I hold a master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Fuller Theology Seminary and am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT 95742) in the State of California. From the beginning of my training as a therapist, I was committed to learn how to provide culturally sensitive, spiritually integrative, and holistic therapy that took the entire person and their unique background and values into account. I was a recipient in 2012 of the Los Angeles County DMH stipend, which is given to new therapists who are committed to providing culturally sensitive therapy to high-need populations. While at Fuller Seminary, I also received the Balswick Memorial Scholarship for providing culturally sensitive therapy as well as the Amadeus Scholarship for seeking a holistic approach in the integration of health, spirituality, and therapy.
I am a Level II Restoration Therapist. Restoration Therapy is a modality for couples and adults that combines the advantages of Attachment Theory, Emotional Regulation and Mindfulness in an efficient and organized fashion that allows both the therapist and client to clearly understand old destructive patterns of behavior and promote change. I am certified in several Evidenced-Based Practices including Seeking Safety (for teens and adults struggling with substance abuse and trauma) and Managing and Adapting Practices (MAP -- cognitive behavioral therapy for children and adolescents struggling with depression, anxiety, or disruptive behaviors.) I received extensive training and supervision over a two-year period in working with ages birth to five and am rostered to practice the evidenced-based treatment Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP ), which is an attachment-based approach to supporting ages birth to five and their parents or caregivers after the child has experienced trauma. CPP heavily incorporates play therapy, and I also use play therapy with children in elementary school.
I worked in a community mental health agency in Los Angeles for many years and provided therapy in clinics, homes, schools, and residential facilities and also led substance abuse-related groups for teenagers. I was considered a specialist in the areas of substance abuse and commercial sexual exploitation (CSEC or sex trafficking) and provided consultation and support to other therapists throughout the agency. I worked with many children and teens in the foster care system, as well as families involved with DCFS or probation. I was a school therapist for two years and heavily collaborated with teachers, school psychologists, and other school staff surrounding issues of depression, anxiety, family conflict, inattentive issues, and oppositional behaviors. I provided groups for anger management and social skills in the school setting. I was an academic tutor for many years prior to becoming a therapist, and I value collaboration with schools for adolescents and children in order to gain additional insight and to build support for them to be successful. Before becoming a therapist, I was also a residential counselor in a rehabilitation center for teenagers struggling with substance abuse. I lived with the residents and supported them in their recovery through taking them to Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings, helping them with their recovery and 12-step work, and being with them from waking to sleeping each day -- this experience helped me develop a very realistic and holistic approach to substance abuse and recovery.
I am a therapist because I felt personally called to this field as a young adult after experiencing healing through my own journey in therapy. As an award-winning journalist, I loved telling people's stories through the written word but realized one day that I wanted to be more integrated into people's deeper processes rather than serving as a bystander. I am honored to work with the people and families I do and would love to speak with you about how I can support you and your family.
Therapy Services Provided:
I work with adults and families in a collaborative, strengths-based manner that incorporates cultural and personal values to support them in gaining insight into their relationships and patterns so that they can experience healing and discover how they can thrive in their relationships, families, careers, and "life callings."
Some of the presenting concerns that individuals describe when contacting me are:
Barriers to intimacy such as difficulty trusting self or others
Struggles with being open or honest in relationships
Adult children of alcoholics (ACOA); adults processing how parents' substance abuse affected them
Perfectionism (distress over every little mistake, wanting to be perceived as perfect, difficulty completing tasks due to being afraid of making a mistake)
Relational dissatisfaction or distress
A desire to understand and change self-sabotaging behaviors in relationships
Behavioral or emotional issues with children or teenagers
Depression (feeling down or in a fog, low energy, low motivation, feelings of worthlessness about self and life, difficulty making decisions)
Difficulty setting boundaries with others and consistently in the "giving" stance without mutuality
Feeling overwhelmed by adult and life responsibilities
Struggling to make decisions about life, relationships, spirituality, or careers
Anxiety (racing thoughts, excessive worrying, difficulty sleeping, panic attacks)
Distress related to past trauma (physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, witnessing or experiencing violence, being in an accident)
Questioning if alcohol or drug use is having negative impacts or beginning to feel "out of control"
A history of substance abuse and wanting support surrounding their recovery and managing emotions now that they are sober
Self-harming behaviors or suicidal ideation
Work, career, and school issues
Academic struggles with children or teens that may be related to behaviors or emotions
Teenage rebellion and angst
Teenagers beginning to have legal trouble/breaking the law
Desiring clarity around personal goals and how to live a life filled with meaning
Families impacted by the DCFS or probation systems
Children, teens, or adults who have been involved in foster care
My office is conveniently located in Laguna Hills near the 5 and 405 freeways and the borders of Irvine and Lake Forest. I also serve the surrounding communities of Irvine, Tustin, Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Coto de Caza, Ladera Ranch, Rancho Santa Margarita, Trabuco Canyon, Foothill Ranch, Laguna Beach, and Dana Point.
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