I received my Masters of Social Work (MSW) at Northwest Nazarene University and am licensed with the state of Idaho. I have specialized training in Co-occurring Disorders, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Understanding Aggression, Drugs and Alcohol in Schools, and Traumatized Children.
I specialize in adolescent, young-adult, family counseling, and individual counseling for those who are struggling with trauma, depression, self-identity and emotional disturbances. Through the therapeutic process we can work through unresolved issues from the past and learn how to let go of painful emotions and events that are preventing you from moving forward.
I provide an environment that is welcoming, safe and surrounded by nature. Through a holistic approach we can explore your feelings, fears and discover your true nature that will allow you to be at peace with all of your experiences including trauma that may have been emotionally paralyzing.
Through the therapeutic process families can learn how to communicate effectively as a means to enhance the strength of their family. As the environment changes around us and more demands are placed on individuals it can be difficult to adapt to these new pressures and therefore lose focus of important family time. Time management skills and healthy boundaries can be learned in an effort to stay grounded and enhance the family structure.
I use a holistic approach that can be adapted to meet your specific needs. I have experience with CBT, Gestault, Solution focused, Crisis management, Interpersonal communication to help with family systems. Throughout my career I have worked with Veterans, adolescents and adults suffering from a variety of mental health conditions. I am comfortable working with the LGBT community and self-identity concerns.
Child custody evaluation is a process through which recommendations for the custody of, parenting of, and access to children can be made to the court in those cases in which the parents are unable to work out their own parenting plans. Evaluation may be requested by the parents or their attorneys or ordered by the court. Evaluations may be performed by qualified mental health
professionals who are part of a family court system or carried out privately by qualified individuals or teams. Evaluators always serve impartially, never as an advocate for one parent or the other.
The primary purpose and main focus of the custody and/or visitation evaluation is to determine what is in the best interests of the child. Social workers understand the inherent conflict of this process for parents and reaffirm that their role as an evaluator is to keep children’s concerns paramount. The assessment goals of a child custody evaluation shall be to:
(a) identify the developmental needs of the child(ren); (b) identify the strengths, vulnerabilities, and needs of all other members of the family; (c) identify the positive and negative family interactions; (d) develop a plan for custody and access utilizing the strengths of each individual that will serve the best interests of the child(ren) and within those parameters, the wishes and interests of the parents, and in most situations, provide them with an opportunity to share in the upbringing of their child(ren); and (e) through a written report provide the court, parents, and attorneys with these recommendations and supporting data.
A Child Custody Evaluation
If you and your ex-spouse find that you cannot agree on a custody and visitation plan, even after mediation and other settlement efforts, a child custody evaluation may be ordered by the court. A child custody evaluation is a process in which a mental health expert such as myself, evaluates your family and makes a recommendation to the court for a custody / visitation or parenting plan that is in your child's best interests.
The purpose for a custody evaluation is to develop a parenting plan for your children. I willl be recommending a particular plan to you and the court. It is not a settlement process like mediation. Rather, it is a process in which I have gathered information about your family and will make a recommendation based on that information. You and your ex-spouse can use that recommendation to reach a settlement, but if not, the judge can use the evaluation, along with all other testimony, to make an order for your family.
The Evaluation Process
The services I will be providing will include but are not limited to the following:
•At least two, and perhaps three, individual interviews with each parent. •At least two individual interviews with each child. •Observations of your children with each parent. •Review of court documents and other appropriate written information. •Contact with some collateral sources (e.g. therapists, teachers, day-care personnel, pediatricians) •A criminal background check for each parent •A written report with specific recommendations about custody / visitation, and which addresses all of the major concerns raised by you and your ex-spouse.
Reports will be written in a non-adversarial manner, focusing on the needs of the child or children, the parents’ capacities to parent, the history of the parenting, and a recommendation matching the need with capacities and providing the least disruption for the children. The report will focus on the parental strengths, not weaknesses, and will be written in a sensitive manner recognizing that the report will be shared with the parents and third parties. A copy written recommendations will be sent to each party’s attorney.