I am most known for providing Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and most sought out for DBT due to limited DBT providers in the area. I have been doing DBT for 19 years and began learning the model early in my career. I am certified as a DBT therapist by the Linehan-Board of Certification, the official and only Board of Certification. This is a noteworthy accomplishment. It’s an extensive process that ensures I provide DBT to fidelity, as designed to the treatment developer, Dr. Marsha Linehan, PhD, and proven by research. In fact, I am passionate about doing DBT to protocol.
I have been a therapist for 19 years and have had extensive experience with a variety of populations and severity of presentations. I have a Master of Science in Clinical Psychology and am a licensed mental health counselor. I specialize in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), CBT, and some Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) approaches to treating trauma. Continue reading for more details and learn more about these treatment models, go to the DBT and CBT pages for more details on these treatment models.
Clinical Training in Specialties
Becoming trained in DBT is an extensive process which seemed similar to attending graduate school. I attended the “10-day Intensive” by Behavioral Tech, Dr. Linehan’s original training company, with mentors Charlie Swenson and the late Cindy Sanderson.
I also attended an Advanced Intensive with Dr. Marsha Linehan. In addition, I’ve attended numerous trainings on DBT and various topics related to DBT.
To maintain knowledge of the advancements in DBT, I attend select annual trainings including International Society for the Improvement and Teaching of DBT (ISITDBT), Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy (ABCT), and Yale’s National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder (NEA-BPD) Conference which most often focuses on DBT. I also attend trainings on other clinical treatment approaches and specifics on treating select populations to stay well versed as a clinician.
Prior to DBT, I was trained in Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) which are skills and strategies also found in DBT. I’ve obtained additional training in using CBT to treat specific diagnoses and trauma including Cognitive Restructuring for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (CR-PTSD).
Specialized Trainer and Consultant
Besides providing DBT to fidelity, as defined by Dr. Linehan, I train professionals in the field. through The Bridge Training Institute. To learn more about this position as the Director of DBT Training and Consultation, and training and consultation services, see www.thebridgetraininginstitute.org.
In addition to clinicians, I have experience training multidisciplinary personnel including residential counselors, program managers, teachers, nurses, school administrators and other school personnel, behavior analysts, behavior assistants, clinical agency administrators, etc. For years I trained personnel at The Bridge as the DBT Director. from various agencies and schools My hope is to build more DBT resources for the community as true DBT therapists are hard to come by. To learn details on DBT, please see the DBT page on this website.
Previous Occupational Experience
My first occupational position in the mental health field was as a Bachelor of Arts mental health technician in an adult acute inpatient psychiatric unit during graduate school. This gave me great experience in assessing risk and with severity of mental illness. A unique experience I had while working in this position working with the Amish community. The inpatient unit was located in the hospital which the Amish community utilized It was amazing to learn about their culture beyond a tourist’s experience. Many struggled with various mood and psychotic disorders and they appreciated anything you could teach them. They willingly shared their cultural beliefs and experiences in return being their genuine selves. I’m not sure who learned more. They work harder at life than most populations and it was a gift to experience how the community works to stay true to their values while living in modern day society.
Another position I held while in graduate school was providing outreach treatment for youth and families. I worked to apply treatment interventions within the family’s home. Families I worked with had challenges due to the child’s emotional and behavioral health. It was a great balance to inpatient psychiatry.
Post-graduate school I worked at Devereux in Massachusetts, a residential treatment center and therapeutic day school as a DBT clinician. My population had extensive mental health difficulties and often developmental disabilities due to extensive trauma of abuse and neglect. I transitioned to become the Director of DBT Services at The Bridge of Central Massachusetts, Inc. As the DBT Director, I trained multidisciplinary staff from The Bridge and consulted with the various Bridge residential programs in providing DBT. I trained and supervised DBT clinicians and interns. I was the "Team Leader" to various DBT consultation teams both in The Bridge’s specialized DBT programs and to its ever-growing clinical team. I helped to open multiple DBT residential programs with other administrators. Populations served within these settings included adolescents with severe emotional and behavioral problems, young adults with severe mental health challenges, adults with chronic mental illness, and adults with developmental disabilities. I also brought Family Connections to The Bridge to bring support to families of adolescents and young adults in residences. This model is a peer-taught model with a large focus on DBT skills in addition to providing support for attendees. I trained parents and other family members of those in need to run the program at The Bridge. For more details, see (NEA-BPD). I worked for 11 years in this position before officially transitioning to working as the Director of DBT Training and Consultation for The Bridge Training Institute.