LMFT, California Board of Behavioral Science; MA, Counseling Psychology, JFK University
Certified MBSR Instructor
Private practice & community counseling center therapy
Advanced Training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
Expressive Arts Therapy specialization
Counselor in 3 elementary & middle school districts
Cofounder & Board member: Nonprofit advocacy group, Collaborative Community Program, San Jose, CA
Former writer / Public school art consultant / Parent participation education participant & board member
Research assistant, clinical psychology
Bachelor of Arts, Philosophy, UC Berkeley; MA, Counseling Psychology, JFK University
I've worked with adults and children throughout my adult life, since beginning my post-college career as a journalist. I took a long journalism break to be at-home mom of three children (now grown), working in schools for 12 years before going back to school in counseling. My early passion for writing and expressive arts evolved through experiences with chronic illness and child-rearing, eventually fueling my fascination with the many ways people learn (and create) to navigate through life's challenges. Thus began my "post-kids" return to graduate school in counseling psychology. Here I had the chance to learn even more about the ways people use ideas, wisdom and creativity to broaden their sense of themselves as part of the larger world, in order to overcome problems and live life fully.
As a school counselor for three years, I worked with children of diverse cultures and backgrounds. There I saw up close the impact of multiple stressors on underserved families, and subsequently I helped form a non-profit, family advocacy and mentoring program in San Jose. I continue to work there with families seeking to overcome socio-economic stressors that impact young students' achievement.
My experience as a therapist working with people facing serious challenges has taught me that we all are the foremost experts in our own lives. When working with others, together we can best understand problems within social / cultural contexts of gender, race, and ethnic background.
In private practice, I work primarily with adults dealing with life-direction challenges affected by anxiety, depression, self-doubt or fear.
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Most recently I have brought learnings from Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction into my work. MBSR teaches practices of mindful meditation and movement, in ways that help people deal more effectively with stress-related health problems. Mindfulness offers ways to step back from problem stories and rumination, and gain a larger, kinder perspective and appreciation of what's possible in our lives in the face of serious challenges. Trained as a 'narrative therapist' in grad school, I now found mindfulness meditation to be greatly influential in my work with people. For this reason, I completed training at the UCSD Center for Mindfulness to become certified as a MBSR Instructor. My clients often find mindfulness practices to be supportive tools in therapy.