I was born in Colorado and have lived in several western states, the heartland of this country, and on both coasts. I like Colorado best. My father was a scientist and my mother was an artist. They gave me ways to see the bigger picture—to see the world as systems of interacting parts. I have a deep appreciation for science and the scientific method. I also think outside the box in creative, problem-solving ways.
As an adult I studied bodywork and became licensed to practice various forms of massage and energy work in northern California. I got a BA in Spanish, Portuguese, and French when I lived in Arizona. I earned an MBA from the University of Denver. And finally, living in Chicago, I received a Master’s in Social Work.
In all endeavors, I have consistently learned how people live and take care of each other—how interdependent we all are. How fragile and tender we are, and also how strong and resilient. I have learned how to help people use their own creative life force, resolve difficult problems, and build a new life story using the resources around them.
After my social work degree, I lived in the Chicago area for almost 20 years doing community organizing and being a therapist in neighborhood mental health clinics. Chicago is a world-class city that is also a down-home collection of thickly beloved neighborhoods. In Chicago, everybody is somebody—belonging to some family, some culture, and some set of enduring social connections. Chicago is big and gritty, and small and friendly at the same time.
There, I worked with traumatized populations, learning ways to help people recover from scary experiences and stabilize their lives. I worked with traumatized kids and their families in urban elementary, middle, and high schools. I worked in diverse Latino communities with Americans and immigrants from many countries dealing with issues of race, discrimination, immigration, family violence, and trauma at every level. I worked in evolving LGBTQ families of choice, helping affirm and stabilize relationships and communities facing health and socioeconomic crises.
I loved getting out in different settings to present workshops, offer support groups, and practice therapy with a wide and diverse range of people. I started a city-wide women’s group which is still active among thousands of women today, more than 25 years later!
Now, I’m back in Colorado for the past 16 years, continuing this work that I deeply believe in. I believe in the goodness in all of us, and in how we can tap into that strength to heal ourselves. We live in difficult times. One could go crazy trying to keep up with what happens in this country and in the world. Best to stay grounded in what we feel to be nurturing and affirming. Best to live our lives with courage, one day at a time, focused on the people we love and the activities that restore our spirits.