"Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It's a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity."
Heal and Thrive
I believe people are inherently oriented to heal and grow. Sometimes on the healing journey we need support to navigate difficult transitions, especially if old traumas are clouding our current vision. My role as a psychologist is to accompany you on your personal path. I use multiple therapeutic modalities including EMDR, Acceptance and Commitment therapy, Exposure with Response Prevention (ERP), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness, and Mindful Self-Compassion to help people discover their values, set goals, and live with vitality.
Eating and Body Image Recovery
Even if you don’t remember it, there was a time when you delighted in your body. As an infant you excitedly discovered your feet and hands. You experienced the joys of touch, movement, and taste without any idea that your body was something that would one day be judged or that your body was supposed to look a certain way. That natural connection with our body as an avenue to joy is often lost as soon as we internalize judgments about how we are supposed to look, how we are supposed to eat, and how we are supposed to organize our emotions and behavior.
Recovery is about reclaiming our birthright to enjoy being a physical being. It helps reconnect us with the sensations of hunger and satiety and the pleasure of eating and movement as a joyful pursuit.
I work with all people who are struggling with eating disorders, disordered eating, body image issues, and body dysmorphia. In my years of practice, I have worked with people across the gender spectrum and I welcome everyone.
Covered in Mud
In Bangkok there was a very large clay statute of the Buddha. In 1955, while attempting to move the statute, a crack appeared on the mud surface. Through the crack, the gold underneath the mud was revealed. The statute was solid gold. Hundreds of years ago the statute was covered with mud to conceal its value. Over time the priceless true interior of the statute was forgotten.
The process of therapy often starts with a painful crack. It might be a life transition, an illness, or even a death. An essential part of therapy is honoring the pain. At the same time, there’s an opportunity in the crack to go beyond the surface mud. I believe therapy can help you not only survive the crack, but to also discover your gold, which might include your natural resilience and your natural warmth and tenderness.
I love being a psychologist. It is a privilege to connect with people in their most honest and raw moments. I hold people’s pain with the utmost compassion and care. I hope the process of therapy helps you increase your compassion for yourself.
Since 2001, I have worked with individual adults and adolescents, couples, and families. I welcome clients with all types of concerns. I am especially experienced in treating people struggling with trauma, eating and body image issues, depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, life transitions, and relationship and parenting issues.
I have taught psychology, sociology, and women’s studies classes since 1996. I am a psychology professor and workshop leader at The Wright Institute. I teach in their Psy.D. program and create continuing education workshops for psychologists.
I teach yoga and meditation. I weave mindfulness and mindful self-compassion into my work as a psychologist.
I have worked with many people struggling with eating disorders, disordered eating, and body image issues. I use a non-diet perspective to encourage people to live peacefully in their bodies.
I am an Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) certified therapist. Since 2007 I have used EMDR to help people heal from trauma and transform their lives. EMDR is a powerful tool that enables people to heal from trauma, reduce anxiety, and reinforce new desired behaviors.
My Education and Training
I started my career as a lawyer. I have a law degree (JD) from UCLA. My experience as a lawyer taught me a lot about what it feels like to be in the wrong place and how to make a major life change. I received my doctorate in Psychology (PsyD) from The California School of Professional Psychology, Alameda.
I have worked in a variety of settings, including Kaiser Vallejo Psychiatry, where I focus on treating people who struggle with trauma symptoms, eating and body image issues, anxiety, depression, and obsessive compulsive disorder. My past clinical experience includes treating families, individuals, and couples. I have created a workshops to train therapists, facilitated retreats for couples, and taught doctoral and undergraduate psychology, sociology, and women’s studies classes. I created the popular class Psychology of Eating, Food, and Weight at City College of San Francisco.
I teach yoga and meditation classes. I weave yoga, meditation, and self-compassion practice into my work.