Perhaps You Are
- A Twenty Something navigating identity formation, new responsibilities, and new relationships during the college and post-college years.
- Suffering from longterm mental illness and seeking to increase engagement in community and decrease being defined by your mental illness.
- In recovery and are looking for different ways to connect.
- A Teacher or Caregiver having difficulty prioritizing self care and seeking relief from stress and burnout.
- Suffering from Trauma and seeking relief.
- A Couple seeking to increase communication skills and work through conflict with compassion.
My main approach to counseling is establishing a collaborative, strength-based, and goal-focused relationship. I believe we all have the capacity within ourselves to address roadblocks in our lives, heal from emotional wounds, and move towards growth and contentment. We also all feel stuck at times along the way and can use a little help. I work alongside my clients on identifying clear goals to strive for and by which to measure success. I highlight my clients’ strengths and areas of progress during this work, as a large part of that feeling stuck is the harsh perceptions we tend to have about ourselves. While I may challenge my client to shift certain perceptions of self or of what is achievable, I focus on providing the empathy that all deserve when struggling with life’s challenges, and also work to dispel the guilt and self-criticism we tend to give ourselves for not meeting our unreasonable expectations. I find self-acceptance and self-compassion critical to self-growth.
Mindfulness practices are invaluable for managing pain and anxiety, self-growth, fostering relationships, and increasing contentment. I work with my clients to find the mindfulness tools that work best for them, whether it is breathing exercises, establishing a daily sitting process, or going for mindful walks in nature.
We are relational creatures at our core. I work with my clients on repairing or deepening existing important relationships (family, friends, lovers, co-workers,…), developing effective communication, and expanding one’s support network and community.
Just as someone’s personality is unique, so is their suffering. I do not assume the role of medical professional primarily treating a disorder. With all of my clients I focus on their strengths, formulating and following personal goals, and increasing their level of supports and sense of community. I may recommend and assist in finding additional professional help or a higher level of care if I determine that those needs are not being met.
I received my masters in counseling psychology from John F Kennedy University in 2012. I began my traineeship providing counseling for elementary school children referred for anxiety, depression, conduct problems, and complex trauma. I continued to work with children as a Therapeutic Behavioral Specialist. I provided intensive services in the home, school and community settings to children and youth who were at risk for hospitalization or a change of placement due to aggression or self-harm.
I began my work with adults suffering from severe mental illness and addiction as a volunteer and intern at the Berkeley Creative Wellness Center, a community center that provides both social connections and counseling for adults with mental illnesses including Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, and anxiety disorders. There I provided individual and group counseling,as well as reinforcing community and social connections as powerful agents to mental health and recovery. I continued that work as a counselor at Bonita House, a residential treatment center for adults suffering from both mental illness and addiction.
While working at Bonita House, I also began a private practice internship at Bay Area Center for Psychotherapy. In that practice I primarily worked with twenty somethings trying to find direction in their life post-college. My current practice includes an eclectic mix of folks, including an integration of the twenty something population and those with mental illness and in recovery who seek continued collaboration and support outside of crisis settings.
I like to practice what I preach. To this end I have my own reward system for the daily self care activities that I want to engage in. These include meditation, practicing accordion, running or swimming, eating healthy, less than one hour per day of unfocused screentime, and hiking in nature.
My full fee is $140/session, however I offer a sliding scale based on income for those whose insurance will not cover out-of-network counseling. The session fee is based on 2% of your monthly income (before tax). For those making less than $36,000/year, I hold a limited number of spaces in which I will accept below $60. The following table provides a guideline:
|Monthly Income||Annual Income||Fee|
The fee for couples living together or family services is based on joint income, however may be adjusted down to accommodate circumstances.
You can reach me at 510-698-2579. Leave me a detailed message with your name and number and I will return your call as soon as possible.
If you are in crisis and need someone to talk to right now, please call the Alameda Crisis Hotline at 1-800-309-2131. They are trained volunteers ready to listen to whatever you are going through.
You can also email me using the contact form below: