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 and then continued 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 Hawai`i 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 para professionals for various agencies and private practice.
In my private practice, I worked with several adolescents who were in foster care for the second time, entering as “failed adoptions”. As a result, I became a foster parent to two adolescents who taught me about the experiences of being a parent and working with mental health providers from a caregiver’s perspective.
My teaching experiences started in Hawai`i, teaching psychology at military extension sites to active duty service members and their spouses. I also supervised several MSW students in their practicum experience as a clinical director of programs that provided foster parent training for the state as well as intensive in-home services to children identified needing therapeutic foster care placements.
Teaching and supervising undergraduate level courses in psychology, business, healthcare, and human services for Bryant & Stratton College since 2014 has provided opportunity to develop career coaching skills with a wide diversity of students. In January 2019, I also began teaching for the Master’s in Social Work Program of Nazareth College at the extension site in Watertown, NY.
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 recently completed my first symbol paper on the dragonfly. Currently, I am the only Sandplay Practitioner (SP) in the Central New York area.
Central New York
I returned to Syracuse, NY in 2010, and I have worked for various agencies completing disability and psychological assessments and therapy services to children, adolescents, college students, and adults, including gerontology, at various agencies before deciding to return to private practice in 2019.
Currently, I provide psychological testing and therapy services to individuals and families in Syracuse, NY. I am currently licensed as a Psychologist in New York and Hawai`i, and offer supervision to eligible mental health providers.