Hello and welcome to my website.  I appreciate you taking the time to find out about me and hope my website helps you determine whether my services may be right for you.  I have named the website Evolution Therapeutics because the phrase captures my belief about the purpose of the personal challenges and crises we all eventually have to face in our lives.  I have come to more fully accept that life is very difficult, no matter what your external circumstances may be and how lucky or unlucky you may appear on the outside.  I believe that the challenges that have brought you to my website may contain hidden gifts if handled with care and curiosity.  You might have heard the phrase, “You don’t know what you don’t know.”  At best therapy offers the opportunity to discover more than you already know, and didn’t know that you didn’t know.  Through facing and bearing up to the unexpected challenges life throws at you, your consciousness widens and evolves, rendering you stronger and wiser than you were before. This growth allows you to reshape the way you interact with yourself and others and so has beneficial effects that ripple beyond your personal life.  This is how you evolve throughout your life and, in my opinion, is what makes for a good life.

My background is a hybrid of rigorous academic training informed by my ongoing personal interest in yoga, Buddhist psychology and new age consciousness leaders. I received my undergraduate training at the University of Vermont in 1988, with a double major in Religion and Psychology. From there I went to Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pa, where I pursued my PhD in Clinical Psychology. I relocated to California in 1999 where, following licensure as a psychologist, I established a private practice, which I have been running since 2001.

I have over 30 years of experience working in the mental health field. I have been an addictions counselor, worked with children and families, and have also worked as a psychologist in the prison system. I found my calling in private practice, where I enjoy establishing healing relationships on a one-on-one basis and with couples.

In my personal life, I am the mother of an amazing daughter who will soon be exiting adolescence. I consider my life as a mother to be one of the greatest training programs for being a better person and a better therapist.  This has been a happy and unintended outcome of parenting. In my spare time I enjoy yoga, alternative healing practices and attending to unfolding events on the world stage.

The Philosophy of Yoga

I am fascinated by the philosophy of yoga and have been practicing yoga since 2002. In addition, I have participated in two yoga teacher trainings. My first training was in 2008 in Integrative Yoga Therapy at Body Works Yoga in Petaluma, Ca. In early 2013, I participated in a training in Power Vinyasa yoga through Leap Yoga in Folsom, Ca. I have benefited greatly from the wisdom teachings and the physical practice of yoga. I integrate yoga philosophy and practice in my work with clients as I believe it to be enormously helpful in the process of learning how to live well.  In 2014 I published a book, The Yoga of Food, which utilizes yoga philosophy as a means to understand eating disorders and approach change in a more mindful and compassionate way.

Chakra theory

The chakras are a part of yogic theory and refer to 7 centers distributed along your spine that hold the energy of key developmental challenges intrinsic to human life. I am developing a schematic paradigm linking blockages in the chakras to developmental trauma and addiction. Your 3 lower chakras are linked to your sense of safety in your body and the world, your ability to feel, and the formation of your identity.  These milestones are faced during your formative years and set the foundation for your life.  Your second chakra, known as the sacral chakra, is the center of your feeling body.  When you experience physical or emotional trauma during your formative years, your sacral chakra is damaged, impairing your ability to feel, to self validate and your overall relationship to your own self.  Your sacral chakra is also your energy center, what I like to think of as your power source and your link to prana, or universal energy.  You are essentially an energetic being and a transmitter of energy.  When your energy is blocked due to trauma and addiction, your capacity to channel prana, or energy, is compromised.  Your system slows and you stagnate.  People come to therapy due to mental health challenges that manifest these energetic disturbances.   My framework posits that when your lower chakras are blocked due to trauma or addiction, it traps your energy in survival based consciousness and interferes with the opening of your upper chakras.  Your upper chakras allow you to access more creative potentiality in your life and kindle your capacity to love, create, and see the opportunity latent in obstacles.  When you begin to name and process the developmental traumas that have congested your sacral chakra, your energy is freed and begins to move upward, opening your higher chakras.   I have found these ideas highly relevant in my own personal development and applicable to others, who seek to deepen relationships and have more creative vitality.

Working with Me

My goal as a therapist is to meet you where you are and to challenge you in ways that are congruent with your goals. Ideally, we collaboratively identify your strengths and limitations and together construct a course that maximizes your strengths and gradually challenges you to face your blind spots and counter your self-sabotaging patterns. The first step of therapy will focus on your developmental history and and will likely identify areas of physical and emotional trauma. This constitutes your conditioning, what I refer to as the hard drive of your psyche. Therapy can be thought of as a process of updating your hard drive beyond self limiting beliefs that result from less than ideal developmental circumstances. Rewriting the hard drive occurs on the stage of the world and inevitably entails an oscillation between forward movement and backward sliding.

What you can expect from me as your therapist is someone willing to offer context for your struggles in psychological theory, including psychodynamic and developmental paradigms, as well as someone well versed in alternative approaches to healing, including nutritional approaches, mind body approaches and spiritual approaches. I am also schooled in the psychology of addiction and often use the 12 step philosophy, as well as Buddhist understandings of addiction, to ground your frustrating and befuddling patterns in a larger human story.

Services Provided

Providing TeleHealth Services Throughout California

I provide adult individual psychotherapy and coaching. My specialities include anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, grief support, and post traumatic stress. I also provide couples counseling and utilize research based tools derived from John Gottman, as well as relational approaches based on Harville Hendrix’s work and attachment theory.

Services provided by Telehealth throughout California .  Some insurances are accepted.