My Approach to Therapy
I specialize in providing therapy and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) for adults with a history of trauma, and work extensively with people whose childhoods were complicated by abuse, neglect or life changing negative experiences. To help answer some of your questions about what to expect in therapy, here is a little bit about me and my approach:
Creating a safe place for you to explore your thoughts and feelings
Therapy and the process of change can feel emotionally risky. The people I work with are facing thoughts and feelings that they hesitate to talk about openly, or are struggling with symptoms and behaviors that are difficult to understand. I take an active role in our conversations, and also listen with an open mind to the problems you are facing, without blame or judgment.
Encouraging you to be curious about yourself and the concerns that bring you therapy
Therapy involves taking a hard look at your thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a questioning, curious way. Creating a better understanding of yourself is an important part of what will guide the steps you need to take to improve your relationship with yourself and the people most important to you. I'll collaborate with you to explore and understand what's lead to the struggles you're facing, and how to help you move toward psychological growth, and emotional and behavioral change.
Making Meaningful Changes
What kind of change are you looking for? In therapy, change means many things. Common goals include developing a better understanding and acceptance of yourself; coming to terms with your past and engaging in your present; improving your relationships with family, friends and co-workers; learning to communicate more effectively; experimenting with new ways to tackle a problem; building on your coping skills to help manage your emotions and moods, and relief of unwanted symptoms. I'm here to help you figure out the kinds of changes that are meaningful to you, and to help you integrate those changes into your day to day living.
A Note About The Past and The Present You don't want to get stuck in the past. But sometimes looking back can give you some new understanding and perspective. Examining important relationships and experiences in your life can help make sense of where you are and where you want to go. Therapy can help you identify lifelong patterns (in thinking, behaving, in relating to others) that are contributing to the difficulties you are dealing with now. I'll help you explore your past, with the focus of our work being to bring about positive changes in the present.
Issues I can help with include:
- Disturbing Childhood Memories
- Anxiety, Panic, Persistent Worry
- Feeling Stuck or Trapped
- Childhood Abuse (Sexual Abuse, Physical Abuse, Emotional Abuse)
- Assault (Physical/Sexual)
- Family Estrangements
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Low Self Esteem
- Traumatic Events (large and small) and Negative Life Experiences
- Sudden Loss
- Adult Children of Alcoholics
- Pregnancy and Postpartum Adjustment
As a therapist, I've worked in community mental health clinics, geropsychology (working with adults 65+) and outpatient programs providing psychotherapy for issues ranging from chronic, severe mental illness to common problems of life/adjusting to major life transitions. Prior to becoming a therapist, I worked in the field of aging providing community education, support groups, advocacy, and coordination of services to older adults and their caregivers (Alzhiemer's Association, Kansas City Chapter and the Ventura County Area Agency on Aging).
Master of Arts, Psychology, Pepperdine University, 2001
Master of Science, Gerontology (the study of aging), Baylor University 1995
Attachment Focused Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (AF-EMDR) Trained by Dr. Laurel Parnell, who developed the model for treating complex childhood trauma.
Los Angeles County Perinatal Mental Health Task Force, Bringing Light To Motherhood, Advanced Clinical Training
Postpartum Support International (PSI), Certificate Training, Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders
Emotionally Focused Therapy(EFT), Four Day Externship, Advanced Clinical Certificate Training for Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy
The Couples Institute, The Developmental Model of Couples Therapy: Integrating Attachment, Differentiation, and Neuroscience in Couple's Therapy, (Level 1) twelve month clinical training program.
California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
Glendale Area Mental Health Professionals Association(GAMHPA)