Education: I grew up in North County San Diego. I then moved to Los Angeles, and received my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Then, I received my Master of Arts Degree in Couple and Family Therapy from CSPP Alliant International University. Currently, I am a PsyD student in Couple and Family Therapy at CSPP Alliant International University. I am taking advantage of my time in academia and pursuing research experience as well. I am currently working on three studies: one explores the link between family drawings and attachment style, one exploring how individuals react to different art materials, and one exploring the experience and effectiveness of mindfulness-based art therapy for new parents. In addition, I am working on co-writing chapters for a book on child mindfulness, where I adapt mindfulness concepts to child-appropriate language, meditations, and art activities.
Experience: I have experience working as a family therapist in school-based counseling programs for kindergarten through high school students. Because of my time working in school-based counseling programs, I have experience working with a broad range of presenting problems, including but not limited to: anxiety, depression, attention deficits, aggression, divorce and parent separation, trauma, gang involvement, substance abuse, domestic violence, child abuse, family conflict, eating disorders, autism, selective mutism, LGBT issues, teen pregnancy, and low self-esteem.
Theory: My theoretical orientation is narrative family therapy. Narrative therapy separates the problem from the person. It seeks to help clients identify the influence of the problem, when the problem is occurring and when it is not occurring, and how we can increase the amount of time that the problem does not occur. In addition, many problems occur for clients when they feel like their life story goes against what is accepted by the majority of society. Narrative therapy allows clients to rewrite their life story to one that they would like to be living.
Specialization: I specialize in working with families with infants and young children. This specialization developed based on my experience and education. In my time at UCLA, I minored in child development and interned at the Megan E. Daly Infant Development Program. There I earned my certificate to teach early childhood education classrooms, ages zero to three years. I also have experience working as a child care provider for newborn infants to school age children. Recently, I began taking coursework on infant and preschool mental health, and am working towards endorsement from the Center for Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health.
Interests: I have a personal yoga, mindfulness, and meditation practice. My passion for mindfulness has influenced my desire to incorporate it into therapy. In addition, I appreciate the use of art, play, and music during therapy. I believe that expressive arts therapies help to give children and adults a voice, when it is difficult for them to verbalize everything going on in their lives. Overall, I enjoy applying creative therapeutic modalities to all of my cases. My special interests include: mindfulness, art therapy, play therapy, parenting, sibling relationships, trauma, infant and preschool mental health, and child development.
Employed and Supervised by Mary Melissa Springstead, LMFT #47113