The time for you is now.
Welcome! I’m glad that you are here and hope we meet one day soon.
My passion and purpose are to help people tap into the incredible healing power of our minds and bodies. I teach people how to go inside to connect with themselves, heal, release, and thrive! I love to witness the hope, wholeness, and joy that stem from the deep healing journey. I am a student and practitioner of meditation and mindfulness and part of a sangha – a spiritual/contemplative community. These give me a deep sense of connection to myself and to all people and absolutely contribute to my ability to be deeply attuned to my clients.
I was taught to help from a young age and it felt natural to me. I knew that I wanted to help people as a career. My path to becoming a therapist began when I was 14 and saw a therapist for the first time. I felt seen and understood by my therapist and knew I wanted to help others feel the way I felt.
My Practice: I’m a psychotherapist (LCSW – Licensed Clinical Social Worker LCS#22370) in private practice in Santa Monica, CA, and have been in private practice for 20 years. I specialize in healing trauma. My early training and education were in multiple forms of talk therapy modalities (such as CBT) We now know that talk therapy cannot heal trauma. Trauma is a learned physiological response and can only be healed in the body where it is held.
Any life event which causes significant physical and/or emotional injury and distress, in which the person powerfully experiences being overwhelmed, helpless, or trapped, can become a traumatic experience. There is growing recognition within the healing professions that experiences of physical and/or emotional injury, acute and chronic pain, serious physical illness, as well as many other problematic life events that we commonly consider traumatic such as abuse, the “isms,” or early childhood experiences, will contribute to the development of a substantial reservoir of life trauma. That trauma is held in the body.
In most cases, the traumatized individual does not adequately process and integrate these traumatic life events. The traumatic experience then becomes a part of that individual’s trauma reservoir The body and the psyche cannot remain unaffected by the physical, energetic, and emotional costs extracted by this accumulated trauma load. The individual continues to live, unknowingly, in survival strategies, and the toll is demonstrated in health issues.
Education/ Experience: I received a BA in psychology with an English minor, from San Diego State University (SDSU) in 1992, where I graduated magna cum laude.
I received an MSW (Master of Social Work) from SDSU, for which I was awarded a CALSWEC stipend, in 1996.
I received a BA in psychology with an English minor, from San Diego State University (SDSU) in 1992, where I graduated magna cum laude and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. I received an MSW (Master of Social Work) from SDSU, for which I was awarded a CALSWEC stipend, in 1996.
Social Work Career: After graduate school, I worked with trauma for 30 years in a variety of capacities and roles (while simultaneously maintaining a small private practice) including schools, adolescent treatment programs, group homes, family support agencies, and public child welfare in San Diego, Oakland, and Los Angeles.
I had many roles in my twenty-year child welfare career where I worked with community partners and governmental agencies to create and enhance collaboration and participated in and led teams to develop innovative public child welfare programs that are being replicated in the United States. These programs redesigned systemic approaches to better support vulnerable children and their families, decrease time spent in out-of-home (“foster”) care, increase children’s connection to their families, created permanent families for children, increased oversight of mental health services to youth in foster care who suffer the greatest struggles, including programs to monitor psychotropic medications and implementing and overseeing psychiatric discharge planning conferences. I initiated a collaboration with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, where I led a team to implement an outreach program for parents incarcerated in all of the Los Angeles County jails and coordinated much media coverage of this program. I was awarded the coveted National Association of Counties (NACO) award for the development of the Parents in Partnership program – a peer mentorship program. I found the impact of this macro work quite rewarding. I had also been often frustrated by the lack of access to deep healing services, understanding that healing is the key to breaking the generational cycles of the trauma that I saw so many suffering. I ultimately left the field of social work to pursue my calling of full-time private practice, as I had always intended