Early in my training I watched a film which showed three prominent therapists working with the same client in different sessions. One of these, Carl Rogers, was a pioneer in the Humanistic Psychology movement. I will never forget the care and respect that he displayed. Rogers' “Unconditional Regard” for his clients translated into honestly caring for them and he believed that this caring would help them with their healing. I used this caring while working with the young children years ago and I continue to use it with my adult clients today. Many of us have internalized the judgments of others and we have a harsh critic living inside. I still see the child living in the adult. Healing that wounded child and giving them a voice is one of the primary focuses of my practice.
After more than thirteen years of school, internships and private practice, I am enjoying the work more and more. There is always something to learn, some way to better my skills and understanding. I especially enjoy the work that I do with attachment, both with adults and couples. Since I went through the painful and arduous process around divorce, I especially like to help couples heal their relationships. It gives me a lot of pleasure to see them find their connection again and to be able to share their love at a deeper level. With individuals I enjoy seeing them grow through their challenges and to find that secure place of love and confidence inside, which will see them through life's ups and downs. Life isn't always easy and sometimes we need help
in navigating its twists and turns. It is a privilege to feel the trust developing in the relationship I have with my clients and to witness their growth. I look forward to many more years of learning to help my clients on their healing journey.
Education and Training:
University of California at Santa Barbara, Bachelor of Arts degree (1970-1978)
Sonoma State University, various classes in Psychology (1984-1991)
Pacifica Graduate Institute, MA Counseling Depth Psychology: focus Jungian dream work: wrote thesis on The Father Complex in Women. (2003-2006)
A Special Place Therapeutic Daycare, Santa Rosa, CA: Play Therapy, Sand Tray and Rogerian Therapy with preschool children. (2004-2005)
Lomi Psychotherapy Clinic: Somatic Therapy and Gestalt Therapy. (2006-2008 & 2012-2014)
Emotionally Focused Therapy Externship &Training in Emotionally Focused Therapy for couples and individuals (2008-present)
Dialectical Behavior Therapy – training and consult group through Kaiser Permanente, focus Borderline Personality Disorder, (2012-2013 & 2014-2015)
AEDP (The Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy Institute) Essential Skills Course, October 2015 through June 2016.
The AEDP for Couples Hybrid Immersion and Essential Skills Course held in New York City, July 11-15, 2016.
Marriage and Family Therapist
License No. LMFT81043
I focus on Individual Therapy and Couples therapy with primarily a specialty in attachment.
Individual Therapy: With an attachment focus it means that I work to create a trusting and caring relationship with my clients. Attachment or bonding originally formed with those who cared for us during our childhood. These past relationships color the ways that we see and experience our relationships in the present. They also influence how we feel about ourselves and the ways that we either love or have difficulty loving our selves determines how we experience life. Carl Rogers, a famous Humanistic Psychologist, coined the term, “Unconditional Positive Regard”. This is what I strive to create in the therapeuticrelationship. I also try to see the person for who they are and to understand them as closely as possible. I usually ask the question: “Did I get that right?”, when I reflect what I have heard from a client, because I feel that the client is the expert in that regard. Often I feel a deep love and respect for my clients, which develops as they courageously face the challenges in their lives. I like to follow my intuition, letting the words and guidance that come to me inform the sessions. Even in this sense I want to know that my intuitions are correct and I will check this out with my clients to ensure that I am being accurate. I have a deep respect for serendipity, that which happens by seeming chance in our sessions. Often we start in one place, only to find ourselves in a completely different place at the end of the session. What is happening in the present moment, either with thoughts or feelings or a movement or something as small as a sigh can have significance in the therapeutic relationship. The body is also important in getting in touch with issues and becoming aware of one's emotions. I like checking in with my clients to see where they feel their emotions, which can be informative in the session and life, helping them to more easily be in tune with the rising and falling of their emotions. Many people have not been taught to be conscious of their feelings, which when ignored can wreak havoc in their lives. By becoming more aware of feelings and developing a greater ability to handle emotions, clients can gain more mastery in living through the ups and downs of life. We all go through difficult times and I have found it a privilege to accompany my clients as they find a way through their challenges. Getting to the other side of a challenging situation or issue is always rewarding and witnessing a client grow through difficulty is one of the rewards of being a therapist, something which I truly enjoy.
Couples' Therapy: For working with couples I use the EFT or Emotionally Focused Therapy model. With this type of therapy the first step is to build trust and to come to understand what is going on in the relationship. EFT uses the idea of focusing on the pattern of interaction or dance which is going on between the two partners. I don't look for who is to blame. I focus on how the partners react to each other, how they feel and what is being emotionally triggered in the present from the past. This is also an attachment model of therapy. We have ways that we see, feel and experience ourselves and others based upon our experiences with the primary caretakers from our childhood, usually our parents. We often are not consciously aware of how these experiences are embedded in our psyches, our psychological makeup. Pema Chodrin, a Buddhist nun, says that the definition of another person is someone who triggers us. When we get triggered we react and we feel conditioned ways about ourselves and others. Often we are angry, but under the anger we may feel sad or afraid of losing the person that we love most. We react and see them pulling away or they may criticize us. We feel somehow powerless in finding a way out. Things happen so fast and then we are stuck for hours, days, weeks, months and even years. It is a painful process. I try to help partners recognize the dance and the parts they play in that process. They learn to recognize their feelings and also, they come to understand the attachment meaning involved in their pattern. Phrases such as: “I just can't please her (or him) or I don't feel like I am worthy of his (or her) love, are common ways that we feel when we aren't connecting in a loving and meaningful way with our partners. Couples learn how to express their love and truth and how to find a deeper more meaningful connection with each other.