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About Leslie

About Me

Every day, I strive to embody the womanist/feminist ideals I hold dear. I continue to aspire to not just talk the talk about anti-racism, but actually walk the walk. I am unabashedly LGBTQIA+ affirming in my therapeutic practice and my life. I am sex positive and body positive. I am continually deconstructing my own evangelical Christian upbringing and am enthusiastic to work with others on a similar journey. Just like you, I am horrified by injustice in this world, and believe we have a responsibility, in whatever small ways we can, to try to change that.

 

I am a life-long student, but I am also an Associate Faculty at Post University where I teach Animal Assisted Therapy among other equine courses.

 

I live and practice in Lexington, KY with my partner, my teenage stepdaughter, and our 2 rescue dogs. We live on land that belongs to the Cherokee, Osage, Yuchi, and Shawnee people. When not playing with horses or in the therapy office, I enjoy reading, hiking, kayaking, archery, a good movie or tv show, live music, and art.

About My Work

I absolutely love working with women who are navigating how to claim space in their lives. I enjoy helping you make sure you practice self-care and honor your own dreams while balancing your love and responsibilities for others. Couple work is enriching and rewarding, whether we are growing your relationship, working through hard issues, or determining your relationship trajectory.

 

I love supporting teenagers through the difficulties of growing up as they begin to chart their own life course. I adore working with kiddos (5yrs+) through play and expressive arts, who are having big feelings or have been through painful experiences. As a parent educator, I enjoy being on the "team" to add tools to your toolkit and support you in understanding how parenting struggles and life struggles tend to intertwine.

 

When I went to therapy during divorce, a big "aha" moment came when I understood how my own childhood, past relationships, work/school experiences, and even larger cultural and religious institutions interacted in many different painful ways that shaped my life. My work with you brings an awareness of how these "systems" have an impact on us. This helps us understand how we are set up to struggle or to succeed, including what skills we need develop to thrive.

I love the connections and attachments we can heal in relationships with self and others. As I continue my own personal growth, I understand how relationship work can only be practiced in relationship, whether that is relationship with a partner, a friend, a therapist, or an animal. My work is all about connection, compassion, and community.

Partnering with Animals

When you attend an in-office session, you will likely be greeted by Nugget. He is a 4-year-old Golden Retriever, who brings love and joy to those around him. We became certified through the Alliance of Therapy Dogs in 2021. It is my privilege to have him as a partner. In our sessions, he may spend time snuggling on the couch with you or snooze on his bed in the corner, depending on what he feels is needed in the moment. Sometimes he's even up for play time with kiddos. He is the sweetest boy who has many fans!

As a Trauma Informed-Equine Assisted Psychotherapist (TI-EAP) & Equine Specialist, I also partner with you and your horse (or a borrowed horse) to work through painful events, relationship patterns, and challenging transitions. Currently, I am available to travel to your barn or we can meet at a contracted barn in Georgetown or Taylorsville, KY for therapeutic sessions. 

My work with animals is informed by more than 20 years of professional equine experience and a lifetime of learning from animals, some of my greatest teachers.

  • Play, Experiential, and Expressive Arts Therapy
    Sometimes talk therapy isn't the key to starting, walking along, or finding healing in our life journey. For those of us that work better when using other tools besides talk therapy, I am trained in Child-Centered Play Therapy, Sand Tray, and Expressive Arts.
  • Animal Assisted Therapy Training
    Our connection with animals can be healing and life-giving for everyone involved. Nugget and I are certified through the Alliance of Therapy Dogs, requiring we volunteer often and that he stays up to date with vaccinations and other health requirements. Combining my love of horses and my therapeutic work, I am trained in Natural Lifemanship Level 1, pursuing Level 2, to be certified by August 2023. As a Trauma Informed-Equine Assisted Psychotherapist (TI-EAP), I also partner with you and your horse (or a borrowed horse) to work through painful events, relationship patterns, and challenging transitions. Currently, I am available to travel to your barn for therapeutic sessions and plan to add partnering with horses in a facility for anyone to access, not just horse owners, in 2023. My work with animals is informed by more than 20 years of professional equine experience and a lifetime of learning from animals, some of my greatest teachers. Along with my NL courses, I am a student of Elsa Sinclair’s Freedom Based Training program, Jane Pike's Joyride, and Dr. Susan Fay’s text Sacred Spaces including animal communication. I am a life-long student, but I am also an Associate Faculty at Post University where I teach Animal Assisted Therapy among other equine courses.
  • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)
    I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in Kentucky and Indiana. You can learn about the different kinds of therapists, including LMFTs on this helpful blog. What's the Difference Between Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Health? As an LMFT, I can practice in Kentucky or Indiana via telehealth or in office at my Lexington, KY location. I can also meet at your barn or another previously contracted stable (see Animal Assisted Therapy below). I am certified in: The Embody Lab's Somatic EMDR, Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and as an Animal Assisted Therapist through Alliance of Therapy Dogs. I am trained in Natural Lifemanship Level 2 and EMDR through EMDRIA
  • Couples and Family Training
    I enjoy helping couples grow their connection and understanding through compassion for themselves and each other. I am a certified Gottman Level 2 Relationship therapist whose work is informed by Ester Perel's books. I am trained in Discernment therapy for when hard choices are ahead of us. For families, I am also a Positive Discipline Parent Educator, using their program to along with my trauma-informed training to assist in parenting. I am also trained in attachment and connection.

Book an Appointment

Take the first step towards your emotional well-being and personal growth and book your next appointment today.

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