Prior to my retirement as of May, 2015, I was a Clinical Fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and a Certified Sexual Addiction Therapist.
I earned my Master of Science Degree in 1984 after completing the Marriage and Family Therapy Clinical Program at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama. I worked my way through graduate school with a teaching assistantship, teaching classes in Family and Human Development to undergraduate students. After graduate school, I secured a staff position at The Pastoral Institute, affiliated with The Bradley Center, a private psychiatric hospital in Columbus, Georgia. There, in addition to my clinical work with individuals, couples, and families, I wrote and presented lectures and workshops in the community on topics related to marriage and the family. When my husband, four children and I moved to Roswell, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta, in 1986, I developed a private practice and worked as adjunct faculty for Roger Williams College, Atlanta Branch, for two years. I also continued teaching about marriage and family issues in local churches and at PTA meetings.
I was elected Vice-president of the Georgia Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (GAMFT) in 1989 and continued service on the board of directors of GAMFT for six years. I also founded and served two terms as President of the Northwest Georgia Chapter of GAMFT. I received an award for service from GAMFT in 1992, and from the Chapter, in 1996.
In 1995/96, I participated in a leadership class with the local Chamber of Commerce, where I worked on a team addressing community growth concerns by developing a community foundation, to support the arts and the underprivileged. I have presented at national, state, and local conferences in my field, on collaboration between family therapists and physicians in dealing with physical illness, on the person of the therapist and the therapist’s interface with the community, on the healing of trauma in psychotherapy and on the importance of preparing new parents for marital adjustments they will face when their new baby arrives.
Fourteen years ago, I limited my private practice, pulled back from leadership involvements, and redesigned my life so that I could devote myself to learning the craft of writing and write my own story. I participated in writer’s groups and attended conferences and workshops, including Breadloaf in 2003, and the Northeast Creative Nonfiction Workshop at Goucher College in 2006. In 2009 my memoir, When the Piano Stops: a Memoir of Healing from Sexual Abuse, was published by Seal Press. It was released in the UK by Ebury Press with a different cover and the title Never Tell: A True Story of Overcoming a Terrifying Childhood, and enjoyed four weeks on the paperback non-fiction bestseller list of the London Sunday Times. In 2014 Never Tell was re-released in the US in both E-book and in print with the help of Stonesong Digital Services. I have been a regular blogger for Psychology Today Magazine and a member of the Speakers Bureau of the Rape and Incest National Network (RAINN) since 2011. In 2014 I began my personal blog, Telling, on WordPress.
I am currently retired from my clinical practice, continue to write, and have served as a member of the Judges Panel of the UK Childhood Sexual Abuse Peoples Tribunal (UKCSAPT).
My husband and I have been married for 46 years, have reared four daughters, and now enjoy nine grandchildren.