About Heather – Who Am I?

I am a Kansas City based Licensed Clinical Psychotherapist and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor.  I am  a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator using Brene´ Brown’s work on shame and vulnerability and authenticity.   I am also a University of Michigan trained Sex Therapist, where I earned a 90 credit hour Certificate in Sexual Health because I wanted to help individuals and couples with Sexual Health needs.  Finally, I have participated in significant training in training in Emotionally Focused Therapy to help me to be an even better couple’s counselor.

Whew, that’s a lot!  Why so many certifications and trainings?  I am a lifelong learner and I want to be able to offer the most to my clients, so I invest heavily in my education.

Counseling is my later-in-life career.  It’s what I always wanted to do, but for a variety of reasons, was never able to return to school to get training.  I have had many careers and I have gone through many of life’s bumps and blessings.  I bring a richness of experience to my therapy that allows me to connect with pretty much everyone

I LOVE what I do.  I am PASSIONATE about it.  It ENERGIZES me.  I read therapy books for fun.  It’s hard to turn it off when I leave the office.  I can’t begin to explain how much becoming a therapist made me a better person, wife, mother, friend, daughter, listener, advocate etc.  I have learned that I am truly enough and accept and love myself for who I am.  I shed perfectionism and worrying about what other people thought about me.

So why does that matter?  Because I want to do that for YOU!

I want you to feel alive and energized and connected in healthy, meaningful relationships.    I want you to learn that you are truly enough and to love and accept yourself.  I want you to know that you don’t have to be perfect, smart, successful, rich, pretty (you fill in the blank) to be valued. I want you to wake up every day feeling like life is pretty darn amazing.  I want to help you create the life you really, truly want, not the one you think you are supposed to be living.

So how can I do that for you?  Truthfully, I can’t fix things, but I can help you to change your life.  You already have everything you need right inside of you.  You just need help finding it.  Doesn’t that already make you feel better?

What I do is LISTEN and CARE and SUPPORT you UNCONDITIONALLY no matter what.  I PROVIDE A SAFE and SUPPORTIVE Environment for you to cry, vent, scream etc.  I offer PERSPECTIVE and INSIGHT. I love balancing both intellect and emotion to create the type of environment that meets you where you are, with full acceptance and warm caring.

And then I am awed by your resiliency and ability to change and claim the type of life and relationships you want.  It’s amazing!  That’s why I LOVE what I do.  I get to help people change and grow and create a life that truly matters to them.  That’s an HONOR.

Along the way, I’ve learned who the clients are that literally light me up with energy in a way that our sessions seem to flow and fly by, and we are in a congruent state with one another, where we both completely “get” what the other is feeling and saying and meaning.  Those are the people I enjoy working with the most. They are usually adults who struggle due to self-blame, low self-esteem, not feeling like they are enough, dissatisfaction with their lives, poor relationships, sexual shame or a history of childhood family dysfunction.

If you have read this far, you have probably figured out that I am pretty relaxed and positive.  I am not a stuffy person that will just nod my head while you talk in the therapy room.  I am very interactive and I bring my energy and enthusiasm for you to your sessions.  The fact that I have a bright cow painting in my office tells you that I am a fun person and I think therapy can be a great experience.

I love mentoring people and beginning in June 2020, have added an intern to my practice.  Kendall Toren is a Mid America Nazarene University graduate student in the Masters of Counseling program.  He is in his last year of school and worked last semester as a school counselor at Lakewood Elementary in the Blue Valley School District.  He is an intern therapist working with people aged 8-22.  His passion is working with adolescents and young adults, building and deepening connection and understanding, and finding ways to integrate mind, body, and soul in order to have a more meaningful and holistic life. His particular areas of interest are anxiety, depression, shame, identity and self-esteem.

A little bit more about the details (in case you are still reading)…

I approach therapy from several perspectives.  These approaches include an attachment, strengths-based, cognitive/behavioral (CBT) perspective, along with some psychodynamic elements.  I also use learning’s from Dr. Brene´ Brown’s research ( Daring Way™ and Rising Strong™) in my individual counseling and periodically facilitates groups for women and for teen girls.  I use Emotionally Focused Therapy and the Gottman method in my work with couples.

While I was training to become a therapist, I completed an internship specializing in psychological testing and developed a passion for conducting IQ testing and ADHD evaluations with kids through adults.  I conduct IQ testing for children to determine if they qualify for gifted programs.

I  earned a BS in General Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point, an MBA from Rockhurst University and a Master’s in Counseling Psychology from the University of Kansas.  I also have a Certificate in Sexual Health from the University of Michigan. I began my career in the Army and then worked in Senior Management at Hallmark Cards before running my own photography business while staying at home with my 4th child and completing my graduate training in psychology.

When I am not working, I enjoy working out, reading, trying new restaurants, and hanging out with my friends and family.  My husband and I have a blended family of 6 kids.  My mantra in 2019 was the word LESS, meaning LESS stuff in her life, LESS clutter, LESS obligations and MORE time for the things that bring me joy.  My 2020 mantra is the word BE.  My goal is do less DOing and more BEing.

I am a Licensed Clinical Psychotherapist and a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in the state of Kansas.


More Information

If you would like more information about working with Heather, please fill out the contact form.  Please note, Heather is often in sessions throughout the day, and cannot return your call or email immediately, but she will make every effort to get back to you within 24 hours.

Address: 8575 West 110th Street, Suite 225, Overland Park, KS 66210

Phone: 913-735-0384

Email: heather@sanakc.com

Contact Heather