About my practice
The goal of my work is to help people build the kinds of lives and relationships they most long for, with each other and with themselves. Using the power of metaphor and the unconscious mind in a collaborative process, we imagine, find, and create solutions that work best for you. Then in the intersection with emotions and behavior, we put those solutions into action to bring desired changes into being. I often use an approach called Internal Family Systems, which is a compassionate way of working with the parts of ourselves that sometimes are in conflict with our own best interests. The most important relationship we have is the one with ourselves – what we believe about who we are, our place in the world, what we deserve and don’t deserve – because it affects everything else.
I work both with individuals and with couples. Sometimes couples need help sorting out how they live, work, and play together, whether that involves the terms of their relationship, parenting issues, finances, or the hundred other things that arise.
Coming into counseling can be a challenging and even a scary thing. I make it a priority to keep our space safe for you to be who you are, and to bring whatever ideas, thoughts, feelings, fears, or experiences you may have. In this regard, you set the pace of treatment based on your comfort level. Transparency, honesty, and integrity form the basis of our relationship.
“If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”
These words are attributed to Aboriginal activist Lilla Watson and her colleagues, and I admire the way they acknowledge the nature of a therapeutic relationship. I have particular knowledge and experience, and you have particular knowledge and experience. In our work together we observe, ascertain meaning, develop awareness, and we make new meaning, we make new ways of being.
Cultural inquiry has been a focus of my life, personally and professionally. Growing up and throughout my life, I’ve been fortunate to be a part of unique families that have given me formative experiences with race, religion, gender, and sexuality, and although these experiences have taught me a great deal, most importantly they remind me to carry myself with humility and curiosity. I speak Spanish fluently and Swahili reasonably well (though I provide treatment only in English.)
My undergraduate degrees were in Africana Studies and English, and I received a Masters in Social Work in 2005. I’ve been in human services in one form or another my entire adult life, including working with children and families as well as adults, in such settings as a school, jail, hospital, and in the community. I have experience treating issues such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and psychosis, as well as adjustments to major life transitions, parenting concerns, relationship issues, and trauma. Complex trauma is finally being recognized as a concern in many people’s lives, particularly for people of color, LGBTQIA+, and differently-abled.
Selecting a therapist can be tricky. I believe strongly that you can trust your gut in these decisions. If what you’ve seen here feels comfortable to you, you can Request a Consult here. After an initial consult we can either proceed to schedule a session, or if either of us feels like it’s not a good match, I can help you find someone more suited to your needs.