In addition to my experience responding to the needs of persons with histories of trauma, I am trained as a couples and family therapist. I have considerable experience with couples struggling with infertility, family planning, adoption, child-rearing, difference in culture, background or temperament, or struggling with illness, disability, separation, divorce, remarriage, care-giving and questions and conflicts regarding lifestyle or decision making. I have been broadly trained in a variety of modalities with known efficacy in supporting couples, and draw from attachment theory, AEDP, EFT and Collaborative Couple's Therapy in my work. As a therapist, I am kind, thoughtful, warm and fair. I am deeply committed to assisting couples to learn and grow together as partners, and believe that the struggles we experience in our relationships are often an incredible opportunity for learning, growth and deepening understanding and closeness.
I have been a practicing psychotherapist since 1995 and in private practice in San Francisco and Alameda since 2004. Prior to launching my practice, I was affiliated with the TALKLine Family Support Center/San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center in San Francisco for more than a decade, initially as an intern and then as a staff therapist and Clinical Supervisor. Besides my broader client focus, I have been working with veterans with PTSD for over a decade, initially on a pro-bono basis through the auspices of The Coming Home Project, and now independently through my private practice. In addition to this experience, I am trained in EMDR and have extensive experience assisting persons with histories of abuse, neglect and developmental and interpersonal trauma using an eclectic variety of psychotherapeutic approaches.
I have been trained eclectically, but also have an extensive background in psychoanalytical and psychodynamic approaches to psychotherapy, especially those that engage the relational dimensions of the process as a focus. Some of my training in this area includes: (1) Participation in a year-long practicum drawing on self-psychology at the Pierce Street Counseling Center, (2) Participation in a two year-long Intensive Study Groups offered by the Northern California Society of Psychoanalytic Psychology, (3) Weekly relationally-oriented group consultation with analyst, Cindy Sachs since 2014, (4) Bi-weekly participation for 10 years in a psychoanalytically-oriented consultation group facilitated by Dr. Robert Carrere, a training analyst at the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California, drawing from the principles and theories of Modern Psychoanalysis and (5) Completion of a two-year program in supervision at The Psychotherapy Institute.
Many of us seek the support of psychotherapy or counseling at some point in their lives. Some come for relief from debilitating anxiety or depression, while others come for assistance in creating and sustaining stable and nurturing bonds with others. Some come to understand reoccurring anger or conflicts with loved ones, or the lingering influences of childhood experiences hardships that still impact their lives. Others come crippled by fears of expressing themselves authentically or trusting others, desperate to liberate themselves from the constraints impeding their lives, but unsure if such freedom is even possible. Others seek the help of psychotherapy to develop new ways of responding to circumstances that have been habitually problematic, to develop more capacity for intimacy or to experience more joy, ease and contentment in their lives. Whatever reason you are seeking support, I'd like to help.
Although we are usually adept at forging friendships, few of us begin their lives as adults understanding or appreciating the rigorous commitment and sustained open-heartedness needed to foster and nurture prolonged intimacy with another person. When conflicts emerge, we often begin to doubt the viability of our relationship, rather than recognize the conflicts as a part of the ebb and flow of coupled life or an opportunity for growth. As a therapist, I enjoy helping couples learn together and in the process, not only become close, but develop the understanding that will help them to live with more ease, joy and confidence together. In addition to helping you develop more insight and awareness regarding your unique dynamics as a couple, I will help you develop the interpersonal skills you will need to navigate or traverse impasses or tensions in the future with less impact on your experience of closeness.
If you are adopted, it is likely the experience of being adopted is one of the most significant influences in your life. Many adults who were adopted as infants or young children, and were loved, accepted and valued by their adoptive families, still struggle with feelings of melancholy, grief and fear of loss, or are anxious about their capacity to belong, despite the experience of having loving adoptive parents and families. It seems that even with a wholesome family experience, the primal separation and loss that is a part of every adoption experience can fuel many anxieties in adoptees, especially fears of loss and abandonment and confusion about identity. Being adopted can influence a person throughout their lives. It is common for these influences to appear – or reappear. If you are seeking support to explore and process the impact of adoption in your life, having a therapist who understands both personally and professionally can be especially helpful. I'd like to help.