Heather graduated summa cum-laude from Salisbury University with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work in 2002. She then earned Advanced Placement standing into the University of Maryland, Baltimore and received a Masters in Social Work in 2003. Currently a Licensed Certified Social Worker-Clinical (LCSW-C), she has been in practice for 17 years. Heather relies on the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit in the counseling process. She believes in the power of God that is available through prayer and the Holy Scriptures to heal, restore and transform lives. She feels especially called to work with families and has a great desire to see others develop an exciting, intimate, fulfilling relationship with Jesus Christ.
During her career, Heather has worked with children, adolescents, adults and families with a strengths-based approach that focuses on the client’s unique needs, while building upon their God-given gifts, talents and abilities. She utilizes an eclectic mix of interventions such as Family Systems Therapy, Behavior Modification, Trauma-Focused CBT and Dialectical Behavior Therapy techniques. The intervention that Heather is most strong in and uses often, is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. Traditional Cognitive-Behavioral Interventions are based on the idea that faulty thinking leads to faulty beliefs, and then to maladaptive behavior patterns. By changing the way we think, we can change our beliefs, and ultimately our behaviors. With a Christian-based perspective, her aim is to help the client replace faulty thinking (“take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5) with Biblical truths. “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32. When working with children, Heather employs additional creative interventions into the counseling process such as play, art, role play and other activities.
While at Eastern Shore Psychological Services, Heather did some school-based mental health counseling with children and teens in Somerset County public schools and also ran an anger management group for children as well as assisted with Intensive Outpatient Groups at Hope Creek School. Heather worked with the Worcester County Health Department Health on the Boards Program, conducting mental health and alcohol/drug screenings for out of state juveniles that became involved in the legal system. In this position, she worked in collaboration with the Department of Juvenile Justice and made referrals for education/counseling programs throughout the country. She has also worked with a variety of community and state agencies in an effort to coordinate care and help children and families to receive the resources that they need.
Mental health issues that Heather has worked with extensively are ADHD and Reactive Attachment Disorder. To make a diagnosis of ADHD, she uses the Vanderbilt ADHD Diagnostic Rating Scale as part of the assessment process. Once diagnosed, she educates the family on the disorder and works with them, giving the parents helpful parenting strategies and tips for navigating the educational system to obtain additional supports when needed. She also works with the school and makes suggestions that can help the child to be more successful in the classroom. When working with children diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder, Heather provides assessment, support, education and therapy to the child and family in an effort to help the child process and heal from trauma, and form healthy, secure attachments with new caregivers. Other mental health diagnosis that Heather works with include Depression and Bi-polar Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, Learning Disabilities, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, PTSD, and developmental disabilities, including autism.
Heather is a member of Allen Memorial Baptist Church in Salisbury, Maryland and is involved with her church through the Prayer Ministry, Life Group Leadership and Missions Outreach to India. She has been married to her husband Scott for 25 years and they have two daughters.
Heather is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors and is a state approved social work supervisor.