Most of us in the helping professions are wounded healers. And, most of the time, that is what makes counselors so compassionate towards other's suffering, as well as making us adamant about helping others help themselves. Coming out gay in the 1970's and 1980's, and beginning to build a life and career was often challenging and many times I felt alone, but it has helped shape me into the person I am today.
How the time has flown (at least most of it!). Today, a few decades later, I celebrate that I've spent my entire adult life balancing becoming a more loving person, and still surviving well in the world. That is an inner conflict and lifelong project, for all of us. I believe my experiences, my challenges, my victories and my failures have uniquely prepared me to help you.
Here are some highlights...
- Born and educated in Baltimore, Maryland. I graduated from The University of Maryland at Baltimore with a Master’s Degree in Social Work and from Towson University with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, Magna Cum Laude.
- Voted by psychology department faculty as the "Most Outstanding Undergraduate Student" of my undergraduate class, given my high level of academic and leadership success. I served as President and Vice President of the Psychology Club and I was a member of several collegiate honor societies including Psi Chi and Omicron Delta Kappa. I was voted an “Outstanding Young Woman of America”.
- Practiced independently as an LCSW-C in Maryland since 1994 and spent almost a decade doing the same as an LCSW in Florida. Post-graduate supervision from Kay Spence, LCSW-C and John Verleger, LCSW of the Family Counseling Center of Baltimore.
- Rode the wave of the early '.com' years at midlife by starting my own business. I became a student of the 'Free Agent Nation' trend and never looked back.
- Studied life, business and relationship coaching, attending The Relationship Coaching Institute with David Steele, LMFT, MCC, Thomas Leonard and Dave Buck at Coachville as well as private training with master coaches Dr. Ben Dean, MCC (The Mentor Coach) and Marion Franklin, MS, BCC, MCC of The Life Coaching Group.
- Matchmaking training with Lisa Clampitt, MSW at the Matchmaking Institute in New York, New York.
- Received business mentoring and coaching from successful entrepreneurs and business professionals such as Jeffrey Van Dyk and Max Simon's 'Enlightened Entrepreneur's Club' (Max worked for Deepak Chopra earlier in his career, bringing his marketing expertise with success to Chopra's businesses), Sabine Messner, Susan Bradley, Alex Mandossian, Kimberly Seltzer, Ted McGrath and Travis Greenlee.
- Over 25 years of post graduate professional experience in a wide variety of settings including outpatient private practice, managed care, clinical and administration of EAP's, management and business ownership.
- Directed an innovative, one of the first of it's kind intensive outpatient treatment programs in the premiere 55 plus active adult community in the Villages, Florida. My responsibilities included group therapy, community education and teaching grief workshops at the Villages Lifelong Learning Center (now Enrichment Academy).
- EAP experience includes critical incident debriefings and management consultation, such as providing crisis and grief counseling following terrorist attacks, bank robberies, company layoffs and workplace tragedies.
- Incorporated my rescue miniature pinscher Lucy into my therapy work with 55 plus active and ill senior clients in Florida, in outpatient clinic, nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
- Created and ran my own matchmaking and relationship coaching practice, along with wrapping almost 100 episodes of my popular podcast 'Lesbian Love Talk'. Colleagues include popular dating coaches and matchmakers like LA’s executive matchmaker Louie Felix, Little Gay Book’s Dr. Frankie Bashan, DC Matchmaking’s Michelle Jacoby, Motivated to Marry’s Amy Schoen and Women’s Dating Coach Evan Marc Katz.
- Worked in the public and private sectors, for organizations large and small. I say one of the reasons I love my career so much is that I've been honored to work with people from all walks of life and work, from janitors to CEOs, from the homeless to those with many homes, to professional and amateur athletes and celebrities thrown in too. And everyone else - the lion's share of my clients, by the way - in between!
- My adventures at one point even included traveling around the United States, giving talks and running speed dating events on cruise ships. At that time, I served as a founding board member of the initial Maryland Gay Chamber and spoke on female business owner/entrepreneur panels for organizations like the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, Dallas LGBT Business Association and more.
- Have consulted and networked with successful business owners in the LGBTQ marketing, travel and business spaces such as Community Marketing, Inc., Rachel Covello of OutCoast LGBT Travel Florida, Heather Cassell of Girls That Roam and Matt Skallerud of Pink Media.
- Continue to develop, upgrade and refine my psychotherapy skills through continuing education and practice experience. I believe the mental health industry is missing a great opportunity: it needs to train some therapists to be primary care therapists/generalists, just like medicine has primary care doctors. I am an out and proud generalist! We need more of them!
- I've always been a 'forward thinker’, including incorporating technology into my work with clients.
- I'm excited to now offer consulting/mentoring services for fellow therapists who want to more successfully navigate their work lives to get and/or stay healthy and personally satisfied.
- I reside in Baltimore, Maryland with my two rescue chihuahuas. I was born in Baltimore County and attended all public schools. I lived in a suburb of San Diego, California in the early 1980's and Central Florida for 10 years from 2004-2014.
- I have three sisters and my parents - married now 65 years - still reside in the house my dad built. One of my sisters is an OB/GYN, another is a massage therapist and the third lives in Naples, Florida with her husband. I have two nephews, six nieces, and five grand nieces and nephews.
- While living in Florida, I got out of the office chair and was introduced to the game of pickleball and I've never looked back. After moving back to Baltimore, I served as a USAPA.org ambassador, started Charm City Pickleball and now continue to enjoy playing the game whenever I can at area senior centers. My newest project is Senior Women's Pickleball, a worldwide community for women 50 and up who enjoy playing a recreationally competitive form of the game.