I am the owner of Tyler Institute, which is devoted to helping children, adolescents, families and adults work through mental health challenges in order to live up to their potential and manifest their talents and strengths in a more vibrant way in everyday life. My primary specialty is working with gifted children and their families.
I am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Tyler Institute is located in Edina, Minnesota. I attended college and graduate school at Iowa State University and graduated with a master’s degree in 1991. I have been a licensed therapist since 1993.
My approach to therapy is a combination of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Play Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. I also employ techniques such as Clinical Pediatric Hypnosis and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique).
I am a strengths-based therapist who assists clients to overcome the barriers to living their potential. I provide education about the neuroscience of stress and executive functioning skills so clients can increase awareness of their brain function and development, which often helps understand some of the process of managing emotions and behavior for themselves and their children.
Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy
Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) was developed by Zindel Segal, Mark Williams and John Teasdale, based on Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program. This approach has been used to help individuals cope with medical issues and chronic pain, as well as, symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Play therapy is a unique approach to working with children. It is a specialized mode of therapy that can be used with any life challenge and situation and works well with gifted children. It is respectful to the child’s experience of their life and is a child-centered approach to counseling. Children are especially receptive to this type of therapy because they are given freedom to express their concerns and work through their challenges in their own way. Several forms of play are used to encourage the child to work with the therapist to a healthier state of functioning through action, role play, puppets, games, acting with characters in sand trays, drawing, writing, creating books and playing games.
Specialized forms of play are offered to guide the child through emotional, social, motivational and relationship problems. Through play therapy, children learn coping skills, emotional expression, self-confidence and have the opportunity to understand and change challenges in their lives in new, more empowering ways. Creative, gifted and talented children are uniquely attracted to this active, expressive form of therapy.
Parents are sometimes involved with play therapy. Parent skills training, parent coaching, or family therapy are used in conjunction with play therapy to assist the family with resilience and long-term change. Play therapy is also a part of some family therapy sessions. It is a great way to encourage openness, increase comfort levels and slowly infuse humor and practice stress relief in the therapeutic process.
Clinical Pediatric Self-Hypnosis
Pediatric self- hypnosis training has been shown to help alleviate many problems with children. With this approach, children and their parents are taught how to do self-hypnosis in order to control bad habits, physical symptoms, and other conditions such as anxiety and sleep issues. The child learns to use relaxation techniques and mental images—similar to a daydream or fantasy—to enter an “altered mental state” (in other words, to induce hypnosis). My training was provided by the National Pediatric Hypnosis Training Institute.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral approaches to therapy are empirically based effective methods to help children and adults learn new skills and change ineffective patterns of behavior and thought.
My work as a therapist is frequently based on Narrative therapy techniques. Narrative therapy is a strengths-based approach to help people re-story, or re-create the stories that guide their current beliefs, perspectives and decisions. It is a transformational therapy that helps you align your intentions and hopes for yourself, your children and your family into actions in everyday life.