Learn a Little More About Me
I am a somatic healer with a sense of humor and knack for storytelling. Understanding the arc of your story - where you’ve been, who you are, and where you are going - that’s what I enjoy most about being a therapist. Healing and finding your version of wellbeing is both an adventure and a mystery - through conversation we may discover things we never imagined.
As a survivor of emotional and spiritual abuse, I rely on mindfulness practices and imagination to create safety in my body and recover from the past. These tools helped me most because once I could See Myself healing, and embrace all of the people I had been, I could then experience the desire to connect with others and open my heart to a life that was more vibrant than I thought possible.
I’m in a constant state of finding acceptance and acknowledging that tending to my mental health is a daily activity. There are no easy answers and no one way to be. “We contain multitudes.” That is the source of my healing practice. It is the well I will draw from as we work together to cultivate the richness of your inner life.
Therapy is intended to be a dynamic process, where we learn together what it means to be human trying to figure shit out. My healing art has been forged in the fire of conflict and restoration, beauty and discovery. I look forward to learning with you.
What It's Like to Work with Me
You’ll notice I take a kind and directive approach. I appreciate transparency and want you to feel like you’re talking to a fellow human.
I try to stray away from therapy language and translate concepts into examples that apply to your everyday life. I make conscious choices in my language to not rehash all the “therapized” language we are used to hearing.
Okay, I’m known to drop an f bomb or two or three. It's a habit from working with teens. I'm an animated therapist, what can I say?
Expect to be surprised - I don’t follow a script and listen as you discover what your intuition is telling you. I’m somewhat of an encyclopedia and pick up on sentences, feelings, or memories you shared many sessions ago. In a way, I’m a weaver and will take each thread to show you the tapestry of beauty that your life experiences have created.
While experiencing a major depressive episode in my young adulthood, I decided to go back to therapy. I sat in the waiting room, sobbing my eyes out. The therapist asked me to complete a questionnaire about depression, a standard measurement tool. It was such an incredibly isolating feeling - being given a piece of paper to check off my “symptoms” rather than feeling comforted and welcomed. It took me a while to recover from that and try to see a therapist again.
Unfortunately, my story is not unique and I’ve had many people share feeling even more isolated after reaching out. And yet, I’ve also had incredibly eye-opening and beautiful experiences with therapy - when you start to feel like yourself again and gain new courage to interrupt a cycle in your life. I hold in balance constantly that therapy is powerful and it is also a part of the healing process, rather than the whole of it.
I really enjoy working with people who want to imagine a different future for themselves, who dare to believe that they are worth what it takes to heal. And they may not even realize they believe this yet! It’s the little things like, taking a deep breath or a pause, a look in their eyes. It’s a spark of inspiration that I believe is an indicator of change. Once we find that spark (which everyone has), we use that to light the fire of motivation and compassion for self and others.
I wish everyone knew that therapy can be fun! Gone are the days of analyzing you while you lay on the couch. What if therapy is a chance to hear yourself laugh again? Like a big, deep belly laugh? What if therapy is the place where you can discover and welcome in all the parts of yourself? Therapy can amplify the joy in your life because it gives you an outlet to hear yourself and discover that hey, you are pretty awesome.
I am a chameleon when it comes to my therapeutic style. I’m fairly adaptable to the situations that present themselves. If you need practical steps, let’s try that. If you want time to be quiet with yourself and clarify your future direction, I’m all ears. Did you know that therapy falls under the profession of the Healing Arts? It truly is an artform. I have hours and hours and hours of listening under my belt. It takes a lot of practice to hear someone and reflect back their inner wisdom.
One of my favorite therapeutic methods is Internal Family Systems, which is a framework that assumes we all have inner voices and multifaceted personalities that make up who we are. When defenses come up or negative thoughts, instead of wishing them away, we invite them into the conversation! We can learn so much from our inner dialogue when we approach it with curiosity.
Where I Come From
February 2021 to present
Building on my experiences in community mental health, I support individuals and families finding themselves in need of a conversationalist, a sounding board, and a guide to get them through life's ups and downs, with special interest in adolescence, family life, aging, and birth & postpartum. The framework I view therapy through is based in Internal Family Systems, neurology & brain development, attachment theory, and depth psychology. I combine practical tools with inner leadership to empower people on their life's journey.
October 2017 to May 2021
SCHOOL-BASED MENTAL HEALTH
Dedicated to meeting the mental health needs of youth and families, I facilitated workshops and intervention programs, provided individual and group therapy, and collaborated with psychologists, school staff, and medical professionals. I launched mental health programs for three school districts serving middle and high school students. I trained and mentored over 30 therapists in youth development, trauma-informed care, cultural responsiveness, and multidisciplinary collaboration. I grew the organization from serving hundreds to thousands of students each year by creating technological solutions and maximizing service delivery efficiency.
September 2015 to September 2017
Worked in social service settings serving individuals and families from underinvested communities including unsheltered folks and young children impacted by Child Welfare services. Trained in intensive case management, I coached hundreds of individuals, motivating toward goals for change. I supported healing from environmental traumas such as poverty, oppression, food insecurity and community violence.
EDUCATION & TRAINING
Learning and Living
TRAINING IN PSYCHOTHERAPY
Perinatal Mental Health Certified (PMH-C) through Postpartum Support International
Internal Family Systems
Somatic Interventions and Social Justice
MASTER'S IN SOCIAL WORK, SDSU
With training in social service administration and direct people work, I took the university's first mentor & mentee program for social workers to new heights. Passionate about caring for helping professionals, I funded a conference highlighting the emotional and educational needs of social work students.
SOCIOLOGY, UC SAN DIEGO
Minor in English literature. I worked for a co-op on campus and learned the beauty of what people can do together when there's equity in power. Graduate of the Chancellor's Undergraduate Diversity Learning Institute, the early years of my consciousness of how identity shapes our experiences were formed.