Amidst the Covid-19 crisis, I am offering low fee, sliding scale video, and telephone sessions as well as nature walk sessions (6' apart).
Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Orinda, CA
Supervised by Shirley Dvir LMFT #44258 Center for Mindful Psychotherapy
EAP incorporates the mighty, empathic, and spiritual presence of horses into psychotherapy. Horses outwardly mirror what we feel inside in a way that is nonjudgmental, sensitive, and pure. They bond with us nonverbally in a special relationship that leaves many feeling profoundly seen and understood. I worked with youth survivors at a horse ranch and rescue for over 6 years before completing 3 years of clinical internship at an Equine Assisted Therapy program for youth in crisis.
There is a vast, inner world of symbolic imagery that lies beneath our conscious minds. It helps us to organize our complex experiences, perceptions, and behaviors. When we connect with this through creativity, we can experience fresh, and meaningful opportunities to understand and rewire ourselves. I earned my Bachelor of Fine Arts before studying Expressive Arts therapies in graduate school, and I've been working as a Clinical Art Therapist in medical settings for the past 2 years.
I completed my MA in Holistic Counseling Psychology with a Specialization in Somatic Psychotherapy. Somatic Therapy is a holistic form of psychotherapy that incorporates body-based practices, Neuroscience, and Psychobiology. Trauma impacts the Nervous System and brain functioning which can leave traumatic experiences and trauma memories unprocessed in the body and unconscious mind. Treatment requires an understanding of trauma science, and focused attention to the mind-body connection.
LGBTQ youth are more vulnerable to childhood sexual abuse because sociocultural oppression can inhibit their development of a healthy sexual identity and sense of self. They are often alienated from family supports, robbed of proper sexual health education in schools, and made to form deep feelings of shame and secrecy. These marginalizing effects make them more vulnerable to predators and victimization. I have worked with LGBTQ-GNC, and male-identified survivors for 10yrs.
Trauma is overwhelming distress that interferes with a person's capacity to process, integrate and categorize their experience. This leaves elements of the experience, such as body sensations, emotions and thoughts, fragmented and dissociated. As a result, these individuals face issues around responding adaptively to stimuli and modulating their arousal and may develop symptoms of PTSD. I've dedicated myself to bringing Creative, Equine, and Somatic therapies to Trauma survivors for 10yrs.
Self-harm/self-injurious behaviors (SIB) are common among children and youth who have been exposed to Trauma (typically moderate/superficial types of direct SIB: cutting, burning, hair pulling, and scarification). SIB can be seen as a maladaptive form of self regulation and may represent a child or youth’s attempt to to modulate overwhelming emotional experiences and symptoms of PTSD. In my work, I've seen how Creative, Somatic, and Equine Therapies can effectively guide youth away from SIB.