Who am I?
I have been providing therapy in the South Bay since 1999, where I have also lived for over 45 years. In my private practice I focus on connection, communication, self-awareness, and understanding and knowing ourselves. This results in less conflicted and more meaningful connected relationships for couples, families and parent-teen relationships. One aspect of my practice I greatly enjoy is facilitating a therapy group that focuses on communication, connection and the process of relating to others. Throughout my life it has been apparent that I had an inherent gift of intuition, communication and understanding people in a deeper, and more direct way. I spent a lot of my twenties in a severe depression with overwhelming anxiety. This difficult life situation resulted in an amazing growth experience, as I went to therapy and began extensive work on myself. I know what it feels like to be in an unhappy relationship, and feel depressed and anxious in life. I have sat on that couch in a therapist’s office and can appreciate the difficulty in seeking counseling as well as the growth process itself. I also, have come out the other side and can honestly say I am at peace and experience a wonderful level of contentment in my relationships and personally. I am a living example of how effective therapy can be and that people can really change. I walk the walk and talk the talk. This I credit to the therapeutic process, my therapist, and the faculty at Pacific Gestalt Institute. I have spent my life exploring and studying communication, relationships, personally, spiritually and professionally. This is my passion and my gift. If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would still practice therapy.
What is my background and experience?
I hold a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Currently, I am in the process of certification as a Gestalt Therapist. This process includes 3-5 years of Gestalt training at the Pacific Gestalt Institute and in a Gestalt consult group as well as counseling with a Gestalt therapist. My past studies include many years of individual and group counseling under a Gestalt Therapist. I am very proud of my own therapy and thus knowing myself. Knowing all aspects of myself has been invaluable in my work with clients. Currently, I am a member of the Board of Directors at The Gestalt Institute of Los Angeles. I have held the position of Secretary and now Treasurer. I have a consistent meditation practice and use mindfulness in the room with clients especially when working with depression and Anxiety.
My experience providing therapy for low-income families and foster children at Starview Community Services has also proved a strong foundation in working with conflicted relationships and thus promoting healing and understanding under severe circumstances. While working at Starview, I also provided therapy as a private practice intern in Westchester, where I gained valuable experience providing couples counseling. This is where I decided to dedicate my practice to teaching better communication, awareness and connection to individuals, couples and families. During this time I also became involved in The Beach Cities Health District’s Wellness Program, where I facilitated a communications class. Some of my past credits include appearing in a series focusing on depression on Santa Monica TV 16's "Coffee Break". I have also had a re-occurring guest-teaching role in the School-counseling program at Loyola Marymount University.
What is my approach?
If I were in a personal crisis, or with a loved one, I would not want to hear about theories, approaches and "psychobabble". However, If I were to use "psychobabble" to describe what I do, I am a Gestalt therapist that uses a combination of Communications (Virginia Satir), mindfulness and Family systems theory. I personally practice meditation and use it to treat anxiety and depression. Meditation assists with focusing on the here and now, and the meaning we make of things, as well as getting to know ourselves. My current training at the Pacific Gestalt Institute has reinforced my passion for here and now work with clients. With this being said, what is really important is that I am direct, authentic and not afraid to be transparent about my experience or what I observe between people. While at the same time, I am compassionate and understanding about the discomfort and difficulty in attending therapy in its own right and being called out on defenses. I am skilled at challenging people to look at themselves while holding them in a compassionate and understanding way. I spend time teaching communication skills and explaining the reasons for the change. Most of us just want to be heard, understood, and know that our partner cares about us. Ultimately, we just want the painful round and round fighting to stop so we can get back to enjoying our relationships again.
License # MFC 39858