Each person and need is unique, but I value shorter-term treatment. I want to make the sessions impactful, useful, and help each person to start feeling better as quickly as possible. One main way I do this is by asking, what are your best hopes for treatment? I really like Solution Focused Brief Therapy because often the client is able to find the answer they need if they are asked the right question, and it also helps make sure the session stays focused on the client's goals. Using the Solution Focused approach, it’s all about just asking the next question. And if Solution Focused is not a good fit for the client, from here it's easy to switch to exploring negative thoughts and CBT interventions, developing coping skills, or whatever the client is needing to get to that outcome they hope for.
In my opinion, success is not needing the therapist anymore! We all need help sometimes; help with problem-solving, help building confidence, help to learn coping skills. We are not born innately knowing how to calm ourselves, how to care for ourselves, how to make good choices. But I hope to help my clients learn to think through their problems, learn to better understand their symptoms as well as the underlying need or cause, and in turn, learn to better problem-solve for sustained success moving forward. That said, these often aren't "one and done" situations. Often people need to come back to therapy, and that's okay. It's easy to get stuck, it's easy to get out of the practice of using those coping skills, and there are always new challenges that occur.
My background in trauma has been very relevant to the recent pandemic. The pandemic has created all the things that set us up for a traumatic response, from isolation to the fear for safety (and there are a variety of safety concerns for people currently), and this has brought up a lot for people. The pandemic has also, understandably, increased anxiety symptoms for many people. As I learn more about applied neuroscience for treating anxiety it has become clear there is an overlap between anxiety and trauma response. Anxiety and worry come from the need to survive, and the need to identify possible problems and risks. When we have a panic attack, it's an activation of flight/fight/freeze, which is of course survival response. Naturally, a big piece of a trauma response (such as PTSD) is the brain and body staying in "red alert"; looking for possible danger. I really enjoy helping clients who have both better understand how these things play together, and this has been very useful given current circumstances.
Depression often causes people to feel sad, empty, or hopeless, and can cause a lack of interest in life. It can also affect a person's thinking patterns and physical health.
Anxiety can mean nervousness, worry, or self-doubt. Anxiety disorder is a mental health disorder that entails excessive, repeated bouts of worry, anxiety, and/or fear.
Coping skills are tools and techniques one can learn, practice, and use to handle difficult emotions, decrease stress, and establish or maintain a sense of internal order.
Workplace issues are a common source of stress and can include interpersonal conflict, communication problems, gossip, harassment, discrimination, low motivation and job satisfaction, performance issues, and poor job fit.
Grief is a reaction to an emotionally significant loss and often comes with symptoms of depression or anxiety. These symptoms can remain intense and last for a long time after a loss, making it difficult to move forward with a healthy lifestyle.
Concerns that impact school performance or academic life. Can include perfectionism, bullying, financial stress, academic transitions, test anxiety, balancing school with other responsibilities, discrimination, or harassment.
Regular involvement with a substance or activity in a compulsive, hard to control way that often has harmful consequences. Often refers to substance use, but can include compulsive behaviors such as sex, gambling, or shopping.
Abuse/Survivors of abuse
Abuse includes any significant mistreatment along the lines of psychical, emotional, sexual, verbal, and neglect. Survivors of abuse may experience negative thoughts and feelings, flashbacks, distrust of others, social withdrawal, self-harm, and increased likelihood of developing mental health and substance abuse issues.
Young Adults (18-24)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
Solution-Focused Brief Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Solution Focused Therapy
CA, LMFT, 86950
M.A., Marital and Family Therapy, Notre dame de Namur
B.A., Psychology, Sonoma State University
I am a trained art therapist and started my career working with trauma survivors and substance use. Given the age of telehealth, I’m not doing many art therapy interventions at this time, but this foundation in using creative approaches and valuing the brain/body connection has continued to be key in my practice. Working with substance use and addiction was really important to me because nearly everyone is touched in some way by this, either personally or knowing someone struggling with it. There has also been a natural progression in my work from going from treating trauma, to substance use, and now digging deeper into anxiety and how they all work together. There is so much overlap in all these issues, and often one will trigger the others. My main approaches include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Solution Focused Brief Therapy. Recently, I’ve been the first point of contact for people looking to get treatment. I've been doing short-term treatment and intakes with these people to help identify their goals and hopes for treatment, and then help put them on the path towards the outcome they are hoping for. In my current position, we help many people, but I also see there are many barriers to treatment and that the treatment provided by clinics is often structured in a way that doesn't work for every client. I'm excited to be moving into private practice where I can continue to provide these valuable services but have the freedom to focus on what really matters: the person.
,, Castro Valley, 94546, CA