My formal education focused on psychology and clinical
social work. My professional experiences have been in public schools,
hospitals and outpatient clinics, the Military, international
nonprofits, universities and various community settings.
My therapy training began in public schools with
special education, K-12. I counseled children with emotional disturbance
and mentored life skills groups. I worked intensively with adolescents
in alternative school programs.
I spent most of the next decade working in the
emergency departments of two trauma centers (adult and pediatrics),
honing my clinical skills on a variety of issues including trauma,
devastating diagnoses, chronic health conditions, palliative care, end
of life issues, complicated grief, pregnancy loss, drug and alcohol
abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, mental illness and suicide.
During this time, I taught for the University of Texas Graduate School
of Social Work.
I shifted from crisis management to prevention,
exploring the notion of resilience through positive psychology and the
emerging field of life coaching. I transitioned from the hospital
setting to a role as therapist lead of an integrated behavioral
healthcare network. There, I helped build a program for providing mental
health and case management services to a large urban area.
An opportunity led me to England, where I managed a prevention and education campaign related to maternal mental health, new parent support and family
violence prevention. I educated US Air Force members and families on
topics such as stress and anger management, resilience, healthy dating,
couples' communication and parenting, while co-facilitating support
groups on various health topics. During this time, I also worked with
Airmen and families on managing stress before and after deployments and
transitioning to civilian life after a military career.
After a brief return to the U.S. to study Spanish, I
accompanied my spouse to South America and worked for the U.S. Embassy
while volunteering with a local nonprofit.
During this time, I researched advances in counseling and coaching
methodology. Although I have a working knowledge of Spanish, I do not
provide services in Spanish at this time.
I returned to California, pregnant with my first child
after experiencing difficulties trying to "start a family". Then came
the overwhelming change of becoming a parent. I became aware of a need
for maternal mental health resources related to both infertility and
postpartum support (perinatal mood and anxiety disorders), and added
services to my developing private practice that would address these
topics in depth.
For almost two decades, I have honed my clinical
expertise from problem-focused to possibility-focused. I use many modalities with deference to solution-focused, cognitive behavioral and interpersonal therapies. I remain current
on research and active in the professional dialogue of wellness,
balancing my time between counseling, coaching, teaching, volunteering
and parenting. I look forward to helping YOU find your moxie and getting YOU excited about your next chapter.