A Bit About Me
I was born in Kentucky and set adult roots in Montana, making me a true "Montuckian." As a child, I was firey and difficult to my family. But I knew the true power I felt in my body was righteous and noble, but believed it made me "extra" to others and tried to keep a lid on it. My attempts to mute my power ended up being really damaging and unbearable to hold.
I was drawn to activities that allowed me to understand humans better. If I learned more about humans, I could learn how to be a "good" one. I made friends with people of many cultures, races, financial backgrounds, and current circumstance. I worked for newspapers and magazines, writing the stories of my fellow humans. I shared stories of resilience and dignity, suffering, and the "Knighthood of Buh". Ok, so now I know humans. Now what?
Along the way, I found yoga and meditation finally experienced what it felt like to be connected to my sensory self, my cowgirl mind, but also something much deeper inside me. I found mentors and friends who allowed me to be lovable, mercurial, exciting, and powerful. A mentor suggested I consider counseling, and I took her up on that journey.
I was originally trained to work with children with mindfulness, play, and art, helping them to unlock their power and voice. I radically encouraged adults to be brave and strong enough for their kids instead of encouraging their kids to be docile enough for their parents.
With the birth of my own two boys, I experienced the transformation of matrescence, or the developmental stage of becoming a mother. Through all of my experiences, I felt my own power. And it felt so terribly mismatched to how I witnessed women experiencing work, rights involving their bodies, and cultural representations of the female gender. It became clear that women's power was threatening to the systems that men benefitted from, so it had to be contained. Talk about a full circle moment!
I am not "too much". I'm just powerful. And once I had the system figured out, my mission became clear: empower the woman, improve the world. Done an dusted.
May 2007 - Dec 2007
Dec 2007 - Nov 2009
Nov 2009 - July 2012
Dec 2009 - April 2015
April 2015 - Sept 2015
Sept 2015 - March 2020
March 2020 - Aug 2022
Aug 2022 - TODAY!
Graduated with my Master in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin
Brief job supervising a 40-bed juvenile psychiatric unit in Grand Rapids, Michigan. You can only be punched in the face so many times without upper management support before you have to call it quits. This is the reality of our mental health system at times, unfortunately.
Mental health therapist in the Whitehall School District. Hello Montana!
Bereavement Services Coordinator for Hospice of Southwest Montana. This is where I received tremendous and valuable training in grief work.
Owner of Simple Family Life, where I provided private practice mental health services to children and families of Jefferson and Gallatin Counties.
Burnout break. Yup. I did not have great mentorship on how to do this work without totally burning yourself out. I took this time to chop veggies for Root Cellar and connect big time to my then 3-year-old and garden. Worth every moment and totally changed the way I moved forward in my career.
Grant lead for the LAUNCH grant, an early childhood mental health grant that partnered services like home visiting, pediatrics, and preschool with mental health support and services. This is a time where I found a focus on the perinatal community and participated in tremendous training.
Bozeman-area supervisor and program lead for children's mental health services located in schools. I had the unique privilege to support amazing staff to work with the Gallatin Valley youth.
Private Practice take 2!! This is where we are, friends. You're watching me build a new thing, Illuminate Counseling, with other powerful women who have an interest in work-live thriving.