My goal is to support you in exploring new patterns and using your innate wisdom and creativity to find solutions that are tailor made for you.
The resilience that I have seen as a therapist never ceases to amaze me. I have been moved to tears on more than one occasion as I have witnessed clients shift from despair to excitement about the possibilities for their own healing – from paralyzing fear and anxiety to joy and flexibility – from self-hatred to self-love. I have witnessed families locked into destructive patterns learn to love each other again. I have felt the power of someone realizing that the wisdom that touched them so deeply and shifted their perspective, came from within themselves.
Healing is possible. It is within reach. You deserve the chance to change your life for the better.
My areas of expertise:
Female Empowerment and Sexuality
Specific Trauma Modalities: TF-CBT, EFT/Matrix Reimprinting, Clinical Hypnotherapy, DBT, Drama Therapy, Play Therapy, Somatic Awareness
As a professional therapist, my role is to guide you as you take steps towards positive life changes, healing, and a healthy mind. Therapy is a collaborative process and you know you much better than I ever could. We will work as a team to uncover and better understand your particular challenges and strengths. We will work collaboratively to identify the stressors that detract from your life, your sense of vitality and your focus, and we will begin identifying and practicing skills that will empower you to transform your life through changing your thoughts and behaviors.
There is no such thing as a one size fits all therapeutic approach. Therapy is meant to be an individual experience, and I treat it as such, with deep compassion. I want to provide support and encouragement while also offering practical resources that you can put into practice immediately in your life. I use modern approaches, as well as those methods that have weathered the test of time, to fit each client’s individual needs with understanding. My role is not to judge, but to help you explore your own beliefs, experiences and desires. Everyone can achieve more personal growth and strength, and it’s an honor to work on that together.
I began my therapeutic training in high school, when I realized that others came to me naturally with their challenges and stories of trauma. I became a peer counselor and worked with peers to help them manage crisis, talk things out, and to provide resources for them. As a massage therapist for over 15 years, I seemed to draw into my practice those that had experienced trauma in their bodies and in their psyches, and that became a specialty of mine. As a theatre artist, I began to help others tell their personal stories, and many if not most of them had an aspect of trauma to them. I decided to heed the clear calling to work with those who have experienced trauma and went back to school to get my Master’s in Counseling Psychology with a Concentration in Drama Therapy and training in Hypnotherapy.
CLINICAL HYPNOTHERPAY AND EFT/MATRIX REIMPRINTING
I offer Clinical Hypnotherapy and EFT ?Matrix Reimprinting sessions both within a traditional therapy relationship and as a specific service/modality for those coming in to address a very specific issue. You have a choice about whether you would like to go through the therapy process, (which includes a bio-psycho-social assessment, a treatment plan, possibly a diagnosis and potentially billing your insurance company) or a more brief and solution focused approach using hypnosis or EFT (because I am a licensed therapist this would still include a bio-psycho-social assessment and treatment plan, but the treatment would be an agreed upon number of sessions to address the specific issue/concern, would be less exploratory/process oriented and would not be covered by insurance on its own).
I have completed many trainings over the years in modalities to treat trauma, and the more people I have worked with in therapy and interact with in the community, the more I realize that trauma is “everywhere”. We are all so deeply affected by the big and small traumas that we have experienced throughout our lives. From the kids at school who made fun of us when we got our braces in middle school, to the unexpected death of a loved one, to the repeated experience of physical, emotional or sexual abuse; we have all had moments where our safety or identity were threatened, where we were shocked by the experience or reactions of others, where we felt helpless or powerless, and where we felt isolated or unseen in our pain. Those moments created not only a physiological response that was initially designed to protect us, (and that may no longer be working for us in our lives today) but also faulty beliefs about ourselves and the world around us. Depth and trauma work is about finding those activating experiences, going back inside to help that “version” of ourselves understand what happened from a more balanced and compassionate place, discharging the emotions associated with the event and recreating a new version of the event that “corrects” the mistaken negative belief that was formed. It is powerful and transformative work. I most often use TF-CBT, Clinical Hypnosis and EFT/Matrix Reimprinting to facilitate gentle exploration of trauma. When working with Children I most often use TF-CBT and art or play therapy.
EATING DISORDER TREATMENT
I currently facilitate groups and individual/family therapy at Full Heart Eating Disorder Treatment Center. The intersection of trauma and eating disorders cannot be understated. It is a privilege to work with these women on their journey toward recovery and self-love/acceptance.
I offer individual therapy using a range of modalities to address trauma and the above-mentioned specialties. Individual therapy takes on the flavor of the client that walks through my door. Some prefer experiential play, some prefer workbooks and homework (yes they are out there), some prefer a combination of those and some prefer a modality they have experienced before. Some feel adventurous as they begin to explore their thoughts and feelings and others are more reserved and cautious. Everyone who comes into my office is welcome and I will work hard to create an environment that fits your needs. If I am unable to do so, I am more than happy to refer you to another therapist that might fit your needs.
I am also a skilled group therapist and workshop facilitator. I believe that groups can be a very powerful tool to help others feel witnessed and connected as they share their challenges and triumphs and practice skills with others. I currently run a DBT Skills group for youth ages 16-24 at VOICES Youth Center in Santa Rosa. This is a free group designed to support young people who are struggling to regulate their emotions, have difficulty with distress tolerance, difficulty expressing themselves and communicating effectively and may have a lack of awareness about how their thoughts affect their behaviors. This group is also helpful for those dealing with compulsions, self-harm, impulse control and substance use, I am also opening a new group called Shadow Play. This is a group for adult women who are ready to explore their shadow. The Dark Shadow is the parts within that we might deem unacceptable (anger, insecurity, sexual taboos, narcissistic traits, fears). The Golden Shadow is the parts within that others might see in us that we struggle to see in ourselves (talents, brilliance, softness, vulnerability, beauty). By exploring these parts, we are able to come to deeper acceptance of who we are. Our shadow finds ways to be seen & heard that don’t always work for us. Giving the shadow a safe place to express can help us release judgment & create more peace in our lives. Many group exercises will be from Charlie Morely’s book Dreaming through Darkness. I highly recommend the book and it is required for participation in the group. Please inquire if you are interested as I need a minimum of 6 members to start the group.
I have years of experience as a family therapist and have enjoyed watching families come back together and reinvigorate their love for each other. I have experience using brief solution focused interventions with families as a “tune up” and have worked creatively with families to create new language, family rituals and use role play to increase family communication skills. I am trained in Triple P and am available for individual parenting work and groups for parents teaching Triple P strategies to address challenges toddlers through teens.
SELF REVELATORY THEATRE
I spent many years as a theatre maker/director/teacher. I was trained in Drama Therapy at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Using theatre as a therapeutic tool is a particular passion of mine. I am available to create self-revelatory theatre performances for adolescents and adults as a way of being witnessed in their healing process. I have also helped to create rituals for rites of passage and life transitions. Please contact me for details about this.
TRAINING AND WORKSHOPS
I am also available for training, workshops and skill building activities on a case by case basis. I have co-facilitated diversity trainings for the County of Mendocino and led diversity and group communication workshops/trainings at different job sites. I am currently working in collaboration with Luminessa Enjara on a program to empower young women ages 15-18 to explore what it means to be sexually empowered young women in today’s society. Please visit www.sasse.org soon for details.