I received my master of science degree in counseling with a concentration in marriage, family, and child counseling from San Francisco State University (SFSU).
After graduating from SFSU, I completed a two-year, intensive psychodynamically informed training program at Ann Martin Center (AMC) in Emeryville. At AMC, I worked with children, teens, parents, caregivers, and young adults while participating in seminars centered on the work. Prior to that, I counseled children in a private school setting for the University of San Francisco's Center for Child and Family Development, provided psychotherapy to adults in San Francisco who were formerly homeless, and volunteered and trained volunteers on the crisis hotline at Crisis Support Services.
I am a member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT), including its East Bay chapter (EBCAMFT). I am also a member of Northern California Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology (NCSPP) and of the Association for Play Therapy (APT).
How I approach therapy
My approach is relational and collaborative and assumes that we all have inner resources to build upon. I believe in the importance of early life experiences in shaping who we are and what we expect from others. This psychodynamic and relational lens focuses on attachment and the role of significant relationships in our early life development. It also acknowledges that deep change comes from within and often happens when we get insight into our feelings, thoughts, and actions. Uncovering and making conscious our hidden motivations and defenses can spur change. Change can also happen through reparative relationships and experiencing something different and positive in the therapeutic interaction. I also acknowledge the influence of discrimination and the environment on our sense of freedom, agency, and self.
I tend to think with you versus direct you, though I can also be concrete and explicitly goal and technique-focused when it fits your situation. For children, I generally use arts and child-centered play therapy approaches. With adolescents on up, I most often rely on talk therapy with mindfulness-, skills- and arts-based techniques mixed in when appropriate.
On a personal note
I am a mother and have experienced first-hand not only the complicated nature of being a parent but also know what it is like to be a struggling child and adolescent. These experiences deeply inform my professional training and enhance my work.
My undergraduate degree is in philosophy and I have a master’s in library science. I am also an animal lover, Greyhound- and cat-owner, once-aspiring vegetarian chef (now a home cook with well-honed culinary skills), and a former legislative librarian. I love hiking and hanging out with my family. I come to this work with an accepting, open mind and a lived knowledge of the ways the past influences how we experience the present—and how, by making this influence conscious and finding a way toward self-acceptance, we can integrate our experiences and feel whole and more connected.