My goal is to help adults, teens, and children live happier, more meaningful lives. There are times when we can be overwhelmed by feelings of sadness, worry, confusion, and anger—or trapped in cycles of behavior that undermine our health, our relationships, and the ability to function at our best. As a clinical psychologist, I am privileged to help people overcome such obstacles and find a new sense of purpose, fulfillment and joy.
Working with Children and Teens
I have been helping children and adolescents with special needs since 2003. I understand the extraordinary challenges a child faces when he or she is burdened by serious problems with mood, low self esteem, or maladaptive behavior. The majority of my work has been in school settings, and as such I am familiar with the peculiarities of the California educational system and with academic environments in general. I have extensive experience working with moderate to severe issues, including trauma, mood disorders, attentional problems, defiance, aggression, selective mutism, suicidality, and childhood psychosis.
Working with children and teens often includes working with the parents and even the entire family. I can help caregivers with effective discipline methods and setting up a home-based behavior management program. By bringing in the whole family we can encourage new dynamics to help support improvements in mood, attitude, and behavior.
In the future I will be offering two support groups for adult caregivers. The first group will focus on parents of children with challenging behaviors, such as significantly high levels of defiance, impulsiveness, aggression, or withdrawal. The second group will focus on parents with newborns undergoing care in a NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) or who are otherwise coping with young infants with serious health problems.
Working with Adults
The decision to seek therapy is always an important one, and everyone’s reasons are unique: seeking relief from emotional pain or debilitating anxiety, wanting to strengthen important relationships, or a desire to overcome negative habits that undermine your happiness. Whatever your reason, you will be treated with respect and a non-judgmental attitude. Further, I combine warmth and acceptance with a disciplined attention to empirically-validated treatment methods. What this means is that I employ pragmatic, effective tools within a caring atmosphere. While no therapist can offer a guarantee of outcomes, I can promise that I will only rely on therapeutic orientations that are supported by scientific research.
I approach all my adult clients as individuals and apply therapeutic methods in accordance with their unique needs. Most often, I work with so-called “third generation” cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT. Simply put, CBT understands that much of how we feel and behave is rooted in the way we think, our core values, and in our deepest beliefs about ourselves, about others, and about the world in general. I use CBT to help clients explore these beliefs, values, and ways of thinking so that we can collaboratively promote changes that align with your own personal goals. I often include other research-validated methods in my treatment, such as mindfulness training, designed to decrease anxiety while increasing self awareness and the ability to tolerate distressing feelings. My aim is to help clients use their own strengths to become more adaptable, productive, flexible, and integrated.