My initiation into women’s health started when my grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998. She had actually been diagnosed 14 years earlier but decided not to receive treatment because of her commitment to the welfare of everyone (husband, children, grandchildren, church members, co-workers, etc…) before herself. I was in the second year of my Master’s program at Clark Atlanta University and wondered how many other women made their health a secondary priority to the needs of their families.
As it would happen, many women with chronic illnesses and mental health concerns delay treatment for fear that it will disrupt the homeostasis of their homes and families. Women are often emotional and physical caregivers for nuclear and extended families. Additionally, women often take on the cares of their friends, neighbors, and communities. It stands to reason that anyone spending this much time taking care of others would have difficulty finding the time to care for themselves. My clients often wonder how this Superwoman phenomenal happened to them, but let’s face it, many women define their self-worth by the number of activities and social obligations they can manage at once. For many women, putting their needs first makes them feel guilty because self-care can feel selfish. Self-care is necessary because taking care of yourself allows one to be in a healthier position to give to others.
I completed my Ph.D. at Purdue University where my research was focused on the psychosocial impact on the coping styles of women. My pilot research examined women’s attitudes about exercise and my doctoral dissertation examined women with breast cancer named, “Spirituality and Psychological Well-being in Women with Breast Cancer”. I became an advocate for breast cancer awareness and prevention and the founder of Pink Pearls of Hope Breast Cancer Organization. My passion for breast cancer awareness and prevention has resulted in speaking engagements and participation at several breast cancer awareness events around the United States. I have also facilitated several forums, programs, and projects geared towards the promotion of breast cancer prevention and awareness.
I completed my residency at Eisenhower Army Medical Center at Ft. Gordon, GA, and was an active-duty Army Clinical Psychologists for 6 years. I completed my Army commission while assigned to West Point, but spent an additional 3 1/2 years working as an Army Reserves Psychologist.
I am an interactive and collaborative cognitive-behavioral therapist. My therapeutic approach is to provide spirituality, support, and practical feedback to help clients effectively address personal life challenges. I integrate complementary methodologies and techniques to offer a highly personalized approach tailored to each client. With compassion and understanding, I work with each individual to help them build on their strengths and attain the personal growth they are committed to accomplishing.
I am a member of:
- American Psychological Association, Division 35 (Society for the Psychology of Women)
- American Psychosocial Oncology Society
- International Association for Women’s Mental Health
- Maryland Psychological Association