Web of Life Counseling, LLC

Compassionate Counseling in Colorado Springs

"Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect." Chief Si'ahl, Duwamish Tribe

General counseling services

Sometimes we just need someone to walk life's path with us. We don't need to "go it alone." Often in our society we are not supported through the tough times and there can be stigma and shame in reaching out. I work with people who suffer from anxiety and stress, depression, grief, and trauma. This could be the result of something that happened to you, or a behavior or pattern you would like to change within yourself. Perhaps self-growth and healing is important to you, and you need support to realize your full potential.

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Counseling for those who have experienced emotional, psychological, physical, sexual, financial and familial abuse

I am passionate about supporting victims of domestic violence, particularly survivors of narcissistic and psychopathic abuse. If you have felt diminished by your partner, felt that "getting along" involves concessions that affect your integrity, that a kind act given by your partner comes with "strings attached," or asserting personal needs are difficult and strategized because there may be retribution, you may be in a psychologically abusive relationship.

I have extensive education and experience working with domestic violence and sexual assault clients at a community domestic violence center providing individual and group therapy, working domestic violence hotlines, prior certification as a Confidential Victim Advocate in the state of Colorado, as well as my current work in private practice. I can walk through the journey of healing with you at your pace. With this in mind, I offer a sliding scale for payment and discounted rates for victims with financial difficulties. I understand that when you are transitioning out of, or have recently left a domestic violence relationship, therapy costs are difficult to manage... just when you may need support the most. I provide compassionate, non-judgmental, and comprehensive care to victims.

I utilize many resources and advanced skills and trainings to care for victims, such as:
  • Judith Herman's groundbreaking Trauma and Recovery Model- a feminist approach to trauma
  • Duluth Model for victims of domestic violence- a basic framework
  • Sandra L. Brown's advanced coursework in the areas of pathological love relationships, narcissistic and psychopathic abuse and personality disorders- assist victims in healing and recovery and discernment of harmful individuals for use in future relationships- advanced, multifaceted training
  • Gregory W. Lester's trainings in understanding personality disordered perpetrators of domestic violence to help victims understand and heal from the trauma- an advanced training
  • Alan Godwin's trainings in personality disorders and conflict management- an advanced training in navigating the pitfalls of survivorship
  • Lindsay C. Gibson's trainings in treating clients of emotionally immature parents- understanding issues of abuse, neglect and dysfunction in childhood and family systems
These approaches are feminist and empowering to victims. These evidence based models serve to non-judgmentally provide a solid foundation for overcoming trauma and breaking the cycle of violence.

Specialized counseling for caregivers, healthcare workers and teachers

Being a caregiver is rewarding and it is demanding. It can be difficult to reach out for support due to the "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" culture in careers of service. Often, finding a counselor who really understands the demands of being a caregiver can be frustrating. I have been in healthcare since 1996 in a wide variety of roles and settings; I really get it! I provide compassionate and deep listening, as well as practical skills, to heal from and move beyond compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma, and burnout. Let's put that wisdom you have cultivated to use for you, regain your passion, and explore what's next for you as a teacher, caregiver, or healthcare provider. 
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Ecotherapy image
Counseling for people who feel connected to Nature

Do you feel the disconnection in our society? Do you imagine a life with meaning beyond consumerism and "the rat race?" Do you drive by a place that you once held as safe, beautiful, or sacred and grieve that it has been destroyed by urban sprawl? With the constant barrage of media informing us about mass extinctions, climate change, and the continuous threat of catastrophe, it is a wonder any of us can get out of bed in the morning. There is only so much eco-grief we can deal with until we shut down.

Unfortunately, shutting down prevents us from finding and strengthening true connections with others and making positive changes in our own lives. Integrating Ecotherapy into therapy sessions affirms our interconnectedness during the healing process. Explore and strengthen your connections to nature, to others, and re-connect with yourself. Create resilience and find your most authentic way of being. All humans share a history in which our ancestors were connected to Spirit and held their natural environment as sacred. Although Western culture has forgotten this, we can remember our sacred and authentic connection to the natural world.

Ecotherapy is rooted in climate and social justice. It is an empowering approach to address: eco-grief and eco-depression, burnout from activism, addressing social justice issues that are related to a minoritized or oppressed identity you may hold, or decolonizing work to address privilege and colonization.

