Educational and Training Experience
I grew up in the Syracuse area, graduating from Liverpool High School. I attended SUNY-Oswego receiving a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in psychology continuing to Yeshiva University in New York, to obtain a Master’s of Social Work (MSW) in clinical social work. I completed my first year of clinical social work training at the SUNY Health Science Center in Pediatric Oncology. My second year of training was with the Salvation Army|Syracuse providing in-home services to families, with the goal of preventing Child Welfare Services intervention. My Master’s thesis was The Clinical Impact on Children Who Witness Domestic Violence.
I became licensed as a social worker in 1998, and I was able to work independently with families, children and adolescents while obtaining my Doctorate of Psychology (PsyD) in clinical psychology in 2001 at the American School of Professional Psychology in Honolulu, HI. My dissertation was The Identification of Trauma Exposure in Incarcerated Adolescent Males. I later returned to Hawai`i Pacific University to obtain my Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) in 2004. My Master’s thesis was a business plan Learn to Play: A 501c3.
During my time in Hawai`i I worked with a diversity of populations including military families and children whose caregiver/parent left on multiple deployments. My training in psychological testing at Tripler Army Medical Center including evaluating active duty personnel and spouses. I also facilitated anxiety/depression educational and support groups for active duty military members and their spouses. My doctoral internship included working with refugee children and families in urban areas of Honolulu as well as, flying weekly to rural areas to work with children in families on Hawaiian Homestead lands.
During my 12 years in Hawai`i I worked with individuals with a variety of mental health diagnosis, specializing in trauma and strengths based services. Eventually, I worked providing supervision to therapists and paraprofessionals for various agencies and private practice.
Working with children and families since 1998, I completed my training to become a Registered Play Therapist (RPT) and then Registered Play Therapist| Supervisor (RPT-S) in 2003. I served in leadership roles as the Hawai`i Play Therapy Association President| Elect and President (2000-2002) as well as, co-chaired two of the annual conferences.
I became a Sandplay Practitioner (SP) in 2010 by the Sandplay Therapists of America (STA) and am currently working on my certified sandplay therapist certification (CST) and completed my first symbol paper on the dragonfly.