I received a bachelors degree in Psychology from Vanguard University and a masters in Marriage Family Therapy from Hope International University. My education integrated Christianity and Psychology. I have extensive training and experience in the area of addiction and recovery and dual diagnosis treatment. In private practice I have focused on couples and family therapy. I work with children adjusting to divorce, and young adults establishing identity as they launch from their families. I frequently work with those struggling with depression, anxiety, grief, childhood abuse and unhealthy relational patterns.
Along with my education and professional knowledge I bring my own experience of being married for over 30 years and raising two children.
Finding a good fit for therapy is crucial to your success. The difficulty is, interviewing therapists means confiding in a series of complete strangers. Following that awkwardness, you'll weigh their responses and determine who you think will be potentially helpful. You can gauge by customer service issues (ease of contact, quickness of return call) or randomly (as in who takes my insurance plan) or perhaps through specific specialty and bio. Ideally you will know someone who can recommend their own therapist. It may not be a good fit but at least it's not a blind start.
I recognize I will not be the right fit for everyone. So let me try to give you a sense of who I am and how I work so you can better determine for yourself.
I want my clients to know that I have been in therapy myself both individually and as a couple. I've had wonderful therapists who helped to facilitate insight, growth and relational healing beyond what I thought was possible. I am very grateful to them. I've also had not-such-a-good-fit experiences where it seemed little was gained from my investment of time and resources. I don't want this to be your story. I really want you to have a good experience with therapy because I know it works.
The therapeutic relationship is different than other relationships because it is confidential and it is designed to be one-sided. Of course it still takes time to determine whether you can trust your therapist. But once you feel safe to dive in you can explore the areas of your life that aren't working. I want to help you do this with curiosity, not judgment. Why do you suppose you reacted that way in that situation? What else might be going on there? When do you remember first feeling like this? There are often very very good reasons why we do what we do, react the way we do, feel how we do. That doesn't mean they are healthy ways of behaving or who we want to be. But seeing that our behavior makes sense given our past experiences can free us to put aside the guilt and shame we feel and instead undo this stuff and start living differently.