About My Clients
My clients are often either grieving, caring for a parent or spouse, or experiencing their own chronic or terminal illness. Many of my clients are adult children caring for an aging parent. Oftentimes I help families have hard conversations about end-of-life decisions and potential moves into residential long-term care. It's true, there is always something more pleasant to talk about. And these conversations need to happen, too.
My Background and Approach
I bring a calm presence, expertise and experience, as well as a gentle yet direct approach to hard conversations. My approach is very collaborative - you and I decide on the pace, structure, and topics. I want therapy to be useful to you. I want our time together to be helpful. I want you to, above all, feel heard. I am good at picking up on patterns of thought or themes, unpacking systemic issues and barriers that might be holding you back from the life you want to live. I have over 15 years of experience working in the areas of aging, chronic and terminal illness, death and dying, and grief. I am passionate about these areas at least in part because, for the most part, no one wants to talk about them. There is always something more pleasant to talk about. And yet, these conversations are vital. None of us will it out alive. I saw a comic strip years ago that I wish I had held onto, but it said something about how for the millionth year in a row "death has a 100% success rate." Yeah.
My Personal Beliefs and Interests
I am passionate about death and dying at least in part because I grew up on a hog farm in central Minnesota. I saw life and death around me every day. I remember bottle feeding the runt baby pigs (my dad had not yet told me they would die...) and loving taking care of baby animals. But then those little pigs failed to thrive. Life and death. It was not scary. I am also determined in this area in part because people cringe when I bring it up. I'm really fun at parties, I swear. I like talking about the things that other folks want to avoid. I want to break down the barriers to talking about death because it is such an important part of life! I am also very invested in the care, dignity, and wellbeing of individuals living with dementia. All four of my grandparents lived into their 90s and all died with some form of dementia. Caring for someone with dementia is a tremendous act of generosity and love. It also can be so very painful. I value supporting individuals, couples, and families.