ABOUT

BACKGROUND

I began as an expressive arts therapist many years ago. I was interested in autistic children, none of whom had language because they did not receive early intervention in that era. I studied movement, music, and art to learn how nonverbal pathways could create relationship with children who could not use traditional verbal approaches.

EDUCATION

After completing an undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan and a Master's degree in Expressive Arts Therapy at Lesley College in Massachusetts, I trained with Judith Kestenberg, MD, a psychoanalyst who was interested in nonverbal aspects of parent/child relationships and how parents' experiences affect the development of their children.  At her center I learned about infants and toddlers and how to help children and parents navigate typical developmental challenges of childhood.



CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY TRAINING

I studied clinical psychology at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, California and completed internships at the San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center, the Infant Parent Program at the University of California, San Francisco, and McLean Hospital at Harvard Medical School in Belmont, Massachusetts. I also studied neuropsychological assessment of adults at the San Francisco Veteran's Administration and child neuropsychology at McLean Hospital.  I am very interested in how the mind makes sense of experiences that have wired the brain.  

EXPERIENCE

These experiences taught me about the effects of medical and physical trauma, abuse, and neglect on children and parenting. 


I also learned about the importance of close clinical supervision which has informed my approach to reflective consultation. 


TEACHING AND CONSULTATION

I provide reflective consultation to clinicians and home-visiting programs around Minnesota and teach in the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Master's and Certificate Program at the University of Minnesota. I am endorsed by the Minnesota Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Association as an Infant Mental Health Clinical Mentor (Level IV).  For my full curriculum vitae, please click here.  

AREAS OF INTEREST

ATTACHMENT

Attachment represents the outcome of repeated interactions between an infant and parent over time. It is significant because it organizes the emotional response system of the developing child.

Attachment comes from the biological need to be cared for by the adults in our species. It is as essential for our survival as hunger and thirst. It is foundational to our emotional and social development and affects how we parent the next generation. 

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INFANT MENTAL HEALTH

Infant mental health is the term used to describe the development of infants and young children in the context of relationships, culture, and environment.

It includes all influences on development, including genetics, prenatal exposure, postnatal experience, learning, culture, history, and relationships. Infant mental health is the foundation for social and emotional functioning in adulthood.

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TRAUMATIC STRESS

Traumatic stress is a physiological response to experiences that overwhelm the ability to cope. It can occur after frightening events such as a tornado or war, and it can occur from ongoing, sustained stress, such as withnessing violence in the home.

Traumatic stress affects development from the inside out, as trauma happens in the developing child, not to the developing child. Physical health, emotional regulation, attention, learning, relationships and eventually parenting can be affected by traumatic stress. 

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PARENT PSYCHOTHERAPY

Parent psychotherapy considers the impact of parenting on adult mental health. It recognizes that the process of parenting brings past emotions, memories, and behavior into the present that can create anxious, depressive, or other symptoms. It also recognizes that parenting pulls behaviors and emotions from the past that may go against what a parent wants to do in the present.

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