I am a practicing school psychologist and family therapist. I have worked in schools, private practice and educational settings for many years focusing on assessment, academic and behavioral interventions with at-risk adolescents, consultation, and counseling. I am also a Master’s level associate with the Crisis Prevention Institute and provide training in nonviolent crisis intervention and debriefing. Additionally, I continue to work privately with families to promote psychological flexibility and help them navigate through the inevitable difficult life experiences we all encounter.
I came to ACT and the Matrix via an unending quest for effective interventions for teachers, students and parents. I found myself several years ago sitting in Dr. Polk’s workshop “ACT for Powerful Life Change” and immediately recognized the Matrix could be used for schools and learning. When you play with the Matrix, you usually come up with new ideas and behaviors. Lots of ACT reading, training with Kevin, and several years of trying out the matrix with interested students, staff, parents led me to develop the Matrix for Education website. I am using it to collaborate and share this empowering model with others. I have presented the Matrix at professional conferences , conduct matrix teacher/staff trainings, and offer in-service professional development meetings. In 2014 it was my privilege to author the chapter “Promoting Psychological Flexibility in Education” in “The ACT Matrix” book currently available. It was also my honor and privilege to be named 2016 School Psychologist of the year by the New Jersey Association of School Psychologists
The Matrix is a deceptively simple point of view which allows users to quickly and easily engage in collaborative problem-solving and creativity. It is just two crossed lines (think “target”). The vertical line represents how information flows from the world outside of us (through our five senses) to inside of us (our minds). The horizontal line is points to whether are actions are helping us to move toward what we consider important or away from what we don’t want. Using these two discriminations tasks leads to increased psychological flexibility and less struggling with what we don’t want. In the process children and adults come up with new behaviors and do more of what works and less of what doesn’t. Using the matrix point-of-view empowers learners and educators as they learn together what works to get them where they want to go. It’s also a lot of fun!