A basic premise of Gestalt theory is that every individual has an inherent capacity for healing, to move toward wholeness. A primary goal in psychotherapy and counseling is to tap this capacity, allowing the healing process to occur. Gestalt theory also suggests that we have a particular way of adjusting to our environment, albeit not always optimal, and often outside of our own awareness. These adjustments form our way of being in the world, from our patterns of relating to others, to our habits and compulsions, to name a few. As a Gestalt therapist, I pay attention to my clients presentation, the unique way he/she "shows up" in the room. This is an ongoing dynamic process which includes attending to the relationship that forms between us. This information is useful in heightening their awareness of current patterns and experiences, thus strengthening their ability to respond to life's challenges. This supports the ultimate goal of increasing ones satisfaction in life and relationships. Another source of rich data arises from my monitoring my own experience as I am sitting with a client, informing me indirectly who they are, how they operate and how to best support their growth. I have found both to be invaluable in aiding in the healing journey, providing rich information to draw from during the work of therapy. A deeper description of these concepts, as well as some others that influence my work, are: cycle of experience, self regulation, field theory, here and now, figure/ground, contact boundary, creative adjustments or resistances and paradoxical theory of change.
Although my primary orientation is Gestalt, I have had many training, educational and life experiences that have enlivened my work. These include body-mind therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, step counseling, imago therapy, brainspotting, est training, energy psychology, family systems, and mindfulness practice as well as a fair amount of research in eastern studies Most of this study has been driven by my interest in the whole person, and our integration as physical, social, emotional, psychological, intellectual and spiritual beings.
Formally, I graduated with a dual BS in Psychology and Information Science from Slippery Rock University in 1987. This was followed by a Masters degree in Counselor Education from Duquesne University in 1991. In 1997 I completed 3 years of post-graduate work in Gestalt Methods from the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland.
After working for 13 years treating addiction at Gateway Rehab Center (1987-2000), I devoted myself to private practice full time. During my tenure at Gateway, I gained extensive experience working with individuals, groups, families & couples. My experience broadened in 1994 when I began working with adolescents and some children.
I have extensive experience working with the following: anxiety and fear, depression, substance abuse, LGBT, relationships, grief and loss, trauma, abuse, shyness and shame, adolescent and parenting issues, adoption, and emotional dysregulation. Mostly, I consider myself a perpetual student, continually in the process of learning.
Credentials & Affiliations
Licensed Professional Counselor (#PA000067)
National Certified Counselor (#72648)
Certified Addictions Counselor (#2755)
Highmark Non-par #: 1326286212
My fee is $100 for 50 minutes. I am an out-of-network provider with some insurances. This means that if your insurance has benefits for providers out of your network, you can be reimbursed at their out-of-network rate. In any case, when I receive payment, I will provide you with a statement that includes all the information the insurance companies will need to reimburse you. In addition, I will work with your insurance to provide any additional information they need. If you have a HSA (Health Savings Account) or FSA (Flexible Spending Account), therapy is an acceptable expenditure.
For a more detailed look at my policies & procedures, please visit "For new clients".