I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor Associate and received my Masters in Psychology from Saybrook University. Prior to opening my private practice in Fremont I worked with adults, couples, and families at Sound Mental Health in Redmond. Therapy has been a significant ally in my own life and I am passionate about supporting others in realizing that they are not problems to be solved, but are evolutionarily wired for growth, change, and creativity.
I have taught and practiced yoga for 25 years, and have maintained a meditation practice for almost that long. I have an impassioned curiosity about how these bodies we live in make sense of stress, loss, ecstasy, and love. My work can include a somatic aspect if you are so inclined, inquiring into how your life stories live in your body, and how your physical and emotional nature comes to terms with the challenges of modern living, with its demands on body and soul.
I offer psychotherapy that speaks to the whole person, including heart, mind, body and soul. Although I have training in cognitive and problem-solving based therapies (and am happy to use them), my primary orientation is toward depth psychology, which takes into account the effects of nature, dreams, imagination, spirituality and the subtle and unconscious aspects of human experience.
OUR WORK TOGETHER
I consider myself a co-traveler in the therapy room, accompanying you in discovering your own needs, beliefs and desires. I can point out intriguing and unfamiliar vistas along the way, and illuminate useful signs. Together we create a therapeutic environment that provides knowledge through lived experience. The human heart and soul are vast resources for self-understanding and I encourage my clients to resource art, nature, imagery, dreams, conversation, metaphor, movement, and novel experiences in order to till the soil for new ideas. Every life story is one of unique experience and depth and is a rich tapestry of unrepeatable and rare adventures, albeit often painful, which we can cherish, wrestle with, bring to light, and learn from. Our strengths often wait, hidden and disguised, within our deepest emotional distress and hurt.
Therapy as Sacred Space
The act of sitting in sacred space, open to associations, memories, stories, and feeling, is the art of the therapist. I will provide a container and guidance for you to explore the soulful aspects of yourself, such as: your relationships with your shadow qualities, with nature, with silence, with your body, with spirit and/or religious beliefs. At the same time, I am a woman in her 60's who has seen a lot and is not easily shocked or judgmental. I am comfortable sitting with you in the fire. I have particular skills and experience in sex therapy; this is an area of life that is often filled with shame and misunderstanding. Sexual energy can be a great repository of repressed desire, energy and free expression. I am comfortable holding space for you to clarify your repertoire of what is sexual, what is life liberating for you personally, and the benefits and challenges of living with eyes, body, and heart open to a beloved other.
My View on the Nature of 'Disorders'
The ongoing trend toward pigeon-holing human souls into diagnostic categories is complicated. People have various ways of organizing reality that may work for them, no matter that these strategies don't meet a standard designated by others or by society at large. There are many ways of living that provide meaning and belonging. At the same time, receiving a diagnosis can be hugely relieving, as it provides a way to understand behaviors that are troubling and helps one feel that one is not alone, that others also struggle with these painful ways of being. The challenge is to find the usefulness of a diagnosis in discovering more about how one operates in the world, and in developing better coping skills, while at the same time not becoming overly identified with the diagnosis. Ten people diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder will manifest that diagnosis in ten very different ways. I hold the idea of "disorders" and diagnosis lightly, using it as a sometimes necessary tool, without allowing diagnosis to prevent me seeing into all the varying qualities of a person.