Providing Hope for a Better Future
Hi! I'm Debbie.
I hope this short bio gives you enough information to know whether I might be a good fit for you. Each of my clients needs a slightly different emphasis, but this is the general picture of my "professional" self. (You can scroll down for the personal stuff.) In all areas of my life, my guiding motto is: Be a light, not a judge. A light provides direction, and it reveals things that are hidden, which provides new options.
You don’t have to figure this out all by yourself.
I provide counseling and support for men and women who struggle to improve their lives, want to find joy again, and are tired of trying fixes that haven't worked. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a Master's degree in Social Work. I've also received training as a Spiritual Director. My most effective counseling happens when I combine my skills as an L.C.S.W. , with my spiritual passion and understanding of God's love for us, as evidenced in Scripture.
My current practice includes clients struggling with:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder, (This is when worry and anxiety cause you to “catastrophize” your difficulties, making every uncertainty feel like a possible crisis.)
Adjustment Disorder (This is when you’ve reached a new stage in life, and you feel a bit lost, needing new solutions, and wondering “What now??”)
Depression (Quite often we can feel stuck, unable to move forward. Maybe the future isn’t something we can think we can accept. That’s when the cloud of depression settles in and everything feels dark.)
Relationship issues One of the main things here is learning to take responsibility for the things you actually are responsible for; learning how to be assertive without being aggressive, and treating yourself with the respect you deserve.
Post Traumatic Stress Whether trauma was recent or in your childhood doesn’t matter. The brain remembers it like it was today. The point is working through it so it becomes an asset not a hindrance to enjoying your life.
Grief, Anger, Shame All sorts of difficult emotions make life harder than it needs to be.
If you have been powerless to change your own life no matter how much you’ve wanted to, reaching out can help you can gain new understanding, learn a new perspective, and find new power to create a life worth living.
Clients often improve their communication, set healthy boundaries, and break destructive emotional patterns. With a sensitive approach, I provide a validating environment where individuals and couples can explore difficult emotions, feel safe, and work towards change.
In a world full of conditions, obligations, demands, and expectations, my sessions are a judgment-free zone, helping clients create a life of meaning and purpose.
Therapies used: Mindfulness, Internal Family Systems, Schema Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment, Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Therapy, Interpersonal, Dialectical Behavior, Narrative and Solution-Focused.
Debbie's Background Information:
Bachelor’s degree: Wheaton College
Master’s degree: Aurora University
Spiritual Direction training: The Christos Center: Tending the Holy
Work experience: Tri City Family Services; Provena Mercy (Presence Health) Behavioral Health; Alexian Brothers Weight Loss Solutions; Amita Health; The Center for Health and Nutrition, Private Practice.
For those who want to know more, here are four things you probably don't know about me
I struggled to recover after my 20 year marriage ended in divorce. When I finally allowed it to transform me into the person I am today, I vowed to help others find their way.
I'm TERRIBLE at cooking, one of those people who can burn water. Yes, my husband (of 5 years) spoils me and does most of the work. (which is an unbelievably welcome response, especially when compared to my ex-husband who “solved” this by buying me a fire-extinguisher.) I do clean up.
I am constantly reading to improve my counseling skills. I love books by Brene Brown, Henri Nouwen and Dr. Henry Could. For fun I've recently enjoyed: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F#*k, (Yes, that is a very good book), Hold Me Tight, The Body Keeps the Score, Healing the Wounded Heart, It’s Not Always Depression, and Girl, Wash Your Face (a light-weight but easy read).
I am extremely proud of my 2 sons who are 29 and 30 (and very handsome!). They have overcome many struggles to lead successful lives and I consider them trophies of God's grace.
Over the years, I have worked with hundreds of women and men through my writing, speaking and counseling. I'm passionate about helping others develop their potential and enjoy freedom from guilt and anxiety. As your therapist, you won't have to figure it all out by yourself. The lessons I've learned by going through tough times and emerging victorious help me relate to your struggles and know you can change too!