In my practice I help people who want to experience more peace of mind but who feel stuck. As a therapist with ten years of clinical practice in the San Francisco Bay Area, I help my clients move through difficulties, build confidence and self compassion, and find greater happiness. I enjoy my work. I am passionate about providing high-quality therapy. I have been a part of transformative relationships with my clients and have seen the positive impact of our time together. I know therapy works and I am grateful to my clients for their courage and vulnerability, for showing up.
I am outgoing and warm. I like connecting with people and learning about what makes each person tick. I am deeply compassionate and my clients tell me I make them feel comfortable and at ease.
I have worked extensively in the LGBTQ community and have expertise in helping people who are dealing with: anxiety, depression and loneliness, grief, hoarding issues, work/life stress, and diverse issues in aging. I am a published author, public speaker, consultant, and a certified national trainer with the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging.
In terms of my personal story, I was born in New York, but my family transplanted us to the hills of Northern California when I was a child. I grew up connected to the natural world. These days, I talk to my houseplants and I get to wild places whenever I can to recharge.
In 2008, after several years in the non-profit and private sector, I went back to school to pursue my Master's at the University of California at Berkeley’s School of Social Welfare. My graduate work focused on gerontology and mental health. I then spent several years as a program manager and supervisor in a fast-growing San Francisco agency serving LGBTQ older adults.
Because of my background as a manager and clinician within agency settings, I bring a personal understanding of the pressures of seeking work/life balance to my work as a therapist. I also have extensive experience working with clients who have formally “retired,” and who are seeking further purpose and connection.
I identify as queer and as a feminist. My work is informed by my passion for social justice and my belief in the human right of all people to pursue happiness, connection, and community. I am LGBTQ-affirming, sex-positive, age-positive, and I love my immigrant family and community.
At times I've identified with being a "type-A" personality. Because of my own struggles with perfectionism, I have learned strategies for quieting my own “inner critic.” I share these techniques in therapy when my clients are interested.
These days I do a lot of reading on neuropsychology, and in particular, research on "nueroplasticity," including the ability of talk therapy to change our brains to align with our goals—How our brains, through practicing new behaviors and learning, can be rewired for less anxiety and better habits. I find our minds fascinating and scholarship in this area informs my practice. I have witnessed the human mind as both friend and foe. I love to learn and share techniques that can help us make peace with our amazing (and sometimes seriously irksome) minds!
I have lived through loss. Death has been a part of my life since childhood. My experience with grief and loss informs my work as a therapist and my interest in how we heal in the face of tragedy. I have seen how sharing our losses and witnessing each other's grief can connect us to our common humanity and serve as a catalyst for transformation.
I have done work on personal boundaries. Being a good person does not mean that I have to put up with other peoples crap! I bring my personal experience creating and exercising my boundaries into the therapy room and I enjoy working with folks who want to be more assertive. Last year I co-facilitated a popular workshop called “Creating Limits for Ourselves and Others." I share this curriculum with clients when they are interested.
I am trained in transcendental meditation (TM) and I have found this practice to be helpful in my ability to retain information, to focus, and to my overall sense of wellbeing. As a meditation practitioner, I also bring other mindfulness-based stress reduction and exercises "into the therapy room" when its a good fit for my client.
Interested in a free phone consultation? Give a call or send me a message here and I will get back to you within 48 hours.
To learn more about my approach to therapy, please click on MY APPROACH.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker #76642 California Board of Behavioral Sciences
- Master’s of Social Welfare (MSW) University of California, Berkeley (2010)
- Bachelor’s of Arts in Sociology and Anthropology, Lewis & Clark College, Portland, OR (2003)
Select Continuing Education and Training:
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for Anxiety Disorders, Evidence-Based Practice Institute
- Clinical Practices to Cultivate and Foster Human Happiness, Resiliency and Post-Traumatic Growth, Tobi Abramson, PhD and Pamela Braverman Schmidtt, MEd
- Ending the Insomnia Struggle, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia, Evidence-Based Practice Institute
- Psychotherapy With LGBT Older Adults: Using Research to Guide Best Practices, Jill Gover PhD and Daniel Parker, PhD
- Beyond Research and Medicine: Working With LGBT 50+ HIV Survivors, Jose Albino, MA, Monte Ephraim, LCSW-C and Daniel Parker, PhD
- Working with Anxiety, Ron Siegel, PsyD, National Institute for Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine (NICABM)
- Practical Brain-Focused Strategies for Working With Depression, Elisha Goldstein, PhD, National Institute for Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine (NICABM)
- Aging and Mental Health, National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
- Advanced Motivational Interview Certificate, Felton Institute
- Dialectical Behavioral Training, Beginning and Intermediate Courses, Felton Institute
- Transcendental Meditation Practitioner, San Francisco Transcendental Meditation Center
- Clinical Training Cohort, New Leaf Services for Our Community
Select Training and Supervision Provided
- Openhouse Services for Our Community, on-site supervision and training for MSW staff, and MSW, MFT and PsyD trainees (2011-2017)
- Queer Life Space, Clinical Trainees cohort, Clinical Work with LGBTQ older adults (2014-2017)
- CIIS, Clinical Trainees, Clinical Work with LGBTQ community Training (2016)
- University of California, San Francisco: Optimizing Aging Collaborative (2017)
- Stanford University, Queer Health Course presenter (2014, 2015)
- UCSF Medical School, Annual Health Symposium (2015)
- SF General Hospital, Openhouse LGBT Cultural Humility Training, Clinical Staff and Trainees (2016)
- San Francisco LGBT Center Staff, Cultural Competency Training (2014)
- Institute on Aging, In Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Staff Training (2013)
- Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS)
- San Francisco Bay Area Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (SF-Bay ACBS)
- American Society on Aging (ASA)
- American Society on Aging, LGBT Aging Issues Network (LAIN)
- American Society on Aging, Mental Health and Aging (MHAN)
- Certified National Trainer with the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging
- Social Justice Psychotherapist Network
- Bay Area Open Minds: San Francisco Bay Area psychotherapists and psychotherapy students who affirm that sexual and gender diversity are natural expressions of the human experience (BAOM)
- Psychology Today Provider Member: https://www.psychologytoday.com/profile/387610
- Good Therapy Verified
- San Francisco Small Business Development Association