Originally from Europe, I have been living in the Bay area for well over twenty years. I enjoy the amazing diversity of people from so many different ethnicities, races, religions,spiritual beliefs, politics, and sexual orientations.The complexity and the depth of human relationships continues to be a passionate interest of mine. In my work as a therapist I am fortunate to be able to share a rich and rewarding experience with the clients that I work with.
In terms of education, I have a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology from CIIS (California Institute of Integral Studies). I also have a Certificate in Sound, Voice and Music healing from CIIS which has helped me to incorporate music and sound into my psychotherapy practice. I have gained extensive clinical experience with individuals, children, couples and families in settings such as public and private school, and community mental health.
I am also a Certified Hypnotherapist by the National Board of Hypnotherapists. I have a Masters Certification in Intuition Medicine from the Academy of Intuition Medicine ® , Mill Valley.
My work is integrative depending on the individual or group needs and it incorporates a wide array of influences:
Mindfulness quite often plays an important role in my work. A person doesn't need to have a spiritual or religious practice or belief to engage in this process.By giving the mind something to do like focusing on the breath, or the sensations of a guided visualization a certain "spaciousness" can occur. This opening can often allow us a different experience, where we get to access our intuition instead of our busy mind ruling the show. Mindfulness plays a central part in Hakomi Body Centered Psychotherapy ,Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy all of which I incorporate into my work.
Cognitive therapy focuses on the power of our thoughts and how these thoughts can affect our emotions and reactions. By learning to identify certain thoughts that trigger harmful reactions, we can learn alternative ways to achieve a different reaction.
Parts Work / IFS ( Internal Family systems) This work involves addressing the parts of us that might be wounded
and too vulnerable to be exposed. Out of fear of being further wounded, the part hides behind a shield of some form. This protecting shield might show up in the form of anger that is out of control, or anxiety that is overwhelming. This pained part is likely to be linked to the role that we played in the face of rejection or pain in our family of origin. Life teaches us to cover up these scared parts and it can become a part of what we believe to be our " personality". However, when these parts start to take over our emotional relationships,and we feel lost or out of control, we can then start to ask for help.
In this work, the therapist explores with the client ways to get permission from these defenses or protectors that may have been there for a long time. Its important to honor the role of the protectors, and also explain how healing the wound that is in hiding might help the role of the protector. The more the client becomes aware of what is the real authentic self versus the defended self, the more confidence, and self compassion is experienced by the client.
Energy Psychology explores the relationship between the body mind and spirit. It explores how thoughts, feelings, bodily functions, neuron elasticity, belief structures, sounds, movements and other energetic patterns influence well being.It takes into account the whole picture of a human versus just their mind.
Emotional Freedom Technique -EFT otherwise known as "Tapping" is technique that use energy psychology to explore the energy blockages along meridians in the body ( much like the pressure points used in acupuncture) By tapping on the energy meridians, and addressing the psychological challenges, the tapping can clear the energy blocks, and help to make room for positive thoughts and beliefs to be fully embodied. This can help alleviate anxiety, depression, insomnia and other painful emotional and sometimes physical conditions.
Acutonics is a form of energy Psychology that involves the use of vibrating Tuning forks to stuck energy along certain meridians.which are vibrated and placed near the stressed meridian in the body. As the therapist I teach the client how to use the fork and he or she vibrates next to the body part that is in pain or stuck. Different forks vibrate at a different frequency, and the body enjoys a certain frequency in order to get into balance.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy combines cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness awareness techniques to support emotional challenges and acceptance. It supports the theory that each one of us can hold several dialectical experiences at once eg feeling excited versus feeling sad. Thus, if somebody is feeling sad and very stuck, one might explore the part that is very hopeful and happy. It essentially supports "positive psychology" tapping into the parts of us that are functioning so as to building on the "positive experiences" .
Family therapy also referred to as couple and family therapy, family systems therapy, and family counseling.It is a branch of psychotherapy that works with families and couples in intimate relationships to nurture change and development. This therapy can be powerful in the way that the family unit works together to solve problems instead of targeting one individual as the problem.
Hakomi-Body Based Psychotherapy This therapy explores the relationship between the body and the mind, by using mindfulness as a way to allow the mind to slow down, and make room for the intuition to emerge.It has some specific tools that help to access clients' core beliefs which often limit their everyday experiences.
Experiential Psychotherapy is a process that allows the client to have active in the moment experiences in therapy.The aliveness of this process can afford the client to really explore old and new patterns in an active way.e.g Instead of talking about a past story where the client shut down emotionally, the client is able to actively explore this dynamic in the present moment with the guidance and feed back to the therapist.
Expressive Arts is a way to express emotions without necessarily having to talk. Sometimes our emotions are primal, or repressed and need the inspiration of an external experience to shift. It's not unlike the experience one gets when one feels inspired or emotional by listening to music or watching a movie. Sand tray therapy can allow the individual place objects in the sand without worrying if its "right" or "good". Other forms used in therapy are creative writing, art, and or music, voice and sound therapy.
Psychodynamic Therapy is a way to explore a person's underlining unconscious patterns that often get to repeat over and over in their every day life. This pattern could come from an old familiar pattern of relating to a parent,teacher, relative or caregiver and it keeps making the same pattern in current time. The relationship with the therapist can give the client an opportunity to explore these patterns, discover new ways of making choices.
Play Therapy involves the use of a child's fantasies and symbolic meanings of play as a medium for understanding and communication with the child. By meeting a child with compassion and understanding, a trusting relationship with the child can develop while developing a better understanding of the child's needs. Inherent in this goal is improved communication and understanding with the child and parents/guardians. Other goals include improved verbal expression, ability for self observation, improved impulse control, more adaptive ways of coping with anxiety and improved capacity to trust and relate to others.
Transpersonal Therapy is an approach to the whole person. It seeks a balanced development of the intellectual, physical, emotional, spiritual, social and creative expression. All six areas are addressed therapeutically and an integration or balance is explored.