Therapist. Consultant. Writer. Speaker.
My title “JD, MA, LMFT” tells you that I am both a lawyer (Juris Doctor) and a Therapist (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist). For thirteen years, I was a trial lawyer in the corporate world. I started providing therapy services in 2003. Although I no longer practice law, I use the skills and experiences of being both a lawyer and a therapist to help people, families and organizations find better ways to respond to their circumstances.
I started my therapy career working for a nonprofit named Reuben Lindh Family Services that helped parents get their children back when Child Protection took them away. During that time, I spoke with a mother who had lost her children. She told me the story of one of her many children, a boy. Her husband thought this child was the product of an affair. The boy was not treated well. One day, Dad went for a walk with the boy, came back and said the boy had died on the walk, had “fallen” down a sewer. The boy survived, thanks to his screaming in the sewer and the neighbors who heard the screams and fetched him out. For ten years after that, dad took the boy down in the basement so no one would hear his cries as he beat the boy. At 12, Child Protection stepped in. By then, the boy had already started to get high, to drink plenty. By 16, he’d dropped out of high school and was committing crimes to support his habit.
Here’s the thing, this mother telling the story, she wasn’t a Reuben Lindh client. This mother was my mother. I was the boy in the sewer. During my teenage years, I turned things around in my life. I found a good foster home. I stopped using drugs. I went back to High School, graduated with honors. I went to college, graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Minnesota, then went on to law school and then graduate school. Along the way, some of the people I knew ended up in prison, died or both.
Approach to my work: Confidence About Possibilities for Growth and Healing
Why me? Why did I break free of my circumstance, the cycle of abuse, alcoholism, going nowhere, while others were not able to do so? Returning to these questions, finding the answers, asking the same questions of others, and helping them find their own answers, this is why I changed careers from lawyer to therapist, consultant and speaker. I bring with me into my work a solid confidence based on this simple principle: if I can do it, so can you. If I can rearrange my life to suit my needs, so can you. Whether you are an individual, a couple, a family, or an organization, making better choices in how you address your needs can overcome even the greatest obstacles. I know this because I have lived it. So can you.