I grew up in central South Dakota by the beautiful Missouri River. While in high school, I was often the compassionate ear for my friends struggling with family or relationship issues. During discussions about sports, I was often the motivator to help my classmates focus on working hard and staying humble before big games. My calling since middle school has been empathy and helping others to be their best selves through story and creativity.
I traveled to Iowa to study Counseling Psychology and Religious Studies at Morningside College in Sioux City, IA. I moved back to South Dakota to attend graduate school at the University of South Dakota. I graduated with my master’s degree in counseling, specializing in School Counseling, in 2007. After graduate school, I returned to central South Dakota and started my counseling career as an addiction and mental health counselor at the South Dakota Women’s Prison.
I am passionate about prevention services and wellness, so in 2013, I moved to the Black Hills to work with an equine therapy practitioner. In 2015, I joined the Rapid City Area School District as an elementary school counselor, where I built a comprehensive counseling program around empathy, advocacy, compassion, and career exploration. I am passionate about working with children and teenagers in collaboration with family therapy to enhance the entire family’s lives.
I constantly strive to learn and expand my counseling practice through training in Moral Reconation Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing. In 2020, I started my doctoral degree in Counseling Education and Supervision at Capella University. I am a 2LGBTQIA+ affirming counselor, and my dissertation topic is looking at the development of 2LGBTQIA+ Competencies of school counselors during their internship and practicum experiences.
I continue to advocate for mental health services as a member of multiple state and national counseling associations. I am a past president of the South Dakota Mental Health Counseling Association and the South Dakota Counseling Association. I am an alumnus of the Glass Leadership Institute with the Anti-Defamation League. In 2023 I assisted with revisions of position statements as a member of the ASCA position statement committee. I was also recently invited to be on the advisory board for Equality South Dakota.
When not volunteering or working, I enjoy spending time with my children and traveling. My oldest daughter is attending my alma mater, Morningside University. My youngest daughter and I participate in Girl Scouts activities together. In my free time, I enjoy cooking, creating art, weightlifting, reading, and going bowling or to the movies with my daughters.
I am passionate about counseling at all ages and empowering others to reach their goals. In counseling, I help you untangle the stories and struggles that bring you to therapy. I want to walk with you on this journey and empower you to make the changes you desire in your life to be the best version of yourself.