What I bring to my work . . .
I have always loved working with people and have almost 35 years experience working with those with physical and mental health challenges. My first career was as a registered occupational therapist, where I worked in hospital, home care, and community settings. From that I bring a strong foundation in neuroscience, development, psychology, and the creative processes. I treated those with physical or mental health issues, helping them to have more independent, productive, stress-free, and meaningful lives.
I then added a masters degree in social work in 1999 from the University of California-Berkeley with a focus on women’s health and integrative medicine. As a licensed clinical social worker, I bring an understanding of people in their environments and the challenges they face individually, in their families, or in society. I focus on people’s strengths, on connecting to internal and external resources, and on initiating action in one’s life.
I then went on to develop my skills as a psychotherapist, primarily working with adults of all ages, in both agency work and private practice. My work is experiential, relational, somatic/body-focused, and incorporating behavioral strategies as needed. I have worked in outpatient psychiatry; a family service agency; as a bereavement counselor at Hospice By the Bay for 6 years; as a social worker/therapist at the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center Comprehensive Cancer Center; and through group work at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. Recently, I have worked as an integrative psychotherapist for Sutter Health, Institute for Health and Healing for the past 5 years. In this practice, I have utilized mind-body practices, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, and cognitive behavioral strategies for a variety of patients with anxiety, depression, stress, adjustment, complex medical issues, trauma, and grief/loss.
I also know and have experienced that healing takes place through the body; through creative, often non-verbal processes; and through the connection to Spirit and the earth. I love being in nature whenever I can. I have studied with indigenous healers, and teachers who are respectful translators of original culture. My studies have strengthened my connection to guides, ancestors, the elements, and the earth. Recently I have completed certifications in applied shamanism and hypnotherapy through the Foundation of the Sacred Stream.
In addition, I have practiced mindfulness meditation for many years and studied Buddhist teachings. From these practices, I bring to my work a connection to the present moment, to the body, and a cultivation of life with more self-acceptance and compassion.