I want to thank you for welcoming me into the group, and I have enjoyed getting to know a little more about some of you. I am a psychiatric nurse practitioner providing medication management and brief therapy. For those of you who don’t know me, I thought I would give you a little bit of background information about my professional path and how I ended up here.
I have lived in Knoxville since 1998. I studied psychology as an undergraduate at Carson Newman University and went on to pursue a graduate degree in Education from there as a Marriage and Family Therapist.
I started my career as a case manager at Cherokee where I worked for two years providing services in the surrounding counties of East TN. I eventually began practicing as a therapist where I have experience in community outpatient (Cherokee and McNabb), inpatient (Peninsula Village), and private practice (Complete Counseling and Behavioral Medicine Institute) settings. I enjoyed working with couples and families the most. Bowen Family Systems and Minuchin Structural Family Therapy guided most of my work in the early years. I eventually continued training through the IFS Institute in Asheville, North Carolina and became certified as an Internal Family Systems clinician. Later on, I began incorporating Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Solution Focused Therapy modalities. In my nine years as a therapist, I frequently encountered individuals with not only chronic behavioral health issues, but chronic medical conditions as well. I found myself spending a significant amount of time trying to connect and collaborate with other medical professionals in the community so that I could have a more complete snapshot of my patients when trying to determine the best treatment approach.
A good colleague and friend of mine was in nursing school at the time and told me about his program. I was thrilled to hear about what he was learning and how he was able to integrate his clinical skills as a social worker and psychiatric nurse. I ultimately applied to the UTK Nursing program, was accepted, and continued working full time as a therapist while I pursued my education as a psychiatric nurse practitioner. I graduated, obtained my license, and board certification in 2009. I have worked in and advocated for community mental health for over 24 years. Until recently, I worked at the McNabb Center for 13 years, with the last seven years spent primarily in administration providing clinical and administrative supervision for over twenty nurse practitioners working in eight different counties. I also helped implement and roll out several initiatives for the organization.
The McNabb Center provided me with opportunities to serve many different individuals from all walks of life and with some of the most complicated healthcare issues. The complex, multifaceted experiences there shaped my foundation as a novice nurse practitioner. With the introduction of health care reform in Tennessee and then the looming pandemic that soon followed, everything about healthcare as we knew it began to shift. I really began to miss providing direct patient care. However, I wanted to provide quality care on my own terms.
I have now ventured out my own for the first time. I opened Pathways To Wellness approximately three weeks ago, and it was again another significant career move for me. I am so excited and happy to be doing what I love the most. Life/ work balance has become extremely important to me over the years, and working in the private sector has allowed me the opportunity to continue practicing again.
I work with pediatric, adolescent, and adult populations and I have experience in treating all mood disorders, ADHD, psychosis, and anxiety disorders. I take a holistic approach with my patients and welcome collaboration with other professionals. I am hoping to expand my practice to include a psychotherapist, as well as other treatment approaches such as massage therapy, group therapy, yoga, and/or chiropractic services. I currently do not bill insurance, and I am an out of network provider.
On a personal level, my spouse is a psychologist and professor who works as the Department Head of Psychology at UTK. We have been together for over ten years, and we have two cats and one spoiled rotten dog. We love being outdoors hiking, biking, traveling, and spending time with our loved ones.
I am looking forward to hopefully working with some of you!