I am very interactive during our sessions and enjoy helping my clients tap into their innate gifts. My clients tell me they appreciate my interactive style. Clients also say they appreciate a neutral third party that can give them expert feedback-which makes the counseling relationship uniquely different than any other relationship with your friends or family. I collaborate with my clients to help them find their own unique path to feeling better.
I tailor the methods I use depending on the situation and individual involved. I also believe that a skilled therapist offers more than support. I am here to help you grow and heal in a way that maximizes your capabilities.
I have post-graduate training in EMDR, complex PTSD, trauma issues, the neurobiology of attachment & trauma, pregnancy adjustment, postpartum issues, attachment therapy, attachment parenting, crime survivors, adult abuse survivors, sand tray therapy, play therapy, premarital counseling (PREPARE-ENRICH) and anxiety. I also have specific training from Phyllis Klaus in working with childbirth trauma and the adjustment of sexual abuse survivors during the pregnancy and postpartum period.
Before private practice I gained extensive experience with varied populations including:
-CSUS Women’s Resource Center/LGBTQ Resource Center
-Jewish Family Service as a counselor and high school after school program coordinator/group counselor.
-AFTER Counseling Agency working with foster children, abuse survivors, children with attachment disorders and PTSD, depression, anxiety and family reunification.
-Kids’ Turn divorce education programs.
-Placer County Adult System of Care with both senior citizens and individuals coping with mental illness such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
I hold a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Counseling. I am a licensed marriage & family therapist (MFC#43983) and I also hold a second license as a licensed professional clinical counselor (LPCC#175) and I regularly take quality continuing education classes and consult with colleagues as a way of maintaining a high quality of care for my clients. I have worked in this field since 2000 in both Sacramento and Placer counties. Because of this I have unique insight and information about our community’s mental health and court systems that can be helpful during times of transition and difficulty. I have experience supporting people going through difficult interactions with the court system including testifying against a crime perpetrator.
My theoretical orientation is firmly rooted in the belief that our bodies and minds are strongly connected and to improve emotional well being, especially in relation to trauma and other intense life events, we must work with the neurobiology of a person’s nervous system and go deeper than traditional talk therapy.
Examples of interventions I use are:
Psychodynamic therapy: these interventions focus on uncovering unconscious motivations or wounds that can impact your mood, relationships and behaviors. With new insight you can create patterns that are healthier and feel better.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing): EMDR has been shown to be effective dealing with issues such as trauma, PTSD, pain, anxiety, and peak performance athletics. It is thought that EMDR works by helping your brain move a trauma from the “short term” memory center (where the memory could cause symptoms and distress) to the “long term” memory center, helping to resolve the symptoms associated with the memory. I am certified in EMDR, which means I went above and beyond the initial training and received several hours of mentoring and consultation to ensure quality of care for my clients.
Family systems work including Gottman and Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) interventions are often helpful for couples and individuals break out of relationship patterns that are causing pain. With these interventions I help couples externalize the problem and make it one they can work on together, instead of attacking each other.
Insight-oriented depth psychotherapy to help address underlying dysfunctional patterns of emotions and relationships.
As a therapist I have proudly provided volunteer pro bono services for the Give An Hour program for active duty military personnel and also volunteered for Solace for Mothers, a non profit aimed at raising awareness around birth trauma. I care deeply about the missions of both of these programs-serving our military personnel and families.
Many therapists become therapists because they have had their own personal struggles. This was also true for me. After being exposed to some fairly difficult and unsafe situations growing up, the field of psychology drew me in so I could understand how people put their lives back together after surviving extreme difficulties. This led me into an amazing career and private practice. I felt so lucky to be able to spend my working hours helping people become stronger and more resilient after facing trauma and loss.
A few years ago, I had to put this knowledge into practice in my personal life. I was home alone one night with my daughter and was awoken my a door kick-in home invasion. Thankfully we were ok, but having that experience as an adult brought to the surface emotions and fears that I thought I had conquered as a young adult. Like many of my clients had shared with me, I saw that when something truly terrifying happened in my adulthood it created its own trauma and brought my childhood trauma back as an added bonus. Even though I had been an EMDR therapist for many years and had utilized it for “smaller traumas” using it for such a recent and major trauma re-affirmed the unique nature of EMDR. It works like no other modality I have seen used for trauma. It has countless studies to back it up unlike some newer modalities with little to no research. It helps both the body and mind reduce negative emotions and reinforce more empowering beliefs and feelings.
After re-experiencing the misery of PTSD as an adult it was doubly important to me as a clinician that the treatment I use for such a painful set of symptoms be clinically proven to be effective while minimizing the possibility of causing harm. It makes my work extra fulfilling to see people healing from traumas and losses that many other therapeutic interventions can’t help.
When I’m not at work I love spending time with my daughter, partner and family enjoying the outdoors and the many amenities Northern California has to offer. I love being physically active and enjoy dance, yoga and most of all creating projects with my daughter. For some reason stray dogs in need of rescue keep finding their way to my home-so we enjoy spending time with our adopted dogs.