a Trauma Specialist
Through a series of events in her personal life, combined with her frustration that children with abuse histories weren’t getting better, Debi began her quest to understand trauma. It seemed that people talked about trauma on a cognitive level and minimal understanding was apparent. It wasn’t until Debi was challenged by another clinician to dig deep into her own fears that she began this journey of working with and understanding those with trauma histories. Now she can’t imagine doing anything else.
Debi’s professional career spans 20 years and includes providing in-home services, directing residential treatment centers, and for the past 12 years she’s been the Executive Director of a Child Placement Agency. While working at a child placement agency she began to see that traditional interventions were not effective with children and adults with significant histories of abuse or neglect. As she began to research she became acquainted with the work of the Child Trauma Academy (www.childtraumaacademy.org) and engaged in training provided by them. In addition, she studied Beyond Consequences and the Post Institute’s work while recently completing a weeklong training by Dr. Karyn Purvis. These enriching experiences provided the development of a holistic framework from which she provides effective trainings, consultation and therapy sessions.
Debi received her Bachelor’s Degree from Kansas State University, a master’s in Religious Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, a master’s in Social Work from the University of Denver and her Ph.D., in Educational Leadership from the University of Colorado-Denver. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. In addition to her work at a child placement agency, she has taught part-time for the past sixteen years in graduate programs, trained social workers in Romania’s child welfare system and Romanian foster parents, and maintains a small private practice for those with significant trauma histories, particularly those with failing or struggling domestic or international adoptions.
Married for over three decades with three grown children and two daughters-in-law, and seven grandchildren she enjoys her family, baking, hiking, reading, and running.