A bit about who I am, and who I treat...
Seeking my own path to healing long ago sparked my passion for supporting others in this work. I started out in the mental health field working with unhoused folks and later serving as a suicide and mental health hotline crisis counselor for five years, where I assisted DV survivors, military veterans, youth and adult callers in their worst and most frightening moments. During and after graduate school, I pursued training in somatic psychotherapy, EMDR, Gestalt, Lifespan Integration and IFS. I opened my private practice in 2020, just as the pandemic was getting underway.
My style is collaborative, deeply intuitive, and incorporates methods that are research-proven (EMDR having the most robust research base to date). My philosophy is imbued with the egalitarian principles of feminism, social justice and nonviolence. I welcome clients from all genders, ethnicities and walks of life. I treat individual adults over the age of 18. Passionate about making high quality psychotherapy accessible, I offer a sliding scale for financial hardship and keep my rates relatively low. At this time I am unable to accept insurance.
Many of my clients seek help because of debilitating anxiety, depression, relationship problems, or trauma symptoms. Whatever your reason for seeking therapy, kudos to you for taking this step. Entering therapy is truly a vulnerable and challenging process, yet the potential rewards are well worth the discomfort. I believe therapy should be life-changing, and the research is clear that "good fit" between helper and helpee is the number one agent of change. This has nothing to do with the competence level of the therapist (though that doesn't hurt), but more with a complex set of factors that create cohesion between two individuals. I encourage you to interview several therapists before making a decision, and trusting your gut in making that choice. To that end, many therapists (myself included) offer a free consultation so you can get a sense of good/good-enough fit.
Trauma is *any* experience that is too overwhelming for us to process at the time. The nature of the event itself is not what matters most. The after-effects of experiencing a trauma can range: Some people experience flashbacks, nightmares and intrusive thoughts. Others can have strong emotional states that feel out of control and like vast overreactions to the present situation. With EMDR we harness the brain's natural ability to heal itself. EMDR is the most research-based trauma therapy to date. For a quick primer on the technique, please view the 10-minute video below. We can also use EMDR to address a variety of other issues, e.g. core negative beliefs about self, safety, and so on.
Lifespan Integration is a gentle cousin of EMDR that began with Peggy Pace in 2002. LI uses the same natural processes of the brain to heal the mind-body. With LI, we can help you make sense of your story, and strengthen your sense of self and purpose. This modality offers powerful, transformative experiences for addressing trauma, parts of self that are stuck in time and need help understanding that the past is truly over. A benefit of LI over EMDR in some cases is that it is a slower paced, more gentle approach with a greater emphasis on support and attachment. Below I have included an introduction video by Peggy Pace, the founder of LI.
Based in mindfulness and nonviolence, Hakomi Psychology assumes we each have an Organic Self with an innate drive toward wholeness and health. This underlying principle is shared with almost all other therapy modalities. Similar to IFS, Hakomi has a primary focus on helping you cultivate a friendly, nonjudgmental relationship with your whole self. With this approach, we help you get deeply curious about your inner world; here, your body acts as a doorway to a deeper understanding of core beliefs, assumptions and attitudes about yourself and your world. As we bring these elements more into your conscious awareness, you get more choice, and leverage to transform old patterns of thought that may be keeping you small. One of my clients described Hakomi therapy as "facilitated meditation," and most clients are surprised by how powerful the experience of turning inward feels, using this method.
More information & videos here: https://hakomiinstitute.com/resources/books-reviews
Anxiety and depression can be mild, daily visitors set on a low hum, or they can be debilitating and extreme. Both can feel a lot like you're living with an enemy on the inside. Driving on the freeway, being in a social environment with others, and any number of other daily activities can become frightening with out-of-control panic and anxiety, or feel pointless and leave you flat, unmotivated. Whether your symptoms are mild or severe, adding a professional perspective can help. I find that the clients I work with do best with a tailored, integrative approach--meaning we pull from a variety of techniques to address your specific situation. We can build you a toolkit and perhaps explore root causes/beliefs that keep you stuck. Please take heart; even though it may seem impossible to you now, this truly can change and you can feel better. Our time is short; you deserve to live a life in which you feel a sense of belonging, freedom, calm and connected to your joyful nature.
Introduction to EMDR (about 10 minutes)
Introduction to Lifespan Integration (about 20 minutes)
Cost of therapy
Individual therapy, 50-minute session: Sliding scale $60-90
Group, single 90-minute session:
Sliding scale $25-40 per session (check back for information about upcoming groups).
I am offering Tele-health (online) therapy and will be opening an office for limited in-person sessions next year.