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“Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you.”

Jean-Paul Sarte
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About Me

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor who holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from the Pacifica Graduate Institute. I have worked in the field of Mental Health for over twenty-five years in a diverse number of clinical settings including: community and county mental health clinics, homeless outreach programs, a parole/probation department, an out-patient drug and alcohol treatment center, a mental health crisis team as well as in private practice. My work has focused on the treatment of chronic and persistent mental illness, depression, anxiety, trauma, PTSD, addiction, suicidal ideation, crisis-intervention and traumatic grief.

Psychotherapeutic Approach

Below are some of the core dynamics I like to address in Psychotherapy:

We cannot heal what we do not understand. It is important is to understand how our brains and bodies work and to know that it is safe to explore our inner world even though our minds might not “think” so.

Learning how to calm our nervous system. We cannot heal if we are reactive and feel unsafe.

Being willing to acknowledge what we are avoiding and resisting. Mental anguish is often due to the avoidance of our suffering. Even though a lot of things that have happened to us are out of our control, we have to take responsibility for them in order to heal. Otherwise, we remain a victim of circumstance.

Learning that the mind of a child is naïve and innocent and is incapable of telling the difference between what is true and what is false. Persistent programming and conditioning from parents, society, religion etc. have resulted in the creation of a self-image which we believe is who we are. It is often seen through a negative and self-critical lens with core beliefs of insufficiency, unworthiness and limitation. It is important to examine and question this image. 

Seeing that we are not just our thoughts and to break the addiction to the thought system. Learning that we cannot think our way out of a problem with the same thought system that created the problem, that just results in more problems and frustration.

Being willing to turn towards our emotions. When we feel, we can heal.

Being very clear about what is most important in our life and taking concrete and committed actions to achieve these goals. 

Addressing any trauma which might be causing us to be stuck and constantly triggered.


Recognizing that there is an aspect of your Self, an awareness that is greater than your thoughts and feelings (a witness/observer). If you were only your thoughts and feelings, it would be impossible to be aware of them.

“There's a crack in everything;
That's how the light gets in.”

Leonard Cohen, "Anthem"

Trauma Services

As a result of the work that I have done over the years, I have devoted much of my time to treating trauma. I trained for one year at the Maiberger Institute studying EMDR Therapy (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and have also trained extensively in ART (Accelerated Resolution Therapy).


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Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing

EMDR created by Francine Shapiro is a psychotherapeutic approach that addresses the symptoms and emotional distress caused by disturbing life experiences. EMDR can be used as a stand-alone treatment, or in conjunction with other therapeutic techniques to resolve past trauma and to heal old emotional wounds.


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Accelerated Resolution Therapy

Created by Laney Rozenzweig, this is a unique approach to psychotherapy in that it treats trauma with a focus on negative images and sensations. The ART Therapist guides the client to replace negative images in the mind that are causing the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress with positive images of the client’s choosing. Once the negative images have been replaced by positive ones, the triggers will disappear.

“All the beauty of this world is wet with the dew of tears.”

Theodor Haecker

Traumatic Bereavement

After spending many years working with a Mental Health Crisis Team, I saw the need for helping individuals who were grieving the loss of their loved ones as a result of violent, unexpected and sudden death. I have trained with Dr. Joanne Cacciatore at the MISS Foundation and I am a Compassionate Bereavement Care Certified Provider.

I specialize in loss due to suicide. When someone we love dies by suicide, it is different than any other type of loss and is often referred to as “complicated grief”. This just means that we can be overcome with feelings of shock, numbness, detachment, disassociation, guilt, shame, confusion, panic, anxiety, and/or anger. We often blame ourselves for what happened, and believe that we should have known more, done more. We can be plagued with the question of why?! Trauma also plays a significant part in this type of loss because in some cases we find the body, witness the death or have been told how the deceased died and a negative image can get stuck in our minds. I feel this trauma must be addressed so we do not get stuck in the grieving process.

Unfortunately, we live in a society that does not know how to grieve. Men who cry are perceived as weak, and women are portrayed as crying too much. After a funeral we are expected to just get on with our lives. We do not get over grief like we get over the flu. We have not been taught how to inhabit our feelings and to honor what lies inside of us. We never “get over” the death of someone we lose. If we have truly loved someone, we will always grieve and feel their loss. The good news is we can learn to grieve which really just means being willing to feel our feelings and to be present to what shows up. Grief and love are interchangeable. Even though grief never goes away, as time passes, we can carry our grief in a different way, more lightly, with less pain, and with a new sense of connection and love in our hearts. If the bereaved are able to inhabit their feelings, I have seen that even though their hearts are broken, the heart can also be broken open to a new sense of love, sensitivity and compassion for life. The bereaved can realize that even in the physical absence of their loved one, a deep and loving connection can still remain.

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“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am then I can change.”

Carl R. Rogers
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