The guiding principle of my work is always to lead you towards greater self-acceptance and deeper connection within yourself and with others. I accomplish this by facilitating your movement through barriers to healthy self-expression, empowerment and supporting you in the accomplishment of your goals. My approach is client-centered, based on an integration of somatic and trauma focused modalities with relational and contemporary psychodynamic therapies.
I work with individuals and couples, and I specialize in treating PTSD and anxiety disorders. Since most symptoms are rooted in trauma, I treat a broad range of issues including addictions, attachment issues, childhood abuse and neglect. My background as the Clinical Director at Woman, Inc., serving survivors of domestic violence, has well prepared me for this work. Since 2004 I have been utilizing Somatic Experiencing and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, both body-oriented approaches for resolving trauma.
We begin our work together by addressing the current issues that bring you into therapy. We explore and gain understanding of how current patterns and dynamics may relate to your past and to any past trauma. I may provide some education on how current patterns relate to earlier childhood dynamics in helping you understand your feelings, symptoms and behaviors. We will also begin to identify and build on your strengths and resources in order to improve upon and give more room to what does work in your life. I help you process through any unresolved trauma to understand how old trauma-based patterns manifest in the body.
Together we gain awareness of how you "hold" your body in response to particular situations. As we become more mindful of sensations, impulses and movement of energy and feelings, we will explore alternatives and develop new resources. We will process and resolve trauma, as well as unlearn the bodily patterns that contribute to “being stuck”. Through this exploration, there is often a natural grieving process which allows you to let go of the past in order to move forward in your current life situation.
As a therapist, I always keep in mind your unique set of needs and comfort level so that the therapeutic environment feels as safe as possible. I work collaboratively with you to set goals and decide what to focus on as issues arise in your life and in the session. We go at a pace that feels most comfortable and is best for you. We may explore issues that come up between you and me, so that the therapy can become a kind of laboratory to practice behaviors that you can then incorporate into other relationships. For example, I might encourage you to express feelings that you have towards me or questions or concerns about things I say or do. This is one of the many ways to establish and build trust in others and in yourself, which I see as essential in order to bring about healing, growth and the capability to operate in the world in a way that feels comfortable and empowered.
As a couples’ therapist, I have been very successful at helping couples process through deeply held emotions that are usually at the heart of conflict. Usually each partner’s unresolved issues become triggered in a way that keeps the couple stuck and in unhealthy dynamics. When one of the partners becomes triggered in session, I use a somatic/attachment therapy approach to help him/her understand the source of the emotion, and access the feeling underneath. The other partner witnesses this and thereby has a deeper understanding and compassion for what’s happening inside the other. From that vulnerable place, I help them work with eye contact and communication to help the triggered partner feel safe and connected with the other partner while in that wounded place. Doing this helps the couple reestablish the attachment bond which has often been disrupted. Healing this disruption typically enables couples to resolve their issues.
Phone: 415-860-7116 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
711 D Street, Suite 201
San Rafael, CA 94901
5028 Geary Blvd.
San Francisco, CA 94118