I bring that human element into my work because its part of what allows me to be helpful.
My perspective comes not just from a textbook, though that training has been very important. It also comes from the experience of working through my own struggles, hurts and issues.
Nobody's perfect and my family was no exception, but those challenges were the seeds of my own personal growth and journey.
My Journey: how I got here
Like most of us, I grew up in a family with problems and dysfunctions. My family did their best, and did a very good job in many ways, but I was often influenced by the difficulties my parents encountered in their relationship.
They didn't know how to relate and communicate well. They were just doing their best, following in the footsteps laid before them, a fairly common strategy for their generation.
I didn't know exactly what good relationships looked like, but I knew I wanted to learn and discover what it would take to create one.
These were the challenges that would eventually develop into a life-long passion for studying psychology, understanding our complex emotions and learning how to create good relationships.
I knew that emotions, communication and relationships were important. I wanted to know how to help my own family, but also how to “do relationships” better than my role models were doing it.
My quest for a better version of relating has been fueled by my own personal disappointments and hurts, as well as strengths and gifts.
I've found along the way that effective and loving relating isn't a given, it is an advanced skill. One of the most satisfying experiences in my life is sharing what I've learned and guiding others into more skillful and satisfying love-relationships.
My Background + Education
As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, I have Masters Degrees in:
Integral Counseling Psychology (California Institute of Integral Studies, 2012)
Spiritual Psychology, Emphasis in Healing, Health and Consciousness (University of Santa Monica, 2007)
As well as an undergraduate BA in Psychology (Northwest Nazarene University, 1995).
I have been studying counseling and psychology for over 20 years and have advanced training in a number of areas. I have studied and trained:
at the Integral Counseling Center at Pierce Street, San Francisco
at the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis
with Sue Johnson (Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy)
with John and Julie Gottman (The Gottman Institute)
I continue to hone my skills and stay abreast of the most relevant advances in the field, particularly those in the areas of Neuroscience, Attachment Theory, Couples and Systems Therapy and Developmental Trauma work.