Tara is completing two master’s degrees, Clinical Counseling with an Addictions concentration and Art Therapy in Counseling from Emporia State University. She currently has her MAADC II for work with Missouri clients struggling with substance use disorders and upon graduation, she will obtain the License for Professional Counseling (LPC), the Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC), and become a registered Art Therapist (ATR) in the state of Kansas.
Completing her BA from the University of Kansas and prior to pursuing her two master’s degrees, Tara was a professional photographer throughout California and the midwest for 2 decades photographing families, couples, infants, corporate environments, red carpet events, and the intimate celebratory moments of engagement, weddings, and baptisms. Recognizing early on that her strong interest in human psychology set the stage for her ability to flow effortlessly within these different environments and the myriad of natural emotions that arise, she remained fascinated and eager to delight her clients by capturing their best selves. What a gift to be able to see all of the beauty in the world!
It was in the 2nd decade of her photography career that Tara decided it was time to get back to her roots and pursue how she could deeply affect the lives of her fellows through meaningful dialogue within a safe and trusting relationship. Through her counseling education, Tara has become equipped with the language of healing. With a person-focused trauma-informed approach, Tara opens space for an individual to self-explore and engage in the remarkable journey of self-awareness, self-compassion, and the integration of the whole self. This is a conversation that Tara feels whole heartedly attuned to and brings her much joy. As a witness to individuals suffering from addictions, self-harm behaviors, interpersonal relationship challenges, guilt, denial, criminal activity, and many other self-sabotaging behaviors, Tara provides a window for seeing the best qualities in oneself and how to grow and promote one’s natural gifts. Through her lived experiences of family members struggling with addictions and learning about the roots of such maladaptive coping behaviors (through her master’s programs), Tara is eager to assist her clients in building their own bridges to the lives they want to live. Whether through talk or art therapy, Tara is continually inspired as she encounters individuals seeking healing and is a compassionate and patient witness to such courageous pursuits.
Throughout her photography career, Tara continually sought further education of how she could provide care and healing to others. She has received her certificate of achievement in the trauma-informed Community Self-Care Demonstration Program and Trauma Resolution Workshop in partnership with Kaiser Permanente as both a Skilled Listener and Courageous Teller and was a co-facilitator of the Peer-to-Peer Trauma Resolution Community work through the Oklahoma City public school system and for residents of San Francisco, CA. Tara also has received her certificate of completion for the Power of Awareness training seminar hosted by Jack Kornfield, PhD and Tara Brach, PhD through The Awareness Training Institute in association
with the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley and has co-facilitated self-care educational services for incarcerated women in San Francisco County Jail #2.
In her free time, Tara is an avid explorer on foot with her dog, enjoys cooking for herself and others, and engages in daily art activities for self-expressing and to fulfill her creative drive. Tara has traveled extensively throughout her life and these days, finds great comfort in pursuing quality time with friends and family. In her continued education goals post-graduation, Tara would like to gain further training in trauma-informed counseling practices and attachment theories.