Reaching out to a therapist takes courage. For many people, reaching out is the first step toward an important experience of personal growth. As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, I'm dedicated to helping you explore and resolve emotional problems and intimate relationship difficulties so you can feel more alive and connected to yourself, your loved ones and the world around you.
Working together in individual therapy, couple therapyand couple counseling with a partner or spouse or in family or group therapy, we can explore the fears, hurts and negatives relationship cycles that are stumbling blocks to a more fulfilling connected relational life.
I incorporate body-based somatic psychotherapy along with emotionally focused, cognitive therapy and EMDR therapy with people who often find themselves feeling disconnected from the people they most care about and love. Relationship problems in daily life often link to some very basic fears and hurts. These fears and hurts can show up as low self-esteem, trust and safety concerns, unclear boundaries, identity questions or trouble saying what you mean. Sometimes depression or anxiety gets in the way of the close caring relationships you really want. Perhaps you want to move ahead in your personal life or career, yet fears and hurts keep you feeling stuck or like you're constantly swimming upstream. Fears, hurts and negative beliefs about your self often underlie PTSD ( post traumatic stress disorder). And they contribute to the often disabling sadness of relationship loss, break-ups, bereavement, separation and divorce.
For many people, psychotherapy and counseling are a very important part of ongoing growth and change through both difficult and different life stages and life transitions. My style is mindful, relational and body centered (somatic psychotherapy) and brings together cognitive, emotional and experiential approaches to help you create a more positive, resilient and embodied sense of who you are.
Please feel free to contact me for a free phone consultation about how we might work together.
I welcome couples from all lifestyle and cultural orientations who are interested in deepening intimacy, empathic understanding and establishing a sex-positive relationship. Are you are a couple struggling with frequent arguing or are you avoiding important topics or worries because you're afraid to share them? In times of stress and need, do you turn away from rather than towards your partner? You and your partner or spouse might be caught up in that same old dance of "There's no room for me" or " I'm too much" or "You're gonna leave me" or "Phew! I blew it again". Or maybe it seem like you're living parallel lives and feel too scared to talk about your disconnection though wishing to do just that. Using an Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy approach, I will help you identify the patterns and cycles keeping you apart. You will learn how to influence and create new patterns which deepen your intimate connection with each other. Couples therapy takes work- hard work. And if you are willing to take the plunge, you can build an intimate relationship that feels healthier, safer, sexier and more resilient.
I am trained in EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) , a research-based, body-centered cognitive psychotherapy effective in resolving painful memories and psychological wounds related to emotional, physical, and sexual trauma or abuse. EMDR sessions follow a specific protocol that allows you to gradually and safely process difficult memories. At the beginning of EMDR therapy, we work on establishing healthy emotional resources that help to support and comfort you both in and outside of therapy. Over time and as a result of EMDR, many people enjoy relief from disturbing symptoms of PTSD as well as as intrusive thoughts, nightmares, anxiety attacks and depressed moods associated with past hurts. For those who courageously choose to engage in EMDR psychotherapy, the benefit of feeling better about yourself is well worth the journey.
Whether you newly identify as or are parents of someone who is as gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender, queer, gender fluid, poly, kink or questioning of your/their sexuality or have known who you are since childhood, the San Francisco Bay Area may seem like a safe place to march to your own beat. Or it may not.
Perhaps you have moved here in the past year or so and feel like an outsider. Maybe you've just broken up with a lover or long-term partner and feel hurt and alone and wonder if you'll ever be in a healthy enduring relationship. You and your same-sex partner might be caught up in that same old dance of "I'm right and You're wrong" or " Why don't you listen to me" or "I'm just not _________ enough". Or maybe it seems like you're living parallel lives and feel too scared to talk about your disconnection though wishing to do just that.
Working together with a therapist well-versed in and sensitive to the concerns and struggles of the LGBTQ community can be a safe place to start integrating your strengths, vulnerabilites and longings to build the relational life you desire. Please contact me to talk about individual psychotherapy or couples counseling in San Francisco and Oakland.