My desire as a therapist is to see people live in their full potential. However, that is a difficult endeavor if you are living in hardship, or have survived a life that has been narrated by painful circumstances. There are a few reasons why I became a therapist; one of those is because I know what it is like to feel lost, but more importantly, I know what it is like to have found my way with clarity and direction because of good therapy. Life isn't easy; yet, the journey becomes stable and secure when walking through it with someone who cares, and who is a professional. It is a deep joy of mine to sit with people, to hear the many life stories, and to humbly witness healing take place when the puzzle pieces of life come together.
My extensive training includes: A Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology, as well as a BA in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Psychology, and a California Teaching Credential; all from Vanguard University. I have been licensed for fourteen years and in practice for 18. At the start of my career, I had the privilege of working closely with women and children in crisis for a local shelter; following my time at the shelter, I started and directed a clinical counseling center for a local church. After the birth of my first child, fourteen years ago, I developed and am now running my current, thriving private practice, and have hired two phenomenal and talented associates as well as a gifted licensed clinician making us one solid and strong team. We delight in being healers to people who are hungry to live whole and healed. Along the way, I've spent time supplementing my education with training in depth/analytic, psychoanalytic, and attachment theories. I also have a strong interest in and have pursued much education and training in the work of healing from trauma - incidental, relational, affect, and developmental (complex) trauma. I recently completed a year-and-a-half long depth trauma studies certificate program through Pacifica Graduate Institute. Additionally, art therapy, dream tending, and caring for the soul are continued areas of focus for extended training. I am currently consulting with two phenomenal and seasoned analysts, which broadens, enriches, and deepens my work with my clients. I continue to refine my practice with training and research in women's emotional wellness, the emotional health and well-being of men, and what it takes to help children keep their mind intact and whole. Overall, a healthy development through the life-span is the underlying goal of my work with my clients.
I have a natural delight for working with people through the process of psychotherapy. My gentle and warm presence helps adults and children to feel safe with me and to trust me. At the onset of my education in undergraduate work, I had planned on working with children, and assumed that this would be in a classroom atmosphere; however, I couldn't get past the idea that it is beyond challenging for children to be successful in school if they are struggling at home and in their hearts. Also, my love for people wasn't solely with children; I also have a deep sense of care and understanding for the lives of women, men, teens and for the interpersonal health of families. My desire as a therapist is to see people become whole and at peace with who they are and with life.
The work I do is held within a psychodynamic framework, with analytic, depth, and attachment influences. Those are technical terms for what is really understood as the deeper work. In our culture, we want everything fast and immediate; however, the true and lasting work of therapy means looking within and giving the mind, body, and soul time to reclaim the lost or broken parts; to heal, and restore. We all develop patterns and responses of relating to people over the years. Some of these patterns work great; and other times, some of them get us stuck in ways of thinking and feeling about ourselves and others that create anxiety, render us to depression, and/or cause our relationships to suffer. The beauty of therapy is discovering, through the therapeutic relationship, the true and authentic self. I offer a safe space to heal and restore—with gentleness, intuition, care, and strong truths. These ingredients create a place for reflecting and insights that foster the growth, change, and solutions to sustain a healthy life, and build quality relationships.
I also employ art, sand tray, dream work, and mindfulness techniques. These are optional therapies that some clients use to supplement the traditional talk-therapy; and they are excellent tools to express things of the heart that are too painful to be spoken, or that we don’t yet have words for. When it comes to trauma work, words alone don’t always adequately provide healing. Many people are surprised to find—through art, sand, somatic awareness, or examining dreams — a great amount of healing, and insight into the Self and internal life, and resolution for conflicts. And for some of you, I know when you see that word – a r t – you feel a sudden freak out happen inside, and you start telling yourself, well, that’s great, but I’ll never do that, because – I am not an artist! The good news is, these are optional; and, you don’t have to be an artist, you don’t have to be an expert sand sculptor, and you may even think dreams are hoo-doo-voo-doo. That’s all right. Most people who come in my office, with the exception of the amazing rare few, aren’t artists. Not even close. No offense to past or present clients! In therapy, art is simply used as expression, color used for emotional insight (stick figures and scribbles are frequently drawn), and dreams are used as a tool to lead us to richer understanding.
SPEAKING AND EVENTS
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Grief and Loss
Change and Adjustment
Life through the decades - identity through the lifespan
Issues Related to Recovery