I'm a real person. And I get that you are, too! I come to my clients as a humble, yet confident, professional with the passion and training to help them find their way with humility and deep respect for individuality. Everyone has their own pace, their own strengths, their own path, and their own wisdom. I help my clients use their unique assets to create the change they seek. First and foremost, I honor all needs for emotional safety and cultural sensitivity; the rest of our work together unfolds from there in a non-judgmental space.
My clinical orientation is strongly rooted in my training as an Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP) Level III Practitioner. This relatively new approach to therapy is healing-oriented and strength-based. When working with my clients, I help them develop self-awareness in the moment to better understand habitual ways of coping and relating to others. Together, we have new experiences that enable relational growth that persists outside my office. A core tenant of AEDP is the undoing of aloneness.
I specialize in working affirmatively with sexual and gender minorities and sex-positive communities (LGBTQ*, non-normative relationships, open/non-monogamous, polyamory, polysexuality, BDSM, leather/kink, fetishism, gender nonconformity/fluidity, HIV+). I also welcome clients with issues around minority stress, depression/anxiety, trauma, grief/loss, couples/multiple-partner relationships, parent/child relationships, family counseling, and ADHD.
I understand that searching for a therapist can feel like a difficult process. I am so happy that you are making that effort for yourself and/or your loved ones. I thank you for bringing me into this part of your journey by taking time to learn about me and my work.
A bit about how I came to where I am...
My life prior to becoming a therapist involved growing up in Pittsburgh, Pa, then going off to Ann Arbor to the University of Michigan for my BS in Anthropology-Zoology/PreMed. After graduating, I worked at UCSF doing malaria research for years sponsored by the WHO. After that, I turned my attention to the mind and body connection and studied at Yoga Tree SF to become a certified Yoga instructor (RPYT), with a special interest and training in pre- and post-natal yoga, as well as kids' yoga.
Finding my ultimate passion, I returned to school to study at Dominican University of California here in San Rafael, where I obtained my MS in Counseling Psychology. I love what I do, and my clients often remark that it shows. While still in school, I began a parallel track of education in clinical psychology through the AEDP Institute. This offered me the ability to bring all of my humanity into my work, and to finally integrate mind, body, and spirit; art and science; experience and learning; trauma and healing. Unlike some other therapies, this approach does not preclude the use of other great tools.
To follow my particular interest in sexuality, I have also studied at the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality (IASHS) and I have taken PhD courses in Human Sexuality at the California Institute for Integral Studies (CIIS). I have acquired all of the educational requirements for AASECT Sex Therapy Certification, and I am currently working towards meeting the requirements for clinical supervision.
I live and work in Marin County and I am familiar with the both the pleasures and challenges of living in this area. I am very well equipped to connect you to our local resources, as well as those a bit farther out, if needed. I have been a resident of Marin since 2006, and a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area since 2001.
I am a dedicated member and ally of many communities and I wish to be part of the solution when it comes to the stigma and pain that many marginalized people experience. I serve as a member of Marin County's Cultural Competence Advisory Board and I am an ongoing LGBTQ+ consultant for Marin County clinicians. I have served on the board for the Southern Marin Multi-Disciplinary Team in Marin City for years before establishing my practice in San Rafael. As an intern with Southern Marin Community Connections I worked with many of the undeserved and underprivileged families and individuals throughout Southern and Central Marin. In 2015, I founded the Diversity Committee for Marin CAMFT in an effort to help professionals engage with issues of disparity. To me, this means recognizing who is not represented among groups of therapists, how to work with personal bias, how to have respectful and honest dialogue with clients (and anyone) about differences and unknowns, about being "other"ed, about culturally-sensitive and culturally-situated subjects. I am a fan of systems. Most recently, I founded the Marin County Sex and Gender Professional Consultation Group to better coordinate services for clients and provide opportunities for professional peer education.
I am also currently collaborating with other Bay Area professionals, led by Dossie Easton, to create, teach and split series' of classes on navigating consent. Classes will be held beginning May 16, 2018 at the Center for Sex and Culture in SF; classes are donation-based and open to the public (via application).
Learn more about The Ethical Slut Classes and spread the word.
In my spare time... psssshhhtt!! --who are we kidding, spare time?! As you can imagine, life can get pretty busy. And I have other parts of my life outside of being a passionate clinician and scholar and student and teacher. As a service to myself, I make time as often as possible to relax at home, read, cook, be outdoors, play games and be silly with my family and friends.