I love working with eclectic, creative, unconventional folks, & free thinkers. I also work with survivors of childhood emotional neglect.
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Rafael, CA
We have all experienced either a depressed mood, or even full-scale clinical depression. While it can be painful to slog through a depressed period, I have a deep respect for the potentially important messages a depressed mood might be bringing to light. Is there something amiss in your life that is leaving you unsatisfied? Are you safe and healthy? Do you have meaningful work and purpose? Are you living according to your most treasured values? Do you have satisfying relationships? Together we can explore what it is you most want and need. I support my clients in whatever choices they make about medication, but before they embark on antidepressants, I encourage them to talk to me about what kind of safe and affordable relief amino acid supplementation my have to offer. I also encourage practical non-pharmaceutical practices that are proven to quickly lift mood and serotonin levels.
Codependency is a controversial term, but I chose this one in my profile because I believe many people define codependency as engaging in a relationship that is to some degree unhealthy or toxic for them - and I do find that these clients often find me and work well with me. Many of my clients have suffered or are suffering from being in relationship with a highly narcissistic family member or partner. There is a dysfunctional type of arrangement in these relationships, wherein the narcissist exploits the "codependent" other, who willingly (if not always consciously) sacrifices his/her own wellbeing in service of pleasing or taming the narcissist. The codependent person often suffers incredible loss of self-esteem and trust in him- or herself, which tends to perpetuate and deepen the dynamic. This is very painful and complex situation, and therapy is a must. Please do not suffer alone if this description resonates with you!
No one is immune from anxiety - indeed it is part of the human condition. That said, some struggle with anxiety more than others, and I understand how miserable and even debilitating anxiety can be. For some clients who are open to it, I will recommend nutritional changes and amino acid supplementation that can safely and effectively target the anxiety. For others, it becomes apparent pretty quickly that what the person most needs is simply a safe space to talk about their concerns, and the anxiety will begin to decrease almost immediately once they start to open up (which is not an easy thing for those of us who were taught to be stoic). For others, anxiety is a chronic part of their lives, perhaps even inherited from their anxious parents. Recovery in this case sometimes means getting some physical and/or psychological distance from family members, at least for a period of time. Hypnosis is a wonderful, relaxing tool for reducing anxiety, and I can teach you how to utilize self-hypnosis.
I deeply respect Humanistic Psychology's view of therapy as the process of a therapist honoring and seeking to deeply and accurately understand the subjective experience of her client. The focus is on acceptance, humility, nonjudgement, and a belief that people are fundamentally good and able to help themselves with the right conditions and support. As your therapist, my goal is to extend these qualities to you so you feel respected, supported, empowered, and not pathologized. Humanistic therapy assumes that all people strive for health and thriving (self-actualization), and that all of our behaviors, even those that appear misguided or create other problems, are in service of this goal. Sometimes we need help discovering healthier or more effective ways to self actualize, and that's where therapy comes in.
Many clients who struggle with substances are not interested or able to pursue total sobriety. These folks have every right to treatment and a nonjudgemental partner to help them explore the role of alcohol and drugs in their lives, and to create manageable, self-directed goals. I specialize in helping folks moderate their alcohol use when they recognize it is having negative effects on their lives. I also encourage clients to find support and community outside the therapy room, offering suggestions and referrals when helpful. This may mean attending support groups that do not promote abstinence as the only acceptable goal; joining an online community of others who are also moderating; using a moderation workbook; or attending harm reduction therapy groups.
Hypnosis is a wonderful tool to integrate into therapy at times! As your therapist, I am happy to have this skill to offer you as desired to help you with things like amplifying your intentions, reducing anxiety, changing habits, and breaking through stuck patterns. I also offer time-limited, structured hypnosis treatments for overcoming Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and overcoming nicotine addiction. See my website for more information! I am a National Board Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist. I completed 150 hours of training at the Hypnotherapy Training Institute, a state-licensed school in the San Francisco Bay Area.