Individuals, Couples, Families
I am a licensed marriage and family therapist providing psychotherapy to clients who suffer from many life challenges including depression, anxiety, trauma and substance abuse. My clients are adults, adolescents, families, and couples. I work with clients collaboratively, focusing on an individualized approach best suited to each to achieve a better understanding of themselves.
My goal is to help clients strengthen their resilience as well as find renewed confidence in and pleasure from their most meaningful relationships. In working with families and couples, our joint focus is to enhance communication, trust and openness. With individuals, many who suffer from extreme anxiety or feelings of despondence, we work together to explore, manage and resolve what interferes with their sense of hope for the future.
I often work with individuals experiencing devastating loss. These feelings of isolation, loneliness and disconnection can arise out of many different circumstances, including the death of a loved one, abandonment or separation; the loss of a sense of hope or expectation; or what we refer to as “disenfranchised loss” – one that is misunderstood or even ignored by others. I join with my clients to find ways to manage these feelings, working through them not past them, coming to a place of understanding, acceptance, and serenity.
In working with couples, I see partners who are on the cusp of contemplating a life together as well as those who are struggling to determine if they are able to continue their life together. In these settings, we work together to identify the couples’ own strengths and challenges, the shared values which underlie those strengths, and patterns of communication and behavior which interfere with what brought them together at the outset.
My clients include adult families from multiple generations who are struggling to understand and communicate about issues – issues often laden with secrecy – which have impacted their ability to trust in one another. These can involve resentments that threaten opportunities to welcome future generations, experience important life events or the ways we can manage to care for ourselves and each other. It is my goal to create an environment of safety and trust where each family member finds his or her voice and a way forward for open, shared and honest communication.
I also see families and couples who may be experiencing challenges in raising children – whether young or adolescent. In these instances, we look together to parenting challenges, skills and expectations. Our work here is a collaborative process, focusing on all aspects of a family dynamic to identify what may be working and what is getting in the way of effective communication, management of emotions, and age-appropriate discipline, with a view towards enhancing parent-child communication, respect, trust and enjoyment.
Because of my own personal experience, I am particularly excited about the work I do helping those impacted by adoption and infertility – whether they are adoptive or biological parents, parents struggling with the challenges of creating a family, or adolescents grappling with their own identity. As the parent of two grown daughters, one adopted and one biologic, I know there can be complex feelings that arise out of issues surrounding the many ways to make and raise a family.
I completed my MA in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy at Pepperdine University. Before starting in private practice, I worked at the Southern California Counseling Center where I received additional training in individual and family counseling and provided therapy to clients suffering from a wide variety of emotional disorders. I have provided training on adoption to mental health professionals, lead support groups for parents, as well as groups for family members experiencing difficulties communicating with a loved one suffering from serious emotional challenges. I have a law degree from George Washington University, and practiced law for many years in Los Angeles before returning to graduate school to pursue my Masters.