Leah received her Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology from Northwest Missouri State University in 2003, completed her Masters in Social Work from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2007 and received her Play Therapy Certification from KC Play Therapy Institute in 2013.
Leah began her career working for the state of Missouri in their Child Abuse and Neglect sector. Leah worked with foster families that provided safe placements for children in need. After being with the state for a few years, Leah decided to work at Sheffield Place as a Women’s Advocate. At that time, Leah was accepted to the Masters of Social Work program at UMKC. While in her Masters, Leah completed practicum placements at an elementary school in the North Kansas City School District, and at Amethyst Place, a substance abuse recovery home for single women. When Leah graduated, she took a position at Phoenix Family Housing, which placed her in the urban core working with low-income, single mothers and their children. There, Leah ran an after-school program for at-risk youth ages 5-18.
After gaining experience at Phoenix Family Housing, Leah took a position at SAFEHOME, a domestic violence agency in Johnson County, Kansas. Leah worked as an advocate and there, she began to fully understand the struggles and impact that domestic violence can have on an individual and their family. From her background in advocacy work, Leah’s passion for clinical work began to develop.
In August of 2013, Leah switched roles at SAFEHOME and became the Lethality Prevention Program Coordinator. This position involved working with the local police departments and the Johnson County DA’s office. Leah was able to help train police officers and other community members on the Lethality Assessment Questionnaire; a questionnaire that is used to determine the severity of the abuse that was happening in the relationship. With the need increasing for crisis counseling, Leah collaborated to start the Critical Support Counseling (CSC) program for SAFEHOME. During this program, she provided short-term counseling services to men, women and teens.
Though Leah enjoyed providing crisis counseling, she decided to continue to further her clinical skills and took a position as a part-time outreach therapist at SAFEHOME; and continued to enjoy working with her clients to complete their therapeutic goals. Leah left her therapist role at SAFEHOME in December 2016.
Leah is skilled in utilizing Play Therapy and Theraplay techniques, Sandtray, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Psycho-drama, Group Therapy, and Art Therapy. Leah enjoys working with adults in individual settings and enjoys utilizing play therapy with children and teens.
Leah’s passion lies with working with daily life struggles; victims of trauma, crisis, family dynamic changes, depression, anxiety, past and current abuse and childhood trauma. She believes strongly that a good working relationship between a client and their therapist is key in order to continue with the therapeutic process. Leah can’t wait to collaborate and build a relationship with you. Contact Leah today for a consultation.