Leslie holds a Masters and a Ph.D. in counseling psychology and has been licensed as a mental health or professional counselor (LMHC) since 1994. She has worked in both clinical and in private practice settings in addition to working as an associate professor for Indiana University (Indianapolis) in both their undergraduate and graduate counseling and psychology programs. For more information on Leslie, contact her directly through the contact page.
I follow or adhere to the APA or ACA professional code of ethics for counselor. I adhere to the IN guidelines for licensed mental health counselors.
If you've arrived at this site, the chances are that something in your life is not as you wish. You know there is a problem, but you just can't seem to move past it. You want to be happy but just can't seem to get there. My approach to counseling is deeply rooted in theories, and cognitive psychology techniques, also called cognitive behavioral therapy. To summarize, however, I'm here to help you figure out the core of the issue and help you identify your blind spots so that you can move through your situation and make the changes necessary for you to grow and move toward the life you want. Regardless of your history, you don't have to be a victim of your life's circumstances. You don't have to continue in the patterns of the past that are no longer working. Let me help.
Therapy doesn't have to be daunting and miserable. The therapy process can be fun and empowering because it allows you to take an active role in your own life and create new possibilities. It's normal for people to feel vulnerable opening up with a counselor. However, it's important to remember that as a counselor, I'm not here to judge you but rather to support, encourage, and guide you as you navigate through a troubled area of your life. If you are contemplating therapy yet ambivalent about it, I would challenge you to give it a try. Get the most out of your life. You have nothing to lose.
Managing life's stressors can be challenging. There are many times in our life when we find ourselves stuck or overwhelmed, not knowing how to move forward. Depression, Anxiety, Relationship stressors, Self-Esteem Issues, Boundaries, and other issues can seem daunting and leave us feeling like a victim of life's circumstances. As a counselor, I will encourage, support, challenge, and assist you in moving beyond your current situation by helping identify those beliefs or areas of your life - your blind spots - that keep you stuck repeating patterns that often are at the core of the issue. Using theories or techniques of cognitive psychology, I will help you to identify the distorted thought patterns that no longer work for you and give you the tools necessary to grow and move beyond your current challenge.
Our core beliefs shape how we interpret any particular event and, subsequently, the emotions that follow. We repeat patterns that keep us stuck because we continue to interpret events in ways that reinforce our core and, often faulty, beliefs. This thought process generally occurs in a split moment. Most of us don’t take the time to break down every action, thought, and feeling. But to identify or change distorted thoughts, it is necessary to separate the event from our interpretation (our belief about the event), which leads to the emotion (how we feel about what happened). My job is to have an objective eye and help you identify these automatic thoughts and their role in your current situation.
*Christian based Counseling available upon request
The counseling relationship is essential to a successful outcome of counseling. The client is an active and equal participant in the counseling process. Through cognitive, Adlerian, and person-centered therapeutic techniques, my role as a counselor is to assist the client to regain a sense of control, improve mental functioning, and identify distorted thinking patterns that may contribute to the situation. My approach is warm and empathetic, yet direct and authentic.
In the broadest terms, the essential elements for me to know about you are the critical life events that you feel have shaped you into who you are. While we certainly will discuss your past, the focus is more on how you perceived or interpreted past events and how those interpretations and your responses to those events shape your present and dictate your future. I will be able to get a sense of your general outlook on the world and identify patterns of thought and behavior that are consistent throughout your life. Generally speaking, the details of your story aren't as important as the way you have interpreted and responded to the life events and let them shape your outlook on life.
There are bad therapists and bad therapy experiences, just as bad doctors and bad medical experiences. It's prudent, however, not to generalize one bad experience to the entire therapy process. The success of therapy depends on you, your commitment to the process, and on the skills and style of the therapist. If you've had a bad experience with counseling, it is essential to discuss your experience with a new counselor. Discuss what made it a bad experience. It's important for you and your counselor to establish goals and clarify what you hope to accomplish through counseling. It's beneficial to know what you and your counselor expect from the process and periodically assess whether those goals and expectations are being met. My advice is, don't dismiss counseling because of a bad therapy experience. Find a new therapist just as you would find a new doctor. Counseling can be highly successful and be just the thing you need at this time. Take the time to find the right counselor for you.