I was born in Beach Grove, Indiana in 1951. In 1971, my husband and I completed a two year mission internship in Italy, where we still live and work to this day. Since 1991 I have practiced as a Family Counselor, developed and directed a Crisis Hotline and a Family Life Center in Southern Italy, trained and supervised Italian counselors, psychologists, doctors, nurses and first responders on the negative effects of shame and the importance of empathy for understanding others. Drawing on personal and professional experience, I authored a workbook entitled Child of God Delight in Him, Art Journaling and Creative Clustering of God’s names. The manual combines God’s attributes with mind mapping in search for God’s answer to human suffering.
Over the course of my practice I have worked with individuals, couples and families, most of whom faced some kind of unending physical or psychological pain. From all this work I have learned that faith and pain do not mutually exclude one another and that the best gift we can give to one another is the quality of our care and attention.
If you too are exhausted by the stress of unending grief to the point of losing hope, I can help you identify your losses, merge them with faith and regain strength.
EDUCATION AND WORK HISTORY
I received a B.A. in Theology from Johnson Bible College in Knoxville in 1975. Upon completing our studies, my husband and I moved with our two daughters to the Italian region of Apulia. From 1977 to 1990 I assisted my husband in the pastoral care of a non-denominational Protestant Church in Francavilla Fontana (BR). From 1982 to 1992 we launched and directed a Christian Radio Station.
A recurring question church members and radio listeners brought up in conversations was how could a sovereign God allow suffering. Too often I heard people reach the conclusion that suffering must be some form of punishment for sin or an indicator of lack of faith. Puzzled, I chose to turn the question around: How can Christians condemn and shame people facing unending pain? Fueled by my conviction that there was a more complex answer to the dilemma and a more effective way of merging faith with pain, I began my quest for integrating biblical teaching with principles of family studies to improve how people deal with life’s challenges.
Between 1988 and 2006 I earned a diploma in Family Counseling, a Masters level diploma in Couple Counseling, and a Master’s Degree in Biblical Counseling, at the same time as opening and directing a Crisis Hotline called U.P.P.O. and a Family Life Center called Resources on the Horizon in a restored farmhouse in Oria. After 16 years of counseling on a variety of issues, leading spiritual retreats for couples and families, and teaching at national and international conferences, in 2012 I decided to narrow my focus and specialize in helping people traumatized by loss. That same year my husband and I relocated to Francavilla and changed the name of the Counseling Center to ReCrea to highlight the change in services.
In 2013 I trained to become a Certified Supervisor through A.I.C.C.eF., the Italian Association of Couple and Family Counselors, for which I have also written articles in their journal, “Il Consulente“, and taught during their national training day for counselors.
In 2019 as I searched for help in dealing with my own losses during the Covid-19 Pandemic, I had the privilege of meeting and studying with leading family therapist and researcher, Pauline Boss, pioneer in ambiguous loss theory. Her guidelines for therapy have further shaped my own understanding and family interventions for building resilience while living with losses.
In addition to counseling in person, I provide online counseling for immigrants who face the loss of physical contact with family and friends. If you feel any of this describes you, please don’t hesitate to contact me today. I can help you deal with the uncertainty surrounding your losses, both large and small.
If you want to learn more about the type of counseling issues I address simply follow the link below: