Hello! I am Olivia, a licensed marriage and family therapist that is experienced working with children and families. I have a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from University of Wisconsin- Stout and a PhD from the University of Minnesota in Family Social Science. My research focused on the intergenerational trauma experiences of biological parents in the foster care system, identifying supports for families in the foster care system, and trauma informed interventions.
I have extra training in trauma informed care and utilize many trauma informed approaches in my clinical work. I am an EMDR certified clinician and consultant in training. I often use EMDR with clients who have experienced stressful and traumatic events. In addition to my clinical training. I am also a Safe and Sound Protocol certified clinician. The Safe and Sound Protocol is based off of poly vagal theory and can support clients in developing their ability to feel safety and connected in their relationships by working through the nervous system.
A lot of my clinical work has focused on families in the foster care system. I have worked with children who are currently in foster homes, children who have been adopted from foster care, and with adoptive, foster, and biological parents. As a marriage and family therapist, I believe that children do better and flourish when the family system is involved in their care. This is why I believe that parenting education and support is necessary to support children’s mental health.
I value using a strengths based approach. I work to identify each person and families strengths to support them through achieving their goals. I use a variety of emotional regulation and mindfulness skills to help clients learn how to recognize and process emotions that are dysregulating to them. Emotional regulation is an important part of trauma informed care, this emotional regulation work can help all family member and be used with children as well as parents. I use EMDR as a way to help clients process their traumatic or stressful experiences. I believe trauma needs to be addressed with evidence based practices to clients can not only learn to cope with trauma, but to overcome it as well. For many families in the foster care system there has been intergenerational trauma; I focus on helping parents break this cycle of trauma and provide an environment for their child that is supportive, encouraging, and healing.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
Eye Movement Desensitization-Reprocessing (EMDR)
Internal Family Systems (IFS)
Sand Tray or Sand Play
Adoption Identity (i.e., self-worth, self-esteem)
Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Divorce / Co Parenting
Early Traumatic Experiences
Grief and Loss Related to Adoption
High Conflict Families
Juvenile Justice Involvement
Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)
Sex Trafficking Victim
Sexual Abuse (Victim)
Systems of Care Navigation
Adult (Ad. Parent - Individual)
Birth/First Parent/Family Work
Elementary Age (7-12)
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If your family is facing financial barriers to receiving care from an adoption-competent therapist in Minnesota, please reach out to our HELP Program: https://fosteradoptmn.org/help_program_overview/
Parents should carefully choose a therapist based on the individual needs of their family. For more information, please see the following: https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/f-therapist/