HOW I WORK
As a California-licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), my first concern is for your safety and comfort. Opening up about the truths of your life can be intimidating, even sometimes painful. It requires patience and careful relationship-building. It can also be a powerful healing and transformative experience, and often clients experience immediate relief when what is painful and hidden can be witnessed and shared. Together, we build a trusting relationship.
The main thing we do — the first thing we do — is sit and talk. You tell me what's going on that's giving you trouble, and I generally ask you questions about what you've brought up, to make sure I understand, and to help you feel that your experience is being accurately perceived.
We work together to uncover your immediate and long term goals, and build a relationship
in which you can feel safe enough to take the emotional risks of discovering your deep authentic self, witnessed by another human being. Many human ills are healed just by deep witnessing; it is the
basic and ancient human way.
I use a variety of approaches and techniques in my work with individuals. To help you immediately resolve conflicts and improve relationships, I use Cognitive-Behavioral, Solution-Focused and Family Systems theories — that is, inquiring into how our behavior is part of a larger pattern, and how old, sometimes unconsidered beliefs and attitudes keep us stuck.
The grounding of my work comes from Depth Psychology, especially Jungian and Archetypal Psychology; the idea that the unconscious is always at work, helping us in our lifetime task of "growing our souls," and that our bodies, our dreams and symptoms speak in the language of archetypes, and that our healing task is to make the unconscious conscious.
From that point of view, helping the body free itself from constricted patterns and connections is a way toward greater freedom and joy in life.
That’s the focus of Somatic Psychology, which looks at how the body holds story and meaning in many non-verbal ways, and how suffering can be reduced by attending very gently, and with great acceptance and interest, to the sensations that the body experiences every day.
I am a certified practitioner of Somatic Experiencing (SE), RSP (Relational Somatic Psychology) and hold a PhD in Somatic Psychology from the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute and the Chicago School of
Psychology. I also have a Masters Degree (MA) in depth psychology counseling from Pacifica Graduate Institute, as well as a Masters in Fine Arts (MFA) from the University of Iowa, and a BA from Brown