I was born and raised in San Francisco, received my BA in Psychology from UCLA, where I gained useful research-based knowledge, my MS in Counseling from SFSU, where I was enveloped by a comprehensive spectrum of theory and practice, and gained my clinical experience through community- clinic- and school-based work in the Bay Area.
I started walking the path towards helping others at a very young age. And like many in the helping professions,I came to this work, in part, by way of my own experience working through issues of depression, anxiety, and not-good-enough-ness.
I know how exhausting it is to walk around the world with the appearance that you're okay, when inside you very much are not. I know how difficult in can be to reach out for extra, or a different form of help. And I know equally well how beneficial that step and process can be.
My wish is for all people to be able to recognize the need for support and then to be able to access it.
The first thing you should know is that I lead with my authentic self and don't believe a therapist should be a so called blank slate. When we sit together I will listen deeply, but I will not silently sit and nod. We will converse. We will process, together, co-exploring your unique story. We will in all likelihood share some laughs.
I am honored and humbled that people have described me as warm, easy to talk to, nonjudgmental, and thoughtful. My skills have been enriched by additional training in mindful self-compassion, EMDR, cognitive behavioral therapy, family systems work, and brief therapy.
While sparing you the psychology jargon, here are some guiding beliefs that influence my work:
All people move towards their best selves when they feel safe, connected to others, feel a sense of meaning and purpose, and feel understood and validated.
The thoughts and beliefs that we have about ourselves affect how we feel and behave in our environment. We start formulating these thoughts and beliefs into stories at a young age, due to messages - both direct and indirect (and often unintentional) - that we receive from the outside world, including family, peers, media, and sociocultural groups.
Every person is capable of reinterpreting stories and thinking in new ways that are more constructive, and that this process takes Practice.
Problems often arise from a place of transition or development, not from pathology.
About This Site
Years ago, a professor of mine spoke repeatedly about "giving psychology away," a concept I took to describe the process of being transparent about counseling interventions and attempting to educate and activate the rich network of supports that will exist far beyond the counseling relationship. I was struck by this notion and have been trying to give psychology away in my practice ever since, in the form of educating my clients about digestible psychological concepts and facilitating linkage to community-based resources. What's amazing is unlike with material objects, you lose nothing by giving psychology away. Instead you gain connection, and that connection grows out into the community and universe, exponentially.
This website was created to be used as an emotional and mental health resource, in and of itself. So, along with getting to "meet" me, anyone can explore the resource list and blog posts and see if you find something helpful to connect to or with. If you do, my hope is that you share it with others, in conversation, links, or likes. Then you too are giving psychology away and together we are expanding a community of support.