My Background and Beliefs
I am a child of the sixties, shaped by the social change, civil rights and anti-war movements of the time. After attending Oberlin College I became a community organizer for the United Farmworkers and subsequently developed jobs for county ex-offenders in San Francisco. This fueled my interest in social work and psychology.
I enrolled in the California State University MSW Program, Sacramento, concentrating on Mental Health. Upon graduation I received the Mary Jane Dougherty Award for outstanding contribution to the community, based on my original research regarding attitude toward rape.
At the time Sacramento was terrorized by the so-called East Area Rapist, who repeatedly attacked homes in the safest part of the city. It is now known that he moved to Santa Cruz around the time of my research and continued to terrorize scores of women and their families there. Though I am sorry that he has never been caught, I like to think my research process - unusual and risky at the time - might have raised awareness a bit and worried him out of Sacramento.
After acquiring my LICSW, I gradually earned the many hours of on-the job individual and group supervision required for licensure at the "Clinical" or Psychotherapist level.
For seven years I was a Family Therapist and School Social Worker at the Parsons Child and Family Center in Albany, New York. I have subsequently worked for three Washington area school systems - Montgomery County, Fairfax County, and The District -counseling students and their families, and advising teachers.
In 2007 I opened my private practice.
I've been formerly trained in many treatment approaches over a 35- plus year career. Some of them are: Trans generational (Bowenian) Family Therapy. Imago Couples Therapy. Gottman Couples Therapy. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Psychodynamic Psychotherapy. Solution-Focused Therapy.
To this psychotherapy education, I have added many mindbody, alternative and somatic trainings: including EMDR, yoga, meditation and stress management techniques. I deliberately took anatomy and physiology - not normally included in Psychotherapists' training -in order to understand the workings of the nervous system and body as a whole.
I believe that all of us have ability and coping history. My job is to help you identify your abilities, apply those strengths and teach you new skills, as you face the constant challenges of a fast-changing world. I myself have faced and learned from many personal challenges over the years.
What I am most sure of, at this point, is the fundamental need all of us have to be thoughtfully, kindly, listened to and understood. We have to know through someone's face, words, out loud response, that our struggle is not crazy, our effort not unheard. Then we can get the courage to do, gradually, whatever we can do to feel better.