I grew up in Pennsylvania and earned my undergraduate degree from Bucknell University, home of the Raging Bison! I majored in psychology and minored in art history. I competed for the women’s cross country and track teams for my freshman and sophomore years. My best time in the mile was 5 minute, 3 seconds. In my junior year, I retired from intercollegiate sports after suffering several significant knee injuries.
I went directly to graduate school into the clinical psychology program at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. Most of my clinical training took place in hospital and clinic settings including the UMass Medical Center in Worcester and VA hospitals in the Boston Area. Thus, I feel very much at home in medical environments. I earned a Master of Arts degree after completing my thesis comparing fathers’ and mothers’ speech to infants. After defending my dissertation focused on the relationship between infants’ cognitive and emotional development from a Piagetian perspective, I earned my doctoral degree.
I move to Washington State in 1987 to do a predoctoral internship through the University of Washington School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. I spent most of that year working on the Inpatient Psychiatric Unit at Children’s Hospital Medical Center. I also spent part of the year testing gifted children and serving as a school psychology intern in the Seattle Public schools. The following year, I did a postdoctoral fellowship on the Inpatient Psych Unit at Children’s.
In 1989, I was thrilled to be hired at Family Practice Residency at Swedish Hospital Medical Center in Seattle in my first “real job” as a psychologist. My major responsibilities were to training physicians to be more aware of patients’ psychosocial issues, to diagnose and treat patients with psychological disorders, and to have better therapeutic relationships with their patients.
After leaving Swedish, I maintained a private psychotherapy practice for over 10 years, specializing in treating clients with medical issues, grief and loss issues, and posttraumatic stress disorder. About a third of my clients were adolescents. I also taught psychology classes at several graduate schools including Antioch, UW Department of Psychology, Washington School for Professional Psychology, and the UW Department of Family Medicine and Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.
In 2003, my midlife transition involved relocating my family to Walla Walla with the intention of eventually developing an animal sanctuary in my retirement. I enjoy spending time on my farm with my family, my 4 dogs, Cody, Tia, Moon, and Joy, and our barnyard filled with 13 alpacas, 2 llamas, 5 pygmy goats, 3 LaMancha goats, 17 chickens, 1 rooster, and 3 Royal Palm turkeys.