Who do you want your therapist to be for you?
My education in psychology began in high school and continued into my undergrad years at Vassar College. Then I took a break and lived many different lives before resuming my studies in the Master of Clinical Psychology program at Antioch University LA. The program involved extensive self-exploration through the various modalities that modern-day psychology has to offer. My specialized training is in LGBTQ affirmative and relational therapy, which I apply to all aspects of treatment regardless of your sexual orientation or gender identity. While working towards my degree, I trained at The Center Long Beach, at the Hollywood Sunset Free Clinic in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles, and in private practice in Atwater Village. As a licensed therapist, I continue my private practice, supervise associates, and have provided student counseling at CalArts in Santa Clarita.
These are questions about you. Try to imagine someone asking, and for that moment, you're not alone.... So many people slog along; plans seem like threats, fulfilling of goals is for everyone
else, words like passion and potential seem annoying. Goals are unknown or constantly out of reach. Your peers are unsupportive or just don't get you. Maybe you feel alienated or disconnected from yourself and others. If you’re at this site, then you've probably been wondering or even
obsessing about how you might need to change or try to do things differently - or if that’s even possible! I believe we’re all born full of enormous power and
potential, but that we often become trapped deep beneath layers of trauma and defenses.
With childhood neglect, discrimination, physical abuse, bullying, domestic, emotional, or sexual violence, or denial of the nurturing we all need and deserve as small children, we become forced to hide from ourselves and others. Tragic events, illnesses, loss of a loved one - these can all dramatically change our ability to cope and live our lives fully.
We build defenses for a reason. They protect us. Yet as adults, those same defenses work against us, maintaining
habitual practices and belief systems that load us down like overstuffed luggage. What can be done to unpack those bags?
Let’s look inside: shame, grief, loss, chronic illness, fear, self-doubt, a need for confirmation from others, a deprived or even inflated sense of identity - these can all lead to self-neglect, feelings of inadequacy, social anxiety, chronic
depression, mania, OCD, fragmentation, sleeplessness, addictions, overeating, poor appetite, boredom, loneliness, despair - it’s endless.
In therapy, we will collaborate and explore the core beliefs that stand between you and who you wish to be. We’ll start the process of breaking free from the things that hold you back. With
acceptance of who and where you are at this very moment, you can face the here-and-now, regain access to your inner strengths, and begin again in the process of becoming the person you wish to be.
Every person is unique; I may use brief or long-term therapy, depending on your needs. During the course of treatment, I'll frequently check in with you to see how we're connecting or if we’re on the right track.
I usually work within the framework of the 50-minute therapeutic hour, one session or more per week.
A typical therapy session might involve some of the following elements, though there may be more spontaneous experiments we will try. Much of the therapy will also occur between sessions as you try things we've discussed while you encounter your outer world.
The single most important factor in successful therapy is the relationship that develops between you and your therapist, since what happens between us is a reflection of the relationships you have in life. I will remind you to pay close attention to your feelings during the session - and to explore those feelings and what they mean to you.
Focused awareness and new understandings may provide relief of symptoms of anxiety and depression in many clients. Our sessions, on occasion, include practice of these bodywork and breathing, etc., in order to equip you with tools to relieve stress and anxiety.
Grief, Depression, and Anxiety:
Many of us have suffered unfathomable traumatic loss, neglect, injury, or abuse. I provide a place of safety to explore memories and meaning. I want you to believe that you don’t have to suffer alone - that I can share and hold your pain.
While this is a vulnerable journey, growth can occur once acceptance has begun. With personal stories, mindfulness, CBT, and meditation to provide relief, you can finally begin on a road to recovering from the life you’ve lost
Substance Abuse & Addictions:
I use a non-judgmental approach in working with people in recovery or those who are considering facing their addiction. In conjunction with sober or reduced risk programs, outpatient, residential, and detox facilities, we will decide together which course of action is best for you. I look to the attachment roots of addiction, and the personal triggers that may potentially lead to relapse. This is a journey that we take together, with the hope that you will come to reduce and defeat harmful behaviors.
Negative Motivation and Self-Defeating Behaviors:
I don’t believe that there is such a thing as a lazy person. When procrastination persists, or if you find yourself setting goals, only to steer away from acting towards those goals, the therapy will focus on the unconscious negative motivations that come into play to prevent goal fulfillment. Together, we will explore and renew your hopes and dreams, and the belief that you too deserve happiness, will help you to maintain motivated practices.
A number of people in therapy are on medications under the care of a psychiatrist. The reality of modern psychiatry is that practitioners are usually limited to brief informational sessions, and recommend adjunct psychotherapy elsewhere. That’s where I come in. While I can not directly advise you on medications, I can prepare you for your psychiatric appointments by helping you process your experience in terms that will help your psychiatrist better understand your situation.
Lots of that things WE DO, we they’re holding us back. At one point in our lives they were all we had. They were necessary tactics for self-protection, or to help us feel self-connection, because others had repeatedly let us down in deeply traumatizing ways
Please call with questions or for a free consultation.
3171 Los Feliz Boulevard, Suite 307, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Sessions are available by appointment only. Please contact me to schedule a session.