Margaret’s long career has opened opportunities to pursue varied interests regarding the development and healing of mental health problems. As a result, her approach to therapy encompasses methods and styles of treatment that fit the people she treats.
She started her career working with children in a residential facility for the diagnosis and treatment of severely disturbed children. Over the course of her career she has studied the impact of Attention Deficit Disorder, NeuroDevelopmental Delay (in her research, called Reflex Delay Syndrome or RDS) and other aspects of childhood development that affect learning and social development. She went on to earn her M.A. in Psychological Counseling from Lindenwood University in St Charles, MO, and with her lifelong interest in acting, dramatic literature and human motivation, she specialized in the use of psychodrama and bioenergetics for therapy with individuals and groups. During that time she worked with chronically mentally ill adults and with the state hospital program for substance abuse.
Living for 4 years in West Berlin, Germany, she got training in substance abuse identification and treatment and worked as a civilian for the US Army’s drug and alcoholism treatment program and later became certified as an addictions counselor in Illinois where she worked in Chicago for the Lutheran Social services Drug and Alcoholism Program. At that time, the psychological community’s growing interests in adults who were exposed to trauma or who lived in families with addiction prompted her to focus on how and why healthy individuals were changed by trauma. That led her to study neurobiology and focus on the states of anxiety and depression that brought people into her therapy office.
She earned her PsyD at the (then) Illinois School of Professional Psychology, now a part of Argosy University. As psychologists specialize in testing and evaluation, she developed an increasing appreciation for the complexity of psychological states and the value of a wide-ranging knowledge of disorders and their treatment. She also began to clearly differentiate the short-term work on symptom reduction from the long-term psychotherapy for personality and attachment disorders. Consequently she developed an approach that works for anxiety and depression to manage the symptoms and then continue to work at underlying issues that might maintain symptoms or cause relapse. Her books on the 10 Best-Ever Anxiety and Depression Management Techniques reflect that approach.
It has been impossible to ignore the burgeoning stress levels of adults who work in today’s fast-paced, technology-driven workplaces and adolescents who embrace technological options for entertainment and communication without awareness of the impact on their daily lives. The impact of the “never-finished” phenomenon created by the possibility of continuous involvement with work or social relationships affects most people, adding to the current culture-wide sense of stress. Margaret’s interest and ability to work with people who are burned out and/or have anxiety and depression is clearly demonstrated in the books she has written to help clinicians and clients alike to alleviate those symptoms.
One of her keen interests is teaching fellow mental health professionals to improve their skills at alleviating symptoms of anxiety and depression, so she is often found teaching continuing education courses around the United States and Canada.