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My approach is informed by my peer support specialist training and experience, as well as my personal experiences engaging in counseling services.  Through creating a safe, supportive space for clients to be themselves and share their experiences I hope to  offer opportunities for healing and growth.  I am not a licensed mental health professional, and do not assess, diagnose, or advise clients on medications.  I do have extensive experience supporting people with goal setting, working through challenging emotions, and identifying self-care practices from a strengths-based lens.


I was born and raised in the California Bay Area but now call the Kansas City metro my home.  In my mid 20s I went through some years of instability, confusion, and feeling pretty lost.  I was experiencing what a lot of people would call mental health challenges.  After struggling to understand what was going on and figuring out how to be okay again, I found the peer support movement.  This community of people who use their personal experiences and inner wisdom to navigate life's ups and downs gave me so much hope at a time when I thought medications and therapy were my only options to feel 'normal' again.  I learned through the practice of giving and receiving peer support just how strong, brilliant, and resilient people are, even in the midst of major challenges.  I also learned that simply being with and truly listening to another person can be a powerful source of healing. The peer support community showed me that having challenges didn't make me a freak, or weak, or shameful, or broken.  Going through tough times is normal, and getting support from others is actually a sign of our strength and determination to be okay. 


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Since those years of navigating the world of mental health services and discovering the power peer-to-peer support I've experienced other major life events that have shaped who I am today.  My mom died from addiction related chronic illness when I was in my early 30s and she was in her early 50s.  I went through painful years of trying to conceive as a queer person who also has infertility.  And after finally getting pregnant I had a challenging birth experience with unexpected complications.  Lots of other hard and wonderful stuff happened too!  Through all of these big life events I found the most comfort and healing in talking with people who had been through similar experiences.  My hope is to use the empathy and strength I've gained through surviving these life challenges to be there for others as they navigate their own tough times. 


My training and counseling experience includes:

  • Personal lived experience engaging in individual counseling and self-help support groups

  • BestNow Peer Support Specialist Training Program, completed summer 2014

  • 7 years experience working at a peer-run mental health agency, including 3 years as manager and lead trainer of a peer support specialist training program

  • 1 year experience as a volunteer crisis line counselor for Crisis Support Services of Alameda County 

  • Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) Certified Facilitator with 4 years experience co-facilitating WRAP groups 

  • Peers Organizing for Community Change Consumer of the Year Award Winner

  • 6 months experience as Care Advocate Intern at an early intervention program for 16-24 year olds diagnosed with psychosis related diagnoses

  • Presenter at numerous mental health conferences including: 

    • Peers Organizing for Community Change (POCC) Annual Conference 

    • Alternatives Conference, National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery

    • California Association of Mental Health Peer Run Organizations Conference

    • Redefining Crazy Conference, Mental Health Association of San Francisco 

    • Peerpocalypse Conference, Mental Health Association of Oregon

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