About Margaret

Trauma-informed Therapy for Individuals & Couples

Margaret 2.0

I provide trauma-informed therapy to individuals and couples in a safe, comfortable setting. Many people who give up on therapy do so because they haven’t found the right "fit" with a therapist. Choosing a therapist you feel comfortable with is paramount to starting the therapeutic process. I offer a free thirty-minute consultation for individuals and couples interested in starting therapy. This is an opportunity to meet face-to-face to discuss your therapeutic goals and how I can help you. We can decide together if my background and your goals are a good match.

I have a Master of Science in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin and am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. My 25+ years of clinical experience include providing therapy in an inpatient treatment facility, an intensive outpatient program, a medical practice, and private practice. I have worked with children, adolescents, and adults in individual, group, couple, and family therapy.

The Therapeutic Relationship

Psychotherapy is an invitation to a collaborative healing relationship between therapist and client. The client and therapist each extend and accept the invitation to work together. My role in the therapeutic relationship is that of a compassionate trail guide. As the trail guide, I keep us focused on our destination: your healing. Together, we challenge the defenses and beliefs that perpetuate your suffering and prevent you from achieving your goals. Should you and I decide to work together I’ll regularly seek your feedback about our alliance and your growth. We’ll review your progress toward your goals to keep us on track for the best use of your time and money.

My therapeutic approach is based on psychodynamic psychotherapy, attachment theory, object relations theory, and interpersonal neurobiology. Intensive Short-term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP), a psychodynamic psychotherapy model, informs all of my clinical work. ISTDP promotes accelerated symptom reduction in depression, anxiety, PTSD, and somatoform disorders.

I use the Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT) for my work with couples. In 2012 I began studying with Stan Tatkin, Psy D, the developer of PACT and co-founder of the PACT Institute. I'm one of 29 clinicians worldwide to be invited to the PACT Institute's certification program and receive the PACT-certified designation. I continue to attend group case consultations with Stan and provide adjunct trainings to fellow therapists through the PACT Institute.

In 2022, my colleague Kathryn Barksdale, LPC and I co-created Trauma Wise Couple Therapy, a project focused on providing solutions to psychotherapists working with high-trauma couples. Together, we developed a framework for therapists who work with couples with complex trauma.

My commitment to healing and the therapeutic process includes my clients’ healing and my own. I firmly believe that effective and ethical therapists do their own work. I can’t expect my clients to engage in the kind of vulnerability that occurs in therapy without having experienced it myself. A therapist’s understanding of hitting a plateau or pushing through resistance is only as good as their own first-hand knowledge. As a therapist, I can only go as deep with my clients as I have been myself.

I make a concerted effort to do my own internal anti-racism work and address my privilege as related to other marginalized groups. Many of my clients have lived experiences with racial and cultural trauma with which I have no personal experience. Implicit biases related to sexism, hetero-normism, transphobia, ageism, poverty, and ableism appear whenever humans come together. This includes in the therapy room and in my work with clients. I strive to identify and challenge my own internal biases and understand my clients’ individual, inter-generational, and societal experiences of trauma. I am a cis-gendered white woman, and my pronouns are she/her. I seek to provide an affirming, inclusive, justice-oriented space for healing and to support my client's healing through an anti-oppressive, anti-racist lens. I'm committed to providing quality mental healthcare to individuals of all races, identities, expressions, orientations, and family backgrounds.

I'm a bit of a neuroscience geek and love learning about the latest research regarding how our brains function and how that applies to the healing process. I'm also passionate about knitting and other fiber arts and take almost any opportunity to get my creative juices flowing. I sit on the board of the International Experiential Dynamic Therapy Association (IEDTA) and chair the IEDTA Diversity Committee.

Psychotherapy is speaking truth with love.

― Nat Kuhn

Training & Consultation

I commit to my ongoing growth and development as a therapist through continued education, consultation, and deliberate practice. My consistent investment in professional training enhances my expertise and clinical skills. This investment yields powerful results for my clients in the form of deeper healing and more rapid results. It's my fortune to learn from some exceptionally skilled therapists, including Stan Tatkin, Jon Frederickson, Allan Abbass, Nat Kuhn, and Ange Cooper. Some of the advanced training I've attended over the past several years are listed below, along with my professional affiliations.

To sharpen my skills as a therapist, I participate in multiple forms of deliberate practice (DP). DP is a purposeful form of practice and skill-building for the specific goal of performance improvement. Individuals from a broad range of professions, such as professional athletes, dancers, musicians, artists, medical professionals, and teachers, use various types of DP. DP takes many forms, including mindful skill-building, receiving coaching from experts in the field, peer supervision, intentional self-supervision, and observation of video-recorded sessions.

For me, I am driven by two main philosophies: know more today about the world than I knew yesterday and lessen the suffering of others. You'd be surprised how far that gets you.

― Neil deGrasse Tyson

Advanced Professional Training

ISTDP for Anxiety Disorders, Allan Abbass, Joel Town, 2023

Clinical Certification Program, the PACT Institute, 2022

IEDTA International Conference, Venice, Italy, 2022

ISTDP for the Fragile Patient, Monthly Case Rounds, Allan Abbass, 2022

Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy, Advanced Supervision, Jon Frederickson, 2021-2022

Bringing Structural Change in the Fragile Patient, Immersion, Allan Abbass, June 2022

Accelerated Resolution Therapy, Basic Skills, January 2022

Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy, Advanced Training, Allan Abbass & Ange Cooper 2021-2022

Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy, Level III, Stan Tatkin, 2020-2021

Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy, Core Skills, Jon Frederickson, 2018-2021

Treating Depression with ISTDP, Immersion Allan Abbass December 2021

ISTDP Halifax Immersion, Allan Abbass & Joel Town, September 2021

ISTDP Halifax Immersion, Allan Abbass, Joel Town, Ange Cooper October 2020

Working with Splitting and Dissociation in a Fragile Patient, Jon Frederickson, July 2020

Emotional Transformation Therapy, Levels I, II, III, IV & V Steven Vazquez, 2018-2020

Somatic Experiencing Master Class, Through the Eye of the Needle, Part I, Peter Levine, 2018

Bodywork and Somatic Education, Modules I, II, III, & IV Dave Berger, 2017

Somatic Experiencing, Advanced, Modules I and II, Berns Galloway, 2016

Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy, Level III, Stan Tatkin, 2016

Somatic Experiencing Master Class, Depression and Healthy Aggression, Peter Levine, 2015

Penetrating Defenses and Surmounting Shame, Jon Frederickson, & Susan Warshow, 2015

Somatic Experiencing, Intermediate, Modules I, II, and III, Maggie Kline, 2015

Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy, Level II, Stan Tatkin, 2014

Somatic Experiencing, Beginning, Modules I, II, and III, Maggie Kline, 2014

Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy, Level II, Stan Tatkin, 2013

Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy, Level I, Stan Tatkin, 2012

EMDR Levels I & II, 2007

Curiouser and curiouser.

― Lewis Carroll

Professional Affiliations

Experiential Dynamic Therapy Association (IEDTA) board member, 2022-present

IEDTA Diversity Committee, chair, 2022-present

IEDTA Conference Program Committee, member 2022-present

International Deliberate Practice Society

Society for the Exploration of Psychotherapy Integration

International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation

International Center for Clinical Excellence

Emotional Transformation Therapy International Association

American Psychological Association

Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute, Lifetime Member

National Association of Social Workers

Austin Group Therapy Society

Austin In Connection


Masters of Science in Social Work, University of Texas at Austin, 1999

Bachelor of Science in Social Work, University of Texas at Austin, 1998

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