Barb graduated in 2007 with her master’s degree in Social Work from Western Michigan University. Prior to obtaining this degree, she worked with adolescents in a short-term shelter environment assisting them with their daily needs, supporting them in obtaining positive life skills and navigating relationship struggles with their families or with fellow residents. Upon graduation she accepted a position at a local non-profit agency assisting children and young adults diagnosed with chronic mental illnesses. Following this Barb began working full time in a local crisis program for children and adolescents. She enjoyed this new role as she focused on supporting them and their families with de-escalation, parent support, links to local resources, as well as assessment and referrals to urgent psychiatric care and psychiatric placements.
Currently Barb continues to work as a home-based therapist helping families who have a child or children diagnosed with a chronic mental illness. She provides family, individual and couples therapy as well crisis interventions. Working closely with schools as well as other various community programs was helpful in providing comprehensive support for these struggling families.
Barb believes that a strong therapeutic relationship is a necessity if therapy is to be successful. She builds this relationship by following her client’s lead in treatment and providing compassion, honesty and a focus on strengths while addressing the goals of her clients. She celebrates successes and supports a client’s path to better mental health using CBT, DBT and behavioral therapy techniques. Currently she is working on certification in TF-CBT (Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy) and uses this technique to assist children with one or more traumatic experiences lessen the aftereffects of their trauma(s). Barb has experience working with people struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, ODD, self-esteem issues, anger management, relationship struggles, parenting support suicidal ideation, self-harm, bipolar disorder and psychosis.