My work has always been about loss - from my earliest years supporting families struggling with a child’s severe mental illness to my eighteen years as a grief counselor with Transitions LifeCare and Duke HomeCare and Hospice. My expertise is in grief due to death, but I have long experience in counseling adults through loss and transitions of all kinds, including chronic illness, terminal illness, caregiving, troubling relationships, job loss and changes, life passages, and identity changes. Truly, loss touches every aspect of our lives and is often at the root of any distress. The belief that grief is a natural, healthy and indeed healing response to loss is central to my work, and I am passionate about helping my clients better understand and cope with this often-overwhelming experience.
I have extensive experience in the complicated grief that can follow the loss of a child, multiple losses, or loss due to suicide or violence, and am trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), which can be helpful for relieving traumatic memories surrounding the death. I also specialize in grief that is complicated by secrets or troubled relationships with the deceased. I am always working to help clients find a new path toward acceptance and peace.
I received my Masters in Social Work from UNC Chapel Hill in 1994 and have been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the Triangle area since 1996.
My warm and accepting style is deeply focused on understanding your unique story, determining your goals for our work together, and then developing strategies that draw on your natural strengths and interests. Sessions typically last one hour and may include writing, poetry, mindfulness and self-compassion practices, symbolic ritual, and expressive arts to promote deep reflection and help us to explore beyond the limits of talk therapy. Many of my clients are surprised and inspired by the powerful insights that arise from these creative explorations. While I do not provide counseling from a particular religious viewpoint, I welcome and honor your particular beliefs or questionings as part of our rich work together.