There are many ways in which the natural world can be a catalyst for change; the possibilities for supporting your healing process are endless and unique to every person.
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Counseling for those with acute, chronic, or terminal health conditions

Whether you have a terminal diagnosis, a chronic disease that affects your ability, or a medical condition that changes how you live your life, I will provide compassionate support and assistance coping with the feelings and challenges that arise from such a life change. There are practical realities of getting sick like losing a job, being unable to care for others as you once did, and grief for activities you can no longer do. There is not time and space to process information, address the emotions, let alone grieve for what may be lost in a Western medicine setting. When the body needs help, often the mind and spirit are left behind. We want to be whole and complete even if that looks different from the way we had planned. Counseling provides support to navigate challenges, process trauma, and may mean find meaning and joy in life again, or coming to terms with death and dying.
A little bit about me

My own health crisis was a catalyst for change. I had the opportunity to reflect on my own life and chose a career in which I could flourish and grow despite my physical limitations. After over 20 years in healthcare as a massage therapist, energy worker studying indigenous and holistic medicine, and as a medical and psychiatric nurse (RN, CWOCN), I received my master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. I am a Nationally Board Certified Counselor (NCC) and a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).

I have specialized post-graduate training in dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), ecopsychology, burnout and compassion fatigue for those in service professions, domestic abuse and personality disorders, and grief and loss. Through counseling, I weave together my diverse skills and many years of experience in patient care to provide safe, client-centered, and compassionate counseling services.

An explanation of my methods and how they may be applied

Choosing a counselor is personal. There are as many different styles of therapy as there are types of people. This is great in that there are many more choices than there used to be; however, it can be dauting to know how to choose. It's important to get a sense of the counselor and feel that they are on your "wavelength" before deciding. My theoretical orientation (my master's and post-graduate education and preferred use of techniques and skills) are Rogerian, Ecopsychology, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). Regardless of the specific or advanced area of counseling you are interested in, these will be the basic tools and skills you will learn in therapy.

This Rogerian foundation places unconditional positive regard for all clients in the highest priority. It is an egalitarian relationship where you are empowered to set goals, decide what resonates for you, and are seen as the expert of your own life.

I use DBT to establish a core of mindfulness-based and cognitive-based skills, self-care, and coping strategies. This creates a strong foundation of psychoeducation and skill use to identify and alleviating suffering. These are the skills required to make meaningful and lasting positive changes, and to feel confident in your skills and ability to continue your journey of self growth independently.

I use Ecotherapy techniques in a highly personalized manner. Exploring your personal relationship with nature cultivates connection. This includes mindfulness and inner work to increase and strengthen our feeling of connectivity and belonging. Ecotherapy is at it's core engaging in a reciprocal way with Nature.

I find some clients gravitate to one aspect of the differing types of therapy described, some to a couple, and some to all. The choice is yours! We will be partners in discovering what works for you to create the changes you would like to see in your life. 
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I am private pay only, which means I am not required by insurance companies to give a diagnosis or limit the amount of sessions necessary. Your therapy record is completely private. I take client care very seriously and currently, my professional ethics do not align with insurance companies, who require a formal mental health diagnosis to cover the cost of therapy as "necessary." While I do believe that an accurate mental health diagnosis can be crucial to understanding and coping with a true mental illness, handing out "trash can" diagnoses to be covered by insurance is unethical and can have far reaching negative repercussions. A diagnosis of mental illness remains on your medical record forever. As mental health services become more mainstream, mental health services are being covered at an increased rate. I am hopeful that the insurance system will catch up to our society and provide therapy benefits for all people. Victims and people who reach out for support counseling services have real, legitimate, and normal feelings about and reactions to life events. When victims and those who do not have a mental illness are covered without being pathologized, I will re-negotiate my stance on taking insurance. People should feel free to make their own decisions about their care, explore their emotions and create goals at their own pace, and utilize the methods that resonate for them... without being pathologized. As a private pay client, you are responsible for your own path to wellness and are empowered to make the decisions that are right for you.
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Ecotherapy in Colorado Springs

"There's a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." Leonard Cohen