I have always believed that each of us has an innate wisdom and purpose. We begin life open to what awaits us. Our experiences make us either more or less able to access our talents and build solid, satisfying relationships. While many of us face challenges to embodying ourselves fully, I also believe wholeheartedly that we can learn, change and grow.
I was called to this work through the practice of Aikido. Aikido is a modern Japanese martial art that unifies mind, body and spirit in the peaceful reconciliation of conflict. I have always been deeply interested in psychology and personal growth. My own healing process combined with the practice of Aikido and meditation inspired me to want to help others heal and open to their potential.
At the time of my epiphany I was an adjunct English professor at a community college. I had studied literature because I loved glimpsing into inner landscapes and sensing other people’s conflicts and passions. I also loved teaching, but I was more drawn to the emotional and psychological worlds of my students than I was to the fundamentals of writing. So I took a risk: I followed my heart and went back to graduate school to pursue a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology with a Specialization in Holistic Studies. In learning somatic, transpersonal and psychodynamic therapies I was able to realize my vision of activating healing in the whole person. Becoming a therapist has been a transformative experience that has infused my life with meaning and inspiration.
For the past 15 years I have worked with children, adolescents, adults and families in a variety of settings, including school-based, residential, out patient and private practice. After graduate school, I completed a year-long course in Child and Adolescent therapy at the Jung Institute in San Francisco. In addition to working with people individually, I have over 10 years of experience leading therapy groups. My groups blend processing, support and psycho-education and have focussed on Social Skills, Expressive Arts, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Symptom Management and Mindfulness. Specific group topics include Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety, Social Anxiety, Stress Management, Self-Esteem, Psychosis and Relapse Prevention.
In my 15 years of practicing psychotherapy, I continue to be astounded and moved by the courage and resilience I witness in my clients. Therapy is a process that requires honesty, trust and willingness. At its core, I believe therapy is about hope and love–for oneself and for others. It is awe-inspiring to be a part of the powerful process of healing and transformation that therapy provides.
Master’s Counseling Psychology with a Specialization in Holistic Studies
John F. Kennedy University
University of Washington
Bachelor’s English Literature
University of California, Santa Cruz
California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT)
Community Institute for Psychotherapy