself to me, which is where I eventually fell for an exotic and dreamy South African. After our (mostly long-distance AOL Instant Messenger) friendship turned romance turned “I do,” I moved to South Africa and continued teaching and youth grouping, this time in a foreign country, teaching South African history (which, I might add, in its ideals and shady underbelly, often parallels American history). After a bit, I started to realize that I was falling more in love with the social worky aspects of teaching than teaching itself, so when we returned to America, I enrolled in the master’s program at University of Illinois-Chicago with a concentration in school social work. My first job upon graduation was as a school social worker at an alternative high school; it was an amazing program that fostered the best in its students through a dynamic community atmosphere. After a few more years as the clinical director there, it was time to think about embracing a new challenge.

So, after many years working with teens, I got a job at Timberline Knolls, a nationally recognized residential facility that treats women and girls with eating disorders and addictions. I also segued into private practice (but not on a Segway). And, as my love of teaching never quite left me, I was able to spend some time teaching masters’ level social work students at a local university…. the best of all my happy places combined.

During my tenure working in residential, it became real clear real fast that I needed to up the caliber of tools in my toolbox. From this need, I was fortunate enough to stumble into the worlds of Somatic Experiencing and Immanuel Facilitation. Both of these practices have resoundingly increased my own capacity for joy and hope, as well as the ability to recognize when I am not living in those spaces. The trainings deepened my understanding of the connectedness of all things, the importance of building resilience, and my belief that “if it worked for me, it can work for you too.” Ever the optimist, I continue to assert that healing and restoration are possible for all people in all places.
education &


    Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
    Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP)
    Advanced training in Somatic Touch Skills
    Immanuel Approach Facilitator
    Licensed School Social Worker (Illinois Type 73 Certificate)
    Masters in Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago