Who I Am and How I Work
I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFC 94553) with a private practice office in Oakland, California. I received my Masters in Counseling Psychology from The Wright Institute in Berkeley, a program that emphasizes a strengths-based approach in combination with psychodynamic and humanistic theory. I am an integrative therapist, which means that I take elements from several different therapeutic approaches and share expertise that I believe will be most helpful for each individual client. I am also a social justice-oriented therapist, acknowledging the external social and societal context within which each client exists, as well as internal struggles.
Because I have extensive experience interacting on a secular level with various Buddhist lineages, I also incorporate mindfulness into my practice. I use grounding exercises, philosophical/existential discussion and change ways of thinking. When we look directly at our attachments and fear of change/loss, we can explore what is really fundamental to who we are and what is flexible. This can lead to considerable relief.
We often experience the actions of others as painful, unfair, wounding, impactful. This is because we are human and so we hurt when others throw stones. Every one of us needs a space to be heard and a space to heal. However, if we incorporate a mindful approach to the actions of others, we begin to see that though such actions may be painful and unfair, we are able to feel the pain, look to our support system and move forward without allowing the actions of others to define our experience. The reality is that we do not a have a say over what others are doing or not doing. There is freedom in releasing the desire to control others in favor of working instead on what we can determine internally about what we want in this life.
For me, the combination of insight, strengths-based, social justice and mindfulness approaches to therapy are the most successful combination in providing a safe, supportive and even joyful exploration of mental health work.