A leasing agent at a Florida vacation condo wanted to assure me that I’d be comfortable with others in the building and, looking at my gray hair, told me, “We have many well-seasoned people living here.” I like the idea that I’m well-seasoned! And it’s true that my own life has had many seasons, often concurrently.
Right now I’m in a season of my widowhood. My husband and I were married just short of 31 years when he died. I value the joy, courage, satisfaction, and play that a relationship brings. Those years also gave me an abiding respect for the difficulties in making a relationship work. The point is to ride out the challenges while mutually gaining strength from the good. At the same time, I have a son and three grandchildren, so I’m running those seasons too. My brother and I are in a season of a deeper partnership, learned through caregiving of our Mom into her 90’s.
My career definitely had seasons. I started as a high school teacher, but moved on to being a management analyst and then to government and business executive positions. I ran a critical large 24/7 IT and telecom shop and was CFO for a major government agency. My staff of engineers and scientists helped policy-makers set directions for the Twin Cities Metro Area and its infrastructure needs. My nationwide consulting firm helped clients who were attempting to make big changes, often when they were incorporating significant new technology.
I helped people make decisions together despite their years-long history of conflict. I led the start-up of nonprofits and the revision of business directions and structures.
After my husband died, I decided it was time to move into my last career season. My MA is from Adler Graduate School. I chose family therapy because everyone, whether currently in a committed relationship or not, has family experiences that guide how they make sense of themselves, others in their lives, and the world around them. The meaning we make comes from interpreting our experiences with other people.
I chose special training in rape as well as sexual abuse and other childhood trauma or neglect at the Neighborhood Involvement Program in Uptown Minneapolis, where a diverse and creative clientele stimulated my curiosity about the different paths to resilience that people find. I chose special training in Alzheimer’s and other dementias by interning at the University of Minnesota, with the Wayne Caron Family Caregiving Center and the Memory Clinic at the U of M Medical School.
Sources of My Capacity to Help
- From my training, I bring a perspective that gives me the ability to see what forces and counterforces in your life and relationships are troubling you.
- From my years of leadership positions (both career and volunteer), I bring a practical goal-orientation and a bias toward action rather than theorizing.
- From my consultant experience, I have deep understanding of the role of change and its pitfalls and challenges—as well as the exhilaration and freedom that change can bring.
- From my 14 years working with people with dementia and their caregivers and family members, including 5 years with the late Dr. Wayne Caron, I bring an abiding fascination with the impact of neurocognitive disorders on people’s identities, their future, and their relationships.
- From my ongoing training in fields associated with counseling, I integrate leading-edge research and knowledge into ways of being with clients who are undertaking major challenges.
- From following the research about the brain’s neurobiology, I turn knowledge about how our brains work into practical approaches to helping people with all kinds of situations deal with the mind-brain-body connection.
You will find me to be a calm person, curious about how to help you. I believe you have the elements of healing within you and together we uncover them.
I ask good questions that help you get to the heart of what is going on, so we come to a better understanding of you, your concerns, and your relationships (whether they are in the room with us or not), as well as your skills and needs.
I work at a pace that is tuned to your particular capacity to grow, but therapy doesn’t have to go on for what seems like forever. I’m good at identifying patterns of behaviors (you as an individual and both or all of you in relationships), which are often the keys to setting up successful outcomes.
I like a focus on outcomes (what’s different for the client than before) rather than specific lock-step techniques, diagnosis, or approaches that can feel to the client like badgering. Being a counselor is a way for me to express my creativity and my caring, as well as my lifelong desire to “figure it out.”
Be sure to check out my blog to get a better handle on how I think about the issues you might be bringing into our sessions.
Education and Special Training
St. Olaf College, BA magnum cum laude
Adler Graduate School, MA
Workshops and Classes
- 10 Core Competencies of Trauma, PTSD, Grief and Loss
- Anxiety in Bowen Family Systems
- Diagnosis and Treatment Using DSM-5
- Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) for Couples: Power of Attachment and Affect
- Evidence-Based Trauma Treatments and Interventions
- Externship in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) for Couples
- Introduction to Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
- Introduction to Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
- Mosak’s “Decades of Tips on Doing Therapy”
- Narrative and Buddhist Therapy
- New Frontiers of Trauma Treatment
- Neurological Mechanisms and the Practice of Bio-Feedback
- Trauma, PTSD, and Traumatic Grief
- Caring for a Parent with Memory Loss
- Living with Dementia— Dr. Wayne Caron Research and Practice (series)
- Psychosocial Impact of Long-Term Caregiving
- Neurology and the Aging Brain
- Understanding Levels of Cognitive Function (Allen Scale)
Other Specific Clients
- Chemical Assessment
- Childhood Sexual Abuse and Post-Traumatic Stress
- Criminal Justice System and Sexual Assault Survivors
- Dissociative Identity Disorder
- Domestic Violence
- Social Difficulties of Learning, Attention, and Autism Spectrum Disorders
- What’s Different about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Aging?
- Working with LGBTQ Clients
- Working with Sexual Assault Survivors
Presentations and Publications
- Adler and Couples Counseling: What to Do When (2012); NASAP annual international conference, Atlanta, GA
Adlerian Framework for Encouraging Dementia Resilience (2009); www.alfredadler.edu/ library/masters/2010/judith-pinke
- Countertransference and Individual Psychology (2012); North American Society for Adlerian Psychology annual international conference, Atlanta, GA
Adlerian Countertransference: Oxymoron or Mission-Critical Data? (2011); North American Society for Adlerian Psychology annual international conference, Victoria, BC, Canada
Adlerian Dementia Resilience Practice: Working with the Caregiver and the Caregiving Dyad (2011); half day seminar. North American Society for Adlerian Psychology annual international conference, Victoria, BC, Canada
Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias: What is the Mental Health Professional to Do? (2011); full day workshop, Richfield, MN
Courage to Thrive in MFT Supervision: Dealing with Countertransference (2010); MN Association of Marriage Family Therapy, Bloomington, MN
Dementia Relationships I-IV, Being Resilient, Encouraging Resilience (2011); Caregiver Support Group, Minneapolis, MN
Encouraging Dementia Resilience (2010); North American Society of Adlerian Psychology annual conference, Minneapolis, MN
Introduction to Dementia (2012); St. Thomas University graduate students, Minneapolis, MN
- Parent Talk/Partner Talk: Is Your Communication Pattern Affecting Your Teen? (2010); Not Our Kids Conference of Jewish Family and Children’s Service, Minneapolis, MN.
Primer on Couples Counseling (2011); Minnesota Counseling Association annual conference, Shorewood, MN
Trainee’s Guide to Exploring the Self-of-Therapist in Clinical Supervision (2012); Minnesota Psychology Association annual conference, Minnetonka, MN
Trainee’s Guide to Conceptualizing Countertransference in Marriage and Family Therapy Supervision (in press); The Family Journal
What’s Up Front? Understanding the Roles of the Brain’s Frontal Lobes (2010); Volunteers of America community education, Minneapolis, MN
- American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy
International Association of Trauma Professionals
International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy
Minnesota Association of Marriage and Family Therapy
Minnesota Gerontological Society
North American Association of Adlerian Psychotherapy