We all suffer some time in our lives and suffering takes infinite forms. Siddhartha, when he left the protected and privileged gates of his palace and encountered the realities of poverty, disease, old age, and death, went on a quest to understand how to live with the reality of human suffering and became the Buddha. No human being is immune to suffering regardless of privilege, class, race, sex, gender, etc. It is suffering that connects us to our shared humanity. That said, I have been called in my life to help people and to be of service, which has taken the form of becoming a psychotherapist. My attunement and sensitivity to emotional pain started early in my life. At 4 years old I observed troubling interactions within my family of origin and continued to be aware of unfair treatment and misperception between my peers, economic differences amongst people, and the heartbreak and horror of human rights violations. Social justice and human rights were part of my world view before I was cognizant of those terms. I came from a working-class family and was raised by a single mother. At the time, I was only the second person in my family to attend University. As an undergraduate, I woke up to American politics and the ways our hegemonic status as a world superpower had committed some egregious atrocities around the globe. All this to say, that despite my white skin advantage, the still real systemic problems of racism, socio-economic oppression, and the understandable criticism of the mental health industrial complex, I continue to believe that doing one's inner healing work is not only essential to individual well-being, but just as essential to reaching our humanitarian goals of true equality, mutual respect, and dignity for all; our inner work affects what happens in the collective. "Peace starts within" (Buddhists) and "the personal is the political" (Feminists). I was born at a time of great social revolution in the USA, where Civil Rights, Women's Rights, and Anti-War movements were upon us, so the energy of that time is in my bones. The ethics of Emmanuel Levinas in seeing "the face of the other" and C.G. Jung's path of Individuation have never been more socially relevant.
General Philosophy for Seeking Psychotherapy:
Life is paradoxical, mysterious, and challenging. We all develop within the context of our ancestry, family of origin, culture, and life events. How we relate to our circumstances, past, present, and future has a powerful effect on the quality of our lives and the state of our hearts. Our individual suffering, in whatever form, can often call our attention to what needs tending in our lives; our symptoms are actually a kind of ally that helps us on the path of healing and greater consciousness. When life and relationships feel confusing, difficult, and overwhelming, symptoms like depression, anxiety, problematic behaviors, and a lack of fulfillment may develop. I help people become more conscious of their emotional and inner life, make sense of their experience, and navigate through their struggles to achieve a greater sense of purpose, freedom, flexibility, and personal choice. Symptoms diminish as a consequence of this inner work and process. The therapeutic relationship provides a space for self-exploration, discovery, and to make conscious what is still unconscious. This collaborative relationship is a vehicle for working through, understanding, and resolving feelings, thoughts, behaviors, and relationship patterns that interfere with your development, creativity, and wellbeing. Bringing greater consciousness to our wounds allows for healing, movement forward, and increased possibilities. Guidance and counsel from a person outside of your day-to-day life provides a safe and confidential container to explore your inner life and concerns with an objective eye and a trained ear. Seeing a psychotherapist is an act of courage and a positive step towards wholeness. Depth work becomes soul work as we engage the unconscious through dreams, imagery, creative expression, and somatic awareness. In addition to my training as a psychotherapist, my longtime involvement as a yoga practitioner, meditation practice, and numerous other healing modalities give me an important mind-body-soul-spirit-heart perspective and understanding.
I see adolescents and adults and work with individuals, couples, families, and groups. I provide supportive counseling, depth and longterm psychotherapy, clinical consultation, workshops, and retreats.