Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.
- Dr. Seuss
Q: How do you approach working with clients?
A: I have a few primary goals in working with clients. I want folks to feel comfortable and comforted, to develop an understanding of what is causing their distress, and to be able to achieve resolution and a sense of greater satisfaction in life through tools that we practice during our time together.
In my opinion, therapy should feel safe, and, although it may challenge you, it should not feel torturous. Coming to therapy because you feel better afterwards helps motivate you to make even deeper changes, ultimately.
Many choices in life are relative, so my job isn’t to pathologize or judge, but to help ask, “How’s that choice working for you”? If the answer is anything less than optimal, we will work together to see what changes will lead to the most authentic and desired outcomes for your life.
Whether you are working to ease the symptoms of depression and anxiety, healing from grief and loss issues, resolving trauma, or seeking deeper relationships with yourself and others, I can help you move forward.
Q: What theories do you use in your therapeutic work?
A: I am a voracious reader and am always learning new approaches and tools; however I return again and again to three primary therapeutic styles/toolboxes that I’ve seen inspire the most change in my clients’ lives.
1. Object Relations. Our relationships in the past impact and inform those in the present; therefore, it is often useful to see where our habitual patterns of relating originate. When we continue to react to people with outdated responses that don’t serve us, it causes anxiety, stagnation and/or conflict in our relationships. Together, we can check out these old relationship strategies and evaluate what to keep and what to “tune up” so that life works better for you.
2. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)/Solution Focused Therapy. This is where my huge belief in tools and practice comes from. Fortunately, although we are all uniquely ourselves, we are similar enough to be able to benefit from the proven strategies that will provide symptom relief. I have an abundant set of communication tools, anxiety relieving solutions, and relationship skills. It is my job to teach them to you so that you can benefit from them in my therapy office and (especially) beyond.
3. Mindfulness. This is the strategy we use to develop a greater awareness of your mind as a partner in contributing to your moods – good, bad, and everything in between. It is also where we draw upon techniques to reduce your emotional “baseline.” For example, if you are extremely anxious, angry, stressed, busy, etc., we work together to bring you down a notch so that you can experience your life more clearly and calmly in the moment. When we are living in a constant state of intensity, it is very hard to make thoughtful choices - whether responding to our partner, child, boss, or to our own needs. Calming the mind down gives us a chance to respond to our lives again, instead of compulsively or impulsively reacting.
Q: With whom do you work?
A: I work with adults and teens, couples, groups and families of all kinds who are seeking to improve the quality of their relationships and lives. Please see my treatment areas to learn more about specific populations and communities I serve.
Q: What are your professional qualifications?
A: I am licensed by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences to practice Marriage and Family Therapy in the State of California. My license number is: 44056.
I hold a Master's of Arts from John F. Kennedy University in Counseling Psychology and a B.A. from the University of California, Santa Cruz in Literature and Cultural Studies. I am a member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.
Helping people address life's challenges has been my professional focus for the past 19 years. I have worked with people struggling with addictions, HIV, self-esteem, depression, relationship issues, and a myriad of other concerns. Working through community based organizations, such as the Santa Cruz AIDS Project, and through public health programs at the County of Santa Cruz, I have been able to help improve the lives of hundreds of people.
I am also a Clinical Supervisor to Marriage and Family Therapy Interns.
Q: What is your rate per session?
A: I charge $160 per 50 minute session. I offer a complimentary initial consultation via phone or email so that we can determine if we are a good match to work together.
Q: Do you accept insurance?
A: Many plans will reimburse subscribers for out-of-network providers. I am happy to work with you and contact your provider to see if they will reimburse for psychotherapy services. I request payment at each session, but I am glad to prepare a statement for you to submit to your insurance company.
Q: What forms of payment do you accept?
A: Cash, check, debit card, Visa, MasterCard, Pay Pal, and Venmo.
Q: Do you offer a sliding scale?
A: I offer a sliding scale option to a select number of clients who wouldn’t be able to see me otherwise. Please inquire if you would like to discuss this option.
Q: What if I can’t afford these services?
A: My work in community mental health has familiarized me with the range of local mental health services and I readily refer patients to a variety of lower-cost local services.
My office is located on Prince Street in South Berkeley, off of Telegraph Ave - next to Halcyon Park. There is free 2 hour parking located around the park and neighborhood.
My office address is:
2315 Prince Street #7
Berkeley, CA 94705