I have always known
That at last I would
Take this road, but yesterday
I did not know that it would be today.
-Ariwara no Narihira
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
-From Rumi’s “The Guest House”
The time of COVID forced us into isolation that we have been slowly emerging from. The daily news brings anxiety, helplessness, and distance between our relationships. We sense when things are wrong in the house of our mind and desire to do things differently. Life could be better if only . . . if only what?
Uncovering your inner strength and actuating your emotional intelligence begins with exploration of the inner house you live in.
One-on-one therapy is still the best way to effect long term change. Talk therapy helps us to discover and become who we want to be. The therapeutic process gives us valuable support and insight into who we are, and the tools that can open the path to who we want to become.
A primary factor for success in therapy is a collaborative, safe, and respectful therapeutic relationship. By traveling together through the many layers of experience and history that combine to form one’s personality, I can help you through anxiety, depression, bereavement, trauma, racial and gender anxiety, substance abuse, and career transition. In addition to my training, I have dealt with many of these issues and feelings in my own life.
Strong relationships enrich and empower our lives. Healthy relationships reinforce our connection to the world. The sense of well-being we get from feeling supported in our relationships enhance confidence and promote inner harmony. Conversely, when these relationships are troubled, the loss of support, refuge, and comfort can be unsettling and even shattering.
There are many reasons people come to couples therapy -- barriers to intimacy, communication issues, infidelity and the loss of trust that goes with it, substance abuse, financial conflict, and the pressures of parenting, to name a few. Couples therapy often involves rebuilding trust, learning effective communication, gaining insight into our partners through understanding each other’s emotional family history. I help couples understand how this myriad of influences affect their union. They can begin to see value each other’s history, their relationship can grow and strengthen, bringing harmony and meaning into a shared life.
Adolescents are genetically and developmentally programed to push the boundaries of, well, everything. It is a confusing bewildering time as their bodies are beginning to mature while their emotions are a disorienting jumble. Adolescents are facing sexuality, media, substance use, and complicated peer relationships. Adding to this volatile mix are changing hormone levels and the compulsion to push past the family environment. All of these changes combine to create a difficult interior and exterior emotional environment.
Adolescents will often mistrust adults particularly those perceived to be in a position of authority, i.e. all of them. The relationship between a therapist and an adolescent must be developed through patient and gentle connecting. An alliance forms creating an environment where an adolescent can comprehend the enormous changes they are experiencing and begin to feel some agency in their lives.
Trauma is an assault on both emotions and body. A traumatic event can lead to PTSD, disrupt basic functioning, affect self-esteem, relationships, and physical health. It is best treated with an integrated approach incorporating talk therapy with practices that reveal the traumatic memories that have been encoded in one’s body. The modalities I have trained in facilitate access to these memories: I have trained in the Community Resiliency Model, the Trauma Resiliency Model Level I and Basic Attachment Focused EMDR.
In my own life I have dealt with issues of substance abuse, family relationships, long-term grief, and suicide. For twenty-eight years I worked in film and television production until 2008 when the recession motivated me to look at my life and my goals. Around that time I trained and began working as a volunteer crisis counselor at the Suicide Prevention Center.
After a few years as a volunteer I became a paid counselor/supervisor/trainer and over the next five years I discovered that I loved helping people. I decided that I wanted to get beyond the momentary fix of the crisis call and to work on a long-term depth basis helping people.
That desire led to graduate school, an internship at the Southern California Counseling Center, and to where I am today --- hoping to see and help you. I look forward to talking with you to see if ours is a good fit.
QUALIFICATIONS, CERTIFICATIONS, MEMBERSHIPS, And TRAINING
California Board of Behavioral Sciences Associate Registration #113097
Currently supervised by Christina Dixon LCSW #87870
Antioch University MA Clinical Psychology 2018
Trauma Resiliency Model Level 1
Community Resiliency Model
Emdria Approved EMDR Training Parts 1, 2, 3, 2020
California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists member #144227