To fully honor the privilege I have had to learn, grow and create a vocation that supports me, I'd first like to acknowledge the original stewards of the lands where I was sustained.
Childhood - Wayne County, NY - originally land occupied by the Onondowa'ga (Seneca)
Undergrad - Chatauqua County, NY - originally land occupied by the Erie
My 20's - New York County (Manhattan) - originally occupied by Munsee Lenape and Wappinger
My 30's to 50's - Alameda County, CA - Ohlone Muwekma and the Confederated Village of Lisjan
I sourced this information from www.native-land.ca
I recognize that mental health has, for a long time, been defined by pioneers in the field of psychology such as Freud, Jung, Adler, James, Rogers, Skinner -- all white men of European ancestry. I honor and value their huge contributions to the field of understanding the psyche and developing healing treatments for those suffering with mental illness. I've learned from them and will continue to use their language, models and frameworks in my work as a therapist.
I also recognize that what this field has been reduced to in terms of modern mental health treatment, is a fraction of what actually supports healing for those struggling with mental and emotional issues. So I'd like to acknowledge the many diverse teachers who I have benefitted from as a student, trainee, intern and licensed clinician, beyond the legends I studied in grad school.
- Marsha Hiller, LMFT
- ValJean Dale, LMFT, LPCC
- Susan Vandenberg, LMFT
- Sheila Rubin, LMFT
- Daniel Lesney, LMFT
- Patricia Craven, LMFT
- Yvonne Beyer, LMFT
- Manuela Mischke-Reeds, LMFT, CHT, SEP, Cert. Hakomi Trainer
- I studied Beginning and Intermediate Somatic Experiencing (created by Peter Levine) under Dave Berger, LMFT, PT, LCMHC, SEP
- I studied the Advanced I Course of Somatic Experiencing under Kathy Kain, Ph.D., CMT, SEP
- I was certified in the Grief Recovery Method (created by John W. James) and trained by Cole James
- I studied inherent bias, racism, anti-racism, and white privilege under Nancy Kahn, with support from Debra Sheppard, Robin DeAngelo, and my small discussion group members (Bernie, Karin, Karen, Sharon)
- I've learned about Healing Attachment Wounds from Diane Poole Heller, Ph.D., SEP
- I've learned about Shadow Work from Debbie Ford, Connie Zweig, Steven Wolf, Robert A. Johnson, and Carolyn Elliott
- I've learned about healing our relationship to money and the scarcity/abundance spectrum from Jamilla Souffrant, Tuyet-Lyn Christensen, Sanaya Roman, Duane Packer and Kate Levinson
- I've healed from the "adoption wound," and other self-limiting mental constructs, in my work with Katie Macks
- I've learned how to be a better human, a better listener and a better therapist with every client who's trusted me with their innermost selves
- and all the other laypeople and professionals that I've had the privilege of being in community with in BNI, other networking groups and professional associations
Thank you to all of you!
MY THERAPEUTIC APPROACH
My work is anchored in the belief that an authentic connection to another person has boundless healing power. I believe that every person has, at some level, the need to be seen, heard and understood by others. During this very challenging time of COVID-19, sheltering-in-place, social distancing, fears of virus transmission, PLUS the civil unrest, protests, arrests, fireworks, and other jolting sensory information, we are especially deprived of the calming, settling and comforting routines that help us feel safe. For some, this may be a reality their bodies and minds have been forced to adapt to over a long period of time, and the collective grief that is rising to the surface can no longer be denied.
I use a "whole person" (holistic) approach, knowing that many factors contribute to my client's state of mental health, including cultural and spiritual beliefs, personality, life experience, family of origin, attachment style, early childhood development, trauma, ancestral history and traditions, somatic structures and the times in which one lives. Rather than approach mental health like physical doctors do (identify illness or injury, apply prescribed medication, surgery or physical therapy), I tend to multiple dimensions of mental health that are operating in sequence with each other to create maladaptations, limiting beliefs about oneself and the world, and dysregulation in the nervous system. It is my belief that each client has within them the knowledge and power to heal and grow, and that my role is to help facilitate the discovery and application of those inherent tools.
Some of the modalities I use in therapy include:
Somatic Experiencing (I'm an SE Practitioner in training year 3)
Internal Family Systems (or Inner Parts Work)
Relational, Client-Centered Approach (non-pathologizing)
The Grief Recovery Method
I help clients find what's blocking authenticity in relationship to themselves and others. Often we don't realize how the old hurts, bitterness, regret, shame and beliefs "contaminate" our communicate with others. The feeling underneath our message is also received by the other person. We tend to deny this fact, even though we see people reacting to us in unpredicted ways. I can help you uncover and process the non-verbal messages you are communicating, so that you can have honest, fulfilling and authentic relationships. I also help with depression, anxiety, grief, life transitions, self-awareness and mindfulness.
Another area of specialization for me is grief using the Grief Recovery Method (GRM). Given how much loss we are all experiencing in the present moment, finding out what losses you have experienced and survived is crucial to understanding how you have adapted to life in ways that are squashing your ability to feel joy, hope, pleasure, agency and balance. Figuring out what has been left incomplete from any type of loss (not just death), leads us to the remedy of delivering the emotional communications we needed to say back then in order to say goodbye to the past. Using the GRM myself has allowed me to release negative emotions from long ago and as recently as last week, in order to let go of what was no longer serving me in my life, and make room and open my heart to new dreams, new relationships, and new hope for the future.
Thank you for visiting me today. I hope to get the chance to meet and work with you.
Masters in Counseling Psychology -
John F. Kennedy Graduate School of Holistic Studies
License, Certifications & Awards
CA MFT License #53393
Advanced Certified Grief Recovery Specialist®
Somatic Experiencing Practitioner in Training
Professional Activities and Memberships
Clinical Supervisor to Trainees and Associates
East Bay CAMFT Member
Anti-Racism Working Group for White Therapists
White Fragility/White Privilege Consultation Group
I'm proud to be voted as Best Psychology Practice in Oakland Magazine, and Best Psychotherapist in East Bay Express, by the Bay Area community. Thank you!!