I am a licensed marriage and family therapist in the Tampa Bay area with a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's degree in marriage and family therapy, both from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. I have over 20 years of professional experience including clinical work, workshop and seminar presentations, discussion and support groups, writing contributions, collaborative work with various health professionals, and wellness coaching. I am a clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and have been published in the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy.
I work from a strength-based, family systems approach specializing in Solution-Oriented, Emotionally Focused, and Narrative Therapies. My clinical framework addresses the individual's, couple's, and family's stage of life, in addition to helping them explore, appreciate, and grow from their unique life story. My approach to working with clients is warm and collaborative, and implements relationship coaching techniques that enhance couples' communication, strengthen bonds between parents and children, and improve one's approach to health and well-being.
As a first generation Greek-American, I experienced an upbringing rich with cultural influences, which has impacted how I relate to and help those of different ethnic backgrounds. My clinical work includes helping people address the role of their culture, faith and spiritual beliefs. I have led multiple faith-based discussion and support groups and helped people explore how our spirituality and community life intersect, impact, and contribute to our daily living.
I am married and have two daughters, one with developmental disabilities. As a stay-at-home mom during my girls' childhood, I was faced with an abundance of commitments, in terms of helping my special needs daughter, and providing the ongoing support needed for both of my daughters. Parenting a special needs child and navigating the unique challenges involved, in combination with my professional background, has enabled me to help others gain the essential skills and tools that are needed in stressful life situations to cope, heal, and grow.
Healthy Living & Wellness
Palm Harbor, Florida
As a wellness coach and relationship specialist
("Y coach") at the YMCA, I met with new members to discuss their health history, wellness/fitness goals, and to help determine the best path for success. I assisted them with their overall wellness journey as they worked toward their health objectives and desires by: Joining and supporting them during exercise classes; educating them on proper use of exercise equipment, creating plans of action to help them achieve better habits, and continually cultivating member relationships. My coaching work involved the combination of motivational and solution-oriented coaching with the education and support needed to help members reach their goals at their own pace.
Marriage and Family Therapy
As a licensed marriage and family therapist, I provided psychotherapy for a variety of family life and relationship issues including couples/marital conflict, child development, and parent/child communication. I offered premarital counseling using the Prepare-Enrich program and helped couples navigate through the various facets of their premarital relationship. I specialized in child development and play therapy, helping with the emotional needs of the child, as well as the relationship between the child and his/her parents. I worked with individuals, couples, and families in relation to their spirituality, within the context of their faith-based traditions.
As a psychotherapist at an outpatient private practice, I used a multi-systems developmental approach and play therapy techniques (e.g. sand tray work, imaginative play) to help children with various developmental delays, special needs, and family life issues. I assisted parents on “floor-time” parenting and emotional coaching techniques to help improve parent/child relationships. My services included systemic, solution-oriented therapy to individuals (children, adolescents, adults), couples, families, and groups; child assessments and evaluations; and pre-marital, marital and couples counseling.
I had the unique opportunity to provide counseling in a school environment as a substitute school counselor. I helped students by implementing various play techniques (such as sand tray work and imaginative play) to work on social and academic issues including school transitions; family stressors such as separation/divorce and family loss; friendships; and conflict resolution. I facilitated groups, discussing family changes, social skills, study skills, and peer and mediation skills. I visited classrooms to present guidance lessons on student relevant topics. I collaborated with teachers and parents on student issues and group organizations, and facilitated parenting education seminars.
Presentation & Workshop Highlights
"Emotional Growth and Development: How to Help our Little Ones with their BIG feelings"
"Solution-Oriented Conversations with Parents: Maintaining a Respectful, Positive, and Productive Approach"
"'Will You Play with Me?': Communicating with Children Through Play"
"Mind, Body, and Spirit: The Simple, Joyful Attitudes and Actions of Daily Living"
"Preparation for Preschool"
"Child Abuse Awareness Seminar"
"A Friend Loveth at All Times: The Spiritual Nature of Friendship"
Teen’s and Women’s Life Application Bible Discussion Groups
2004-2007, Arizona Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Newsletter
Notice, Listen, Label, and Acknowledge
Dear Son/Daughter…I Love You ~Mom & Dad
Play with Me, Mommy
When I First Learned about PANDAS
Talking to Teachers…Talking to Parents…Helping our Children
Walk the Line: A Story of Embracing Music, Love, Family Life, Resiliency, and “The Child Within”
From Reading for Pleasure to Reading for Work
The Other Side
Systemic Questioning and Child Psychology: Helping Parents Help Their Children
My Teen Story
Using Traditional Boardgames to Enhance Therapy with Children
June 2006, Journal of Marital and Family Therapy
Marriage and family therapist interns’ experiences of growth
(co-authors, Deanna Linville, Ph.D., and Karen Rosen, Ph.D.). Published in the Journal of Marital and FamilyTherapy, Vol. 32, Issue 1, January 2006.
In this study, I explored marriage and family therapist interns’ growth experiences, both personal and professional, and the interplay between them. Participants discussed, using Internet discussion board and chat room formats, different kinds of personal experiences that influenced their clinical growth (as well as the reverse) and how these growth processes came about. Family systems theory provided the theoretical framework and Constructivism theory guided the manner in which the study was conducted. Thirteen marriage and family therapist interns from ten accredited MFT programs participated in the discussion board portion of the study. During the chat room interview, which took place at the end of the study, four participants elaborated upon their growth experiences and the reciprocal influence between their personal and professional lives.