My Approach to Psychotherapy
My approach is thoughtful, compassionate, and engaged. Patients often come to me in much pain, feeling overwhelmed, confused, and stuck. On top of their suffering, they are usually critical of their feelings and coping strategies. Such self-criticism works against the process of change.
I will bring curiosity and compassion to my work with you so that we can begin to explore the feelings and ways of being that have felt intractable. Along with my curiosity and non-judgmental stance, I bring a keen sensitivity to nuances and an appreciation for the complexity of each person's unique experience.
In our work together, I hope to help decrease the distressing symptoms you are currently experiencing while also working with you to examine and change long-standing patterns that are causing you difficulty.
Fostering Mental Health
I believe that mental health is being able to know about and constructively express a wide range of thoughts and feelings. Many people were raised in environments that explicitly or implicitly taught them that certain feelings and thoughts were bad, dangerous, unbearable, or unacceptable. In my approach to our work together, no thoughts or feelings are off limits, and I will encourage you to share what's on your mind as freely as you can.
In my view, everything you bring to our work together is of value and importance, and therefore is worth us both taking seriously and exploring. As I listen and we explore what's going on for you, I will help you make connections (which you may not be fully aware of on your own) between past and present experiences, feelings, and relationships, giving you a better sense of who you are, and ultimately more freedom in the choices you make in your life.
Creating a Therapeutic Environment
Psychotherapy is a space for you that should feel safe and comfortable enough to talk about the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that are most upsetting to you, as well as to share your dreams, successes, and desires. Each person needs something different to create that environment; and I will listen to what you need. I encourage your feedback about our work together, both what's working and what isn't, as I value your input. Creating a safe environment and having open lines of communication is crucial to supporting the work you want to accomplish in therapy.
The goal of psychotherapy is for you to be able to live a fuller and more satisfying life. I strongly believe lasting change is possible and that it takes time, energy, and commitment. My psychotherapy practice is dedicated to helping people create the time and space to explore themselves in order to heal old wounds and create the change they want in their relationships and their lives.
I have a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Rhetoric and a Doctorate of Psychology from the Wright Institute.
I am a licensed clinical psychologist (license #PSY24397) in the state of California.
My clinical experience and training include work in community mental health settings, outpatient clinics, and numerous college counseling centers. Currently, I am the Director of Training at Access Institute for Psychological Services where I supervise and train postgraduate psychology interns. I specialize in working with people during important life changes, such as entering or leaving college, changing careers, starting or ending a committed relationship, becoming a parent, and aging. I have a particular interest in working with creative individuals, first time parents, and first generation college students and graduates. In addition, I have much expertise in working with people struggling with substance abuse, trauma, and grief and loss.