Hinckley-Big Rock High School - 1973
University of Illinois at Champaign Urbana - 1978
Chicago School of Professional Psychology - 1989
Licensed as a Clinical Psychologist in Illinois and Wisconsin
I was born in 1955 and grew up in Big Rock, IL on a small farm. My father worked for Illinois Bell as a telephone man. He farmed before and after work. My mother stayed home to care for my 5 younger siblings and me. Mom opened a grocery store in Big Rock called “The Little Store” when my siblings and I were older. After my parents retired, they transformed our land into Deer Valley Golf Club, a 9 hole golf course designed by my father, John Flodstrom.
While growing up I was active in student government and the pom squad. I wrote about 4H and school events for two local newspapers. My hobby was sewing. I loved making clothes for my family and me. In addition, farm chores, helping Mom in the store, and a part time job as a waitress kept me busy. In the 1970’s I saw Dr. Joyce Brothers on television and knew I wanted to be a psychologist someday.
I earned a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources and Family Studies from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. After graduation I became a kitchen designer for St Charles Kitchens. It was fun designing kitchens for families living on the Gold Coast, Michigan Avenue and the North Shore of Chicago. The life I saw there was very different from the small village of Big Rock where I grew up.
While working as a kitchen designer I entered the clinical psychology doctoral program at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. I graduated with honors in 1989. I’ve worked at a battered women’s shelter in the Chicago housing projects, in a community clinic, within the Department of Children and Family Services, at the Solomon Grade School in Chicago, and for Directions in Learning – a therapeutic day school for middle and high school students in Glenview, IL.
In 1987 I joined a private practice, Partners in Psychiatry, based in Glenview, IL. I’ve been on staff at Edward Hospital and Linden Oaks in Naperville and Forest Psychiatric Hospital in Des Plaines. I opened my own private practice in Naperville in 1990.
Along the way I married, became a mother, and divorced. In 1999 I closed my practice to be a stay at home Mom. My practice reopened in 2008. Two years later I moved to Thiensville, Wisconsin to live with my college sweetheart. I fell in love with Thiensville. When my fiance suddenly died, I decided to stay.
My office is located in a charming, yellow Victorian in Thiensville's historic district. The front porch, sunny windows and beautiful woodwork create a relaxing, lovely environment in which to contemplate your life.
People tell me they enjoy meeting here. This old painted lady is private and has a lot of history. The calm atmosphere is the perfect place to step away from your life, take stock, see things from a different perspective and imagine new possibilities as you create the life of your dreams.
MY PERSONAL APPROACH:
An open and personal style is my most effective way to help people. Every therapist must develop their own style. My style is transparent and very approachable. I believe that people have a right to know the experience and biases a therapist brings to their work.
Many come to therapy feeling ashamed for needing help. Clients often think they should be able to solve their problems on their own. I let my clients know that I have also had problems and been in therapy. This helps people feel less shame for needing help. My disclosure tells them that therapy works and is for everyone. They also feel more understood.
There is another benefit to being open. When people learn that I’ve had some of the same problems they have and found my way through, they feel hope that I can help them find their way too.
Very few therapists share as many of their personal stories as I do. Every therapist must find their best way of working. I respect other therapeutic styles. However, through the years my clients often tell me that my stories give them the courage they need to face their problems.
I’m often told that one of my stories was the turning point in our work together. Clients beg me to never stop telling my stories. Since the therapy session is not about me, it’s about you, I limit my stories during session to only a few lines. For all these reasons, I’ve decided to go one step further and share my personal stories on my blog.
I hope you find my stories helpful.
FAITH AND ATHEISM
Personal belief is an important part of therapy. My clients come from many religions and backgrounds. I support your beliefs while we build health. Many of my clients are atheists. Even though I personally rely on my faith in God, I respect and enjoy working with atheists. I admire anyone with the integrity to be their true, honest self.