My education started at a Quaker University called Friends World College in New York City that sent me to Central America for a year on an education I will always treasure. I finally settled in Oregon and completed my B.S. in Sociology, Urban Studies and Spanish while working at Transition Projects. I received my Master’s in Social Work from Portland State University’s Graduate School of Social Work in 2001. I then went on to work toward my licensure and received the official license in 2005. My focus during the time I received my MSW was on youth and family systems. I completed both internships at schools in Portland Oregon, Jefferson High School and Buckman Elementary School respectively.
2017 Course Work
This year was a big year for me as it related to learning and practicing my craft as a therapist.
- I joined a monthly group of practitioners who learn, study and share evidence based practice and tools. Together we can understand new types of therapies, provide insights and study a new skill.
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (http://portlandpsychotherapyclinic.com/ ) is of continued interest to me. I was able to take a two-day training in this work last year and it has improved my ability to be of service to my clients. I appreciate how ACT allows for the idea of embracing your thoughts and feelings so that you carry them with you at your side instead of the intense desire for discomfort to just not be there.
- Culture and diversity course work always increases my understanding of the work that I do as a consultant and as a clinician. I was able to take courses in culturally relevant supervision and intercultural communication. These are critical for an open and understanding way of being in the world that allows for compassion, understanding and new ways of doing work that is inclusive.
During my time at PSU getting my Master’s I had the great opportunity to work at REACH Community Development as their Resident Services Manager. Together, with an amazing team of dedicated people, we built the Ritzdorf Court and Station Place Tower. Being a part of the design of the building and heading the program plan for these building is some of my proudest work. Another program that I am proud to have designed was Youth$ave, a matched saving program for young people 9-18. After 11 years with REACH, I moved on to Home Forward, the housing authority for Multnomah County as their Resident Services Manager. At Home Forward, I managed the department of 23 social workers who served over 5,000 units of affordable or public housing. I was the co-lead on the Aging in Place initiative that reviewed current and future housing options in Multnomah County and then outlined a plan for the best course of action for Home Forward to take toward the goals of increasing housing units for those in need and making current housing stock habitable for a longer term for all who live in Home Forward owned housing. I also had a small part in program design the Bud Clark Commons and Stephens Creek Crossing. A program that is near and dear to me is the one created in concert with Multnomah County, the YWCA of Portland and Home Forward staff which implemented immediate services for anyone experiencing domestic violence who lives in public or affordable housing operated by Home Forward or Section 8 housing in the County. My largest accomplishment while there was meeting, knowing and working with the finest people from all over the world who dedicate their lives toward help for others.
For the past 18 years I have worked in housing and helped new social workers, interns and staff develop professionally, become licensed or graduate with useful field experience that engages them and is driven by their desire to learn and grow. I have also created and taught workshops in supervision, outcomes for social work and best practices for de-escalation. Recently, I developed a course with Fran Weick on the brain and how it’s functioning is effected by trauma; called Supervising for a Resilient Team. Teaching and supervising are near and dear to my heart because these acts also increase my learning and enable me to share with others an approach to working with others that is kind, prepared and able to help those in need. I have completed a 30-hour course in clinical supervision for Social Work and Counseling and have been accredited for supervision of licensure of Professional Counselors and Social Workers.
Power, Equity and Privilege
During my 20 years in Oregon I have focused on equity, justice, a deeper understanding of poverty. Because I’ve had the privilege to supervise, work along side of and lead some of the most amazing people I have learned so much about the world around us, how system help or hinder neighborhoods and how to take action when experiencing an unjust world. This has helped me to increase the skills of those who serve others in our community that I meet. Given that all relationships are symbiotic, I am aware that each connection provides something for me to learn and use to help others learn, serve and act. I have taken courses and been certified in mediation and suicide intervention. All of my previous work has been with vulnerable communities of all age groups and from all over the world. I have had training in Theatre of the Oppressed methods for social justice community organizing.