My journey into counseling was a slow, natural transition. I spent nearly 25 years in the classroom as a middle and high school teacher, primarily working with youth from low-income and underserved neighborhoods.
While I enjoyed teaching my students the practical vocational skills of home economics and restaurant management, the most fulfilling aspect for me was the coaching side of teaching, and supporting students in their personal growth and leadership development.
I was mid-career as a teacher and a single parent to two school-aged daughters when my mother became terminally ill. As her condition worsened, I moved her into my home to care for her. Though juggling a teaching career, parenthood and eldercare was often a struggle, the experience showed me the unique gifts of hospice. Shortly after my mother’s death, I began a Masters in Counseling program while continuing work as a full-time teacher.
As I was laying the groundwork for a career transition, my lifestyle again shifted when I re-married and became a step-mother to two school-aged boys, gaining many lessons in blended family dynamics along the way. Once I completed my counseling internship in a hospice setting, I started volunteering to lead grief groups at a local hospice. It wasn’t until I retired from teaching, that I began work on my licensing credentials to become a professional counselor. In 2006, I began the career shift as a bereavement volunteer working with families, who had lost a loved one.
Shortly, thereafter I was hired as a part-time bereavement coordinator. At not quite a year later, the position evolved into full-time status. My time as a bereavement coordinator for one hospice, with many name changes and challenges, has an accumulated 8-9 years of experience working with all age groups and genders in the wake of their loss.
My experience with grief work has lead me to use a reality-based, humanistic, existential, and client-centered approach in counseling. I help my clients to make realistic choices, based on finding themselves and helping them cultivate meaning or purpose in their lives. I meet the client where they are on their life’s journey. I offer a compassionate response to their issues, through helping them discover what makes meaning, challenging their self-awareness, and normalizing life events with focus on the present moment.
My transition to full-time private practice allows me to work with losses of all kinds, death being the primary one. This journey has refined my values and provided me the opportunity to serve the community in a much more personal, supportive way, one in which I find great satisfaction.
2006-2015 Hospice Bereavement Coordinator- Counselor with VistaCare, Odyssey and Gentiva, Corpus Christi, Texas
1978-2003 Vocational Home Economics Teacher, Corpus Christi ISD, Corpus Christi, Texas
2015 Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, The Grief Recovery Institute, Shermin Oaks Califormia
2007 Licensed Professional Counselor, Texas Department of Health and Human Services License #6222
1992 MS in Counseling, Corpus Christi State University, Corpus Christi, Texas
1971 BA Home Economics, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas