“Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment.” – Eckhart Tolle Included in my life philosophy is the belief that the events and circumstances of my life have a meaning and purpose that encourages me to grow and evolve. Often these events are experienced as “teachings” or lessons that are seemingly designed to lead me in a particular direction. These lessons are not simply insights or understandings that are new but are much greater than that. They include transformations of the fabric of my life, new patterns of emotional experience, and increased capacities to love and connect with others. These lessons can be seen as the working of Karma or as God’s will and plan. I also believe that the aspects of our lives, which are the most difficult, are also those that carry the most important lessons. In our most difficult suffering is a seed of a new potential future that is more fulfilling than this time we are currently in. As such, I believe that there is a great importance to our difficulties, as they are road signs pointing us towards our future evolution. This perspective greatly informs the work I do as a therapist and my work as a therapist greatly informs this perspective. For my clients, I support and encourage them to hold their current challenges as opportunities to learn deep lessons about themselves, and for their sufferings to not be seen simply as difficulties to be avoided. In this, there is a paradox, it is only by leaning into our suffering, by getting deeply curious about it, by accepting and not running from it, that we can ultimately seed the conditions of change that will allow us to grow past it. By encountering these difficult experiences we can gain awareness that stands as the first step in the healing and learning processes. From there, we are able to develop new ways of relating to these aspects of ourselves that have previously caused us suffering. Thus, freeing us from their confining influences and setting the stage for new experiences and growth.
I find that people who are on a path of healing, inevitably spend a great deal of time wrestling with some repeating pattern of behavior, relational dynamic or self-narrative. These stuck psychological patterns are very slow to change and the path through them includes increasing awareness, patience, self-compassion and that the ability to laugh with ourselves. This healing journey usually involves visiting past experiences of hurt, loss or trauma, often those of childhood, in order to gain increased understanding and awareness of some of the origins of these difficult to change patterns. In addition, a large majority of the time, this process includes a greater resolving of some loss from the past. In this, the healing journey involves a mourning that was previously arrested or has never occurred. I believe the emotional-behavioral growth supported in counseling ultimately leads to doing something new, cultivating different emotional responses and telling new stories about ourselves and our worlds. Growth, healing and change then, at some point requires some new action, a fresh attempt to do something different. These attempts at new actions, new responses and thoughts, whether successful or not, not only provide practice in establishing new patterns, but also are the basis of creating our new futures.
Therapy begins with a conversation about what brings you to counseling. Sometimes that reason has a clear goal attached to it. We come to therapy because we are suffering; the goal is for that suffering to be reduced. However, what the actual goal, outcome or endpoint we are headed towards can often be a mystery, revealing itself slowly over the course of therapy. In entering into relationships with the people that come to me for help, I endeavor to understand their story as deeply as I can. This involves making myself available to their worldview, to their unique experiences and to the cultural context that they are living within. This is done by listening and honoring clients’ stories as they tell them. From this point of listening, it is my role to reflect back my understanding of what I am hearing clients say they need help with. A back and forth dialogue ensues until we arrive at a shared story about what the work of therapy will be. This is the “treatment plan”. This plan is dynamic, however, and often shifts over time. This story is a basis of personal growth itself, for the longer journey of healing often involves a greater complexity of topics than the initial reasons that bring people to therapy.
Young Adults (18-24)
Family Systems Therapy
CA, LMFT, 38768
Master of Arts, Counseling Psychology, Pacifica Graduate Institute
Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, University of California at Santa Cruz
For the past 23 years, I have been working in Santa Cruz County, Ca as a therapist for non-profit agencies and in my private practice. For the past 8 years, and then on and off for 10 years before that, I have had a private practice in which I support individuals, couples, families, youth, children and parents to find different ways of relating to their struggles working towards the end of finding more satisfaction, gratitude and self-compassion. My recent work history also includes working as a clinical director and clinical supervisor; roles in which I oversee the work and learning of many psychotherapists. Currently, I provide therapy sessions to participants of Community Bridges’ Family Resource Collective programs, as well. Three years ago, I ended a five-year stint at the Parents Center of Santa Cruz where I have provided an extensive range of therapy to families, youth and children. Previous to that, I spent 17 years working for Encompass Community Services in various therapist and management roles.
157 Van Ness Ave, Santa Cruz, 95060, CA