I am a LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) with over 10 years of experience providing psychotherapy.
Some highlights of my specialized training are:
EMDR - Basic & Advanced Training with EMDRIA & the Parnell Institute
Somatic Psychotherapy - 7-month long Hakomi Mindfulness-Based Somatic Psychotherapy training, EMDR, dance & movement background
Ecotherapy - numerous Animas Valley Institute intensives, Wild Mind Training Program, Ecotherapy Certificate from the Earthbody Institute
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy - extensive training at UCSF
Mindfulness - over 15 years of personal practice, retreats, and applying mindfulness in therapy & groups
Expressive Arts - Tamalpa Institute, JFK University, extensive dance & movement training
My educational background is in both Psychology and Social Work:
Master's in Social Welfare, UC Berkeley, 2005
Master's in Health Psychology, University of Surrey, U.K., 1999
Bachelor's in Psychology, UC Santa Cruz, 1994
The presence I bring to therapy
My presence is multi-faceted and engaging. I am warm, non-judgmental, and nurturing. I can be humorous, inquisitive, and embody an approach of friendly curiosity. I am passionately creative in therapy, dedicated to finding just the right tools to help guide you your process. My work is grounded in deep listening, facilitating our work together to guide your inner wisdom.
My approach to therapy
I believe our most challenging moments can be sacred doorways to transformation. We each have a deep inner wisdom and tremendous power can be found when we connect to this. My approach in therapy honors this wisdom on all levels - body, mind, and spirit. I also believe it is vital to reconnect as a part of the living system of nature, and through this wisdom, reclaim our true sense of belonging and humanity.
I believe our beings are always moving towards balance & integration. The work of re-patterning outdated protection and management strategies we've understandably built up, but that no longer serve us, allows us to finally be able to say yes to our full, authentic self. I work with each of my clients from the perspective of their inherent wholeness, beyond any symptoms or wounding. This is a positive and life-affirming approach.
I have a strong commitment to my constant growth as a therapist and a human being. I see the essence of my personal path and my work in psychotherapy as understanding not-seperateness on all levels – welcoming all parts of our psyches, finding relational & socio-political healing, finding the truth of not-seperateness spiritually, and ecologically coming back home to our belonging as part of the natural world.
I took the route of becoming a psychotherapist through being a social worker because I have a commitment to social justice, and wanted to begin my psychotherapy career working with marginalized folks in the public sector. I worked for UCSF at community clinics for 8 years as a Clinical Social Worker, providing individual and group psychotherapy and practical case management to people with severe mental health issues, substance dependence, homelessness, chronic medical issues, and trauma.
For the last 4 years of this work, I was a Clinical Supervisor, training, mentoring, and supervising other therapists. I have a depth of training and experience from this part of my career - trauma treatment, treating depression and anxiety, working with crisis, addiction, medical issues, and transitions – that serves me well in private psychotherapy. I became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in 2008.
I have a lifelong dedication to a path of spiritual inquiry. I grew up devoutly Christian (Lutheran), and in my adult life have studied and practiced Zen Buddhism, Tibetian Buddhism, Tantric Philosophy & Meditation, Yoga (asana, meditation, pranayama & yoga-nidra), Christian mysticism, Animism, and most deeply, Insight Meditation (also known as Vipassana or Mindfulness) and non-dual inquiry (Advaita Vedanta). My path in recent years has been focused on earth-based practices and soul-work, which I define as practices allowing me to remember my belonging as a part of the living system of the wild earth, and connecting me with the truth of my most authentic and mythological identity.
Now a woman in my late forties, I bring a maturity to my psychotherapy practice based not only on training and clinical work, but also on life experience. I had a career in the corporate world before I became a psychotherapist, and have entrepreneurally started several successful businesses. I have cared for aging parents and midwifed my mother through her death from Alzheimer's. Like most of us, I have loved, been heartbroken, and grieved the deaths of people beloved to me. I have been in many different relationship formats. I have lived with chronic illness, and with depression and anxiety, and learned to successfully balance and heal these. I have had transpersonal experiences that were both challenging & transformational. I am a dancer and artist/designer with a successful jewelry business. I find myself time and time again humbled by the richness and mystery of life and how much I learn through self-inquiry, relationships, nature, movement, and by just being present with what is.
