I also am a big believer in working relation-ally. This means that rather then the traditional Freudian blank screen approach where the therapist is very passive and sits and listens and offers support but generally sits back and holds space for the client, I am much more interactive, and focus on the relationship between myself and my clients. I use the therapeutic relationship as a tool where the client can see how they play their issues out in real time in the room with me. This allows for a more experiential experience for the client, and often leads to more rapid and powerful healing and growth.
My work with individuals is informed by my holistic mind body spirit approach, allied to other methods of healing I have studied like Hakomi and AEDP.
I also work on fierce acceptance of where my clients are at and being non-judgmental so my clients can practice in a safe space bringing forward their true, authentic Self. In my experience most suffering is caused by growing up in environments where for one reason or another, parts of us were accepted but others were very much not accepted. And then we spend our lives trying to fit into other people’s ideas of who we should be. So I encourage and help bring forward whatever feels most true and authentic to my clients and help them become who they want to be and not who they were told to be.
My approach is not for everybody. I am much more engaged and interactive, and this suits some clients really well and others not. But if you’re seeking something a little different then your average therapist, I’d love to hear from you.
I have also trained in EMDR and so am happy to work with those needing healing from Trauma, be that sexual, physical or emotional abuse, or other forms of trauma we can experience as adults.
I have also trained in the Somatica Sex and Intimacy course, and consider myself very sex positive. I open to alternative lifestyles such as poly or Kink/BDSM relationships, and have a great deal of experience working with sexual issues. I am a member of Bay Area Open Minds, the kink and poly friendly therapists collective in the Bay, and welcome those who may have experienced lack of understanding or even judgement from other therapists about their lifestyle choices.
And my preference is to work powerfully and deeply with my clients. I am best suited I feel to those who are ready to really make profound changes in their lives and to truly heal.
Couples work is something that requires a different kind of sensitivity
than working with individuals. I was privileged to have been supervised
during a couple of years of my internship by Rob Fisher MFT, who is well
known as an authority and master of couples therapy, and I learnt a lot
from him. Couples work allows for a great deal of here and now therapy
to take place. I like to be interactive in couples work, using Somatic
and movement techniques to allow the couple to experience the dynamics
of their relationship in ways that simply talking about things usually
And in relationship is where it can be most challenging to risk allowing our true authentic self to come forward. But my profound belief and deep experience is the only way we can truly be loved is to risk revealing who we really are, so that our true selves are loved rather than some persona we learned to present to our families and the world to keep safe.
My training in attachment work has led me to see how much
attachment and intimacy issues affect couples, and how seeing couples
problems through this lens, and working to heal attachment/intimacy
issues, can achieve deep healing and breathtaking improvements in
Being in relationship is often the most powerful way that our own blocks
and wounding come into play. Therapy can be a highly effective tool
that helps couples to work through the issues that trouble them and
allow them to move into deep, intimate and loving relationship with each
Families are not a high percentage of therapy clients, often simply
because of the logistical problem of getting a whole family able to meet
at the same time and place every week or two. However, family therapy
can be amazingly effective in helping to work out the often complex and
confusing dynamics that play out in families. If your family is
struggling for one reason or another (and there are many, many ways that
this can happen), good therapy can oftentimes achieve remarkable
improvements. I am not a big exponent of brief therapy, generally
believing that achieving lasting change takes time, but in the case of
family therapy, it can achieve considerable results in a very brief
number of sessions.
The usual assumption is that the problem lies within one family member.
Although sometimes this is the case, more often, although the problem
appears to be in one individual member of the family, it is actually
something that involves the whole family. Understanding the energetic
dynamics of families, and being able to help to guide the family to
solutions, requires an ability to track both the big picture and the
minutia of the situation, and to see where the interventions need to
Being able to do this requires experience. During the two years that I
spent running the adolescent unit of a psychiatric hospital here in
California, I worked with hundreds of families from every conceivable
racial and ethnic background. The experience I gained from that has
given me the kind of knowledge of families and their dynamics that
enables me to achieve results.
Adolescence is a difficult time for many, while the transition is being
made from childhood to adulthood. During this time, adolescents tend to
question everything, especially authority, and are no longer willing to
follow directions the way they may have before. It is also a crucial
time, where having the right degree of freedom within a boundary of
discipline enables them to feel safe while they learn to find that
balance within themselves and grow into their potential.
I have a great deal of experience working with adolescents, having spent
two years working in a group home for adolescents followed by another
two years running the adolescent unit at a psychiatric hospital. I love
to work with adolescents. I find that they greatly value authenticity,
and respond well to those who are willing to take them and their views
seriously. They have an energy and vitality, a desire to go out and
explore the world that is refreshing and engaging.
Adolescence is also often a time when the increase in cognitive
development allows individuals to begin to understand and express
problems that may have gone unnoticed up to this point, and it can be
really important to allow the healing to happen now, rather than have it
go underground in the psyche where it can cause a lot of damage later