Maggie’s Journey to Becoming a Counselor
My journey to becoming a counselor began during my childhood- I was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. Coming from a small family, close relationships and connection with those around me is something I have always sought after. Throughout my life, I’ve considered a variety of careers: doctor, teacher, and counselor. On their face, all of these careers look radically different. However, at the core of all of these professions, my interest in them was the same: I want to help people. As I explored all of these career pathways, I found myself wanting more contact with the people I was seeking to help and the ability to learn who they were and how I could help them.
All of my experiences have culminated into my decision to become an Animal-Assisted Therapist. As I began my undergraduate career at Regis University, I was interested in counseling but chose a double major in Peace & Justice Studies and Sociology, obtaining a diverse academic background. This background allowed me to travel abroad to places like India, Nicaragua, and El Salvador and connect with people from different cultures. Hearing these stories and connecting with those I met is what continued to fuel my passion for becoming a therapist. After graduation, I volunteered for a year in Montana, working with families impacted by the devastating effects of drug use, abuse, and neglect. While volunteering, I realized that I did not have the tools to help these families heal.
This motivated me to pursue a masters degree in counseling psychology from the University of Denver. While in graduate school, I was exposed to the deep impact that an animal could make in connecting with people who were hurt or not ready to communicate with another. I found as I worked with children during graduate school that a trust factor was established by the partnership of an animal in my interactions.
I never would have thought that I would find myself with a Masters in Counseling, with specialized training in the human-animal bond, but I can easily say that it is the most fulfilling career I could have imagined.
Maggie’s Approach to Counseling
As a counselor, I look to the Latin phrase Cura Personalis as a guide. This translates as “care for the whole person”. This approach calls for individualized attention to the needs of others, a distinct respect for their unique circumstances, and an appropriate appreciation for their particular gifts and insights. With this phrase in mind, I believe that everyone has the tools within them to find healing and create a better more fulfilling life, the challenge is uncovering those tools to begin the journey. As a counselor, I am committed to walking alongside my clients every step of the way.
In my client-centered approach to counseling, I seek to co-create an accepting and collaborative environment where individuals can experience authenticity and healing. I am passionate about helping people find their own path to a more fulfilling life and learn skills to cope with life’s transitions. I believe that within a safe, trust-filled therapeutic relationship, people can decide upon and implement the changes necessary to improve their lives. I work collaboratively with individuals on identifying treatment goals and empowering them to successfully overcome struggles.
Maggie specializes in working with children (2-12), adolescents, and families who struggle with:
- Sexual Abuse
- Emotional and Behavioral Challenges
- Family Conflict
Maggie addresses these issues using therapeutic modalities including:
- Animal-Assisted Therapy
- Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Solution Focused Brief Therapy
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Motivational Interviewing
- Narrative Therapy
- Play Therapy