EMDR Level 1 & 2 – EMDRIA Humanitarian Assistance Program, 2008
EMDR Level 3 – 5-day Advanced EMDR Training with Dr. Laurel Parnell, 2019
Super Resourcing Training - with Dr. Alison Teal, 2020
Hakomi Cultivating Creative Curiosity & Change Training – 2012
Hakomi Essential Skills Training – 2015
Hakomi Professional Skills Training - 2019-2020
Ecotherapy & Eco-Depth Psychology
Since 2017, I have participated in numerous retreats with the Animas Valley Institute (AVI), the premier training organization for eco-depth psychology. These include intensives on: Soulcraft, an Animas Visionquest, Wild Mind, Nature and the Human Soul, The Way of Council & Art of Mirroring, Deep Imagination, and the Advanced Soulcraft Intensive. I am a current member of the AVI Wild Mind Training Program, an intensive series of trainings & mentorship for psychotherapists and members of other healing professions who want to integrate eco-depth work into their client practices. In 2020 I continued my studies with an Ecotherapy Certificate from the Earthbody Institute.
Long-term personal mindfulness practice – 2002-present
Participated in 10 week-long or longer mindfulness retreats, including a month-long silent retreat at Spiritrock Meditation Center in 2008
Facilitated client groups in DBT and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression (MBCTD) and Relaxation & Mindfulness groups for clinic staff at UCSF - 2006-2012
Taught Mindfulness-Based Therapy to staff at UCSF Citywide Clinic and to the UCSF Psychiatric NP program – 2007-2008
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
9-month Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Seminar, UCSF/SFGH Dept of Psychosocial Medicine - 2004-2005
Over 100 hours training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), with Alan Fruzetti, University of Reno - 2005-2008
Facilitated DBT groups at UCSF Citywide Clinic - 2006-2012
Expressive Arts & Movement
Dance & movement have been a passion of mine for over 20 years. I have studied many forms (Authentic Movement, modern, partner dance), but the primary form I have studied in the last 10 years has been Contact Improvisation (CI). This form of post-modern dance is an exploration of bodies in contact, of momentum and gravity, technical skill, body sensation, and intimacy. The spontaneous physical interactions that emerge can range from subtle to highly athletic, and train the body and mind in a heightened state of mindfulness and non-duality. I have completed over 450 hours of training in CI with international teachers including Kira Kirsch, Martin Keogh, Karl Frost, Vega Lukkonen, Ulli Wittemann, and others. I have studied the Tamalpa Life/Art Process through multiple workshops and a 5-day intensive with founder Anna Halprin in 2017, combining movement, dance, drawing, and writing for profound self-discovery. I also studied the wonderful drama & movement narrative practice of Motion Theater with Nina Wise in 2016. I have furthered my exploration with classes at JFK University in Expressive Arts Therapy in 2016.
See my training above with the Animas Valley Institute for eco-depth psychology and also my experience with mindfulness and Buddhist practice. In addition, my personal experience includes 7 years of in-depth practice of
non-dual inquiry with teachers including Rupert Spira, Adyashanti, Unmani, and Mooji. I have also been on staff or a volunteer with the Science & Non-Duality Conference (SAND) from 2014-2019. Other related trainings include:
Holotropic Breathwork with Dr. Stan Grof - 2010
Core Shamanism with Michael Harner - 2012
Awakening Coaching Training with Arjuna Ardagh - 2016-2017
Practical Animism with Dr. Daniel Foor - 2019
Psychodynamic Therapy, UC Berkeley - 2003
Motivational Interviewing Training at the University of New Mexico with William Miller & Theresa Moyers - 2008
Previous Clinical Work Experience
Senior Clinical Supervisor, UCSF Citywide Forensics Team 2010-2012
Clinical Supervisor, UCSF Citywide Linkage Team 2008-2010
Clinical Social Worker, UCSF Citywide Linkage Team 2006-2008
Clinical Social Worker, SFGH Emergency Dept Case Management 2005-2006
Worked at community clinics with clients diagnosed with severe mental illness (primarily psychotic disorders, bipolar disorder, severe depression, anxiety, and borderline personality disorder), often also with PTSD and substance dependence, and who were often homeless and coping with chronic medical conditions. I provided individual therapy, group therapy, and practical case management. As a supervisor, I was responsible for all intakes including detailed assessment and diagnosis. I managed a team of 5 other therapists and provided clinical supervision, mentorship, and training.
On the Burning Man Emergency Services Crisis Mental Health Team from 2011-2014