I am native to California. I grew up in Berkeley, went to school and worked in the Bay Area all of my life. Beginning at an early age, I was interested in people, what they think and how they feel. No doubt, my interests stemmed from my desire to understand and come to terms with my experiences growing up.
My pursuit of education lead me first to community college and then to Mills College, a private women’s college in Oakland. I graduated with Honors in psychology.
In 1985, I began my doctoral studies in clinical psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology, Berkeley, California. My interests took me in two directions, health psychology and psychoanalytic psychotherapy. My education and training experiences focused on those interests as I trained at a substance abuse out-patient treatment facility, an oncology practice providing psychotherapy to cancer patients, a community based psychotherapy clinic, and a medical center in San Francisco providing psychotherapy services to medically ill patients. My dissertation looked at coping strategies among bone marrow transplant patients, post transplant.
I received my doctorate in 1994. My post-doctoral training continued to be a marriage of my interests in health psychology and psychoanalytic psychotherapy. I developed and implemented an internship program for psychology graduate students providing psychological services to the elderly at an Oakland assisted living and skilled nursing facility. At the same time, I worked as a psychology assistant in a private practice setting, under the supervision of a Berkeley psychoanalyst.
When I completed my licensure in 1996, I opened my private practice in Oakland. Although my required training was completed, I continued to study various psychotherapy theories and methods. My love of learning and interest in enhancing my work lead me to The Masterson Institute. There I began a three year training program in the treatment of personality disorders (borderline, narcissistic, schizoid) and disorders of the self.
At the completion of the program, I continued my studies with The Masterson Instititute for an additional two years under the supervision of Dr. James Masterson. In 2006, I was offered a position with the faculty. In addition to teaching within the institute, I also provide continuing education to licensed mental health professionals and supervise graduate students interested in psychoanalytic psychotherapy and treatment of personality disorders.
In 2004 I became actively involved with the Alameda County Psychological Association (ACPA) serving on the Board of Directors. ACPA is a professional organization that supports and promotes the profession of psychology and public mental heath policies and legislation in Alameda County and California. I have served as President in 2006 and 2010.
Currently, I have a full-time private practice working with adults with a range of presenting concerns and psychological conditions including depression; addictions of all kinds; bipolar disorders, anxiety and panic disorders; trauma; issues resulting from childhood abuse and neglect, relationship and family issues; self esteem and body image struggles; and life transitions.
My approach to psychotherapy is dynamic, pragmatic, and integrative, focused on working through often life-long difficult and painful experiences that hold individuals back from feeling fully engaged in life.