I've included a little bit about my clinical focuses below. I specialize in a variety of counseling and psychotherapeutic interventions including EMDR, Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS), Psychodynamic therapy, CBT, family systems work, and Gottman and EFT informed interventions. I utilize a holistic perspective. Typically clients that choose to work with me do so because they want to broaden their understanding of their lives through the context of their history, improve their current situation and plan for a healthy future.
I offer sessions out of my office in Roseville, CA in Placer County and I can to teletherapy (video or phone sessions) for any resident of California.
Surviving a trauma such as an accident, a crime, or abuse can leave you feeling a wide range of emotions. Some people experience guilt, anxiety, or depression after a traumatic event or series of events. Other common reactions include intrusive memories of the event, nightmares, or efforts to avoid any little thing that might remind you of the trauma. Sometimes it is hard to imagine ever having a normal life or relationships after going through such an event.
The good news is that therapy can help reduce or even eliminate the symptoms you feel after a trauma. You may not have chosen to live through a trauma but often choosing how and when you enter into therapy and the healing process can be an empowering step to feeling like you have your life back again. I use EMDR (www.emdr.com or www.emdria.org), Internal Family Systems, psychodynamic therapy, cognitive therapy and holistic interventions. to help people work towards healing from their traumas. These modalities are proven effective. Many survivors are reluctant to start therapy, as they do not want to “stir it all up again.” But we will take therapy at your pace and I will be there to support you each step of the way.
EMDR is recognized by the World Health Organization, American Psychiatric Association and the United Nations as a preferred and effective trauma treatment. I am experienced in advanced EMDR protocols beyond the basic template. So if EMDR has not been helpful for you in the past contact me to discuss how these more advanced protocols might serve you. The most recent EMDR protocols are designed to minimize the re-activation of your trauma matrix and can be more gentle than the traditional protocols yet extremely effective. Depending on your situation I may be able to provide EMDR via teletherapy if it is safe to do so.
Because many of my clients come to see me for recovery from trauma, abuse, or domestic violence, I end up hearing the word “narcissist” or “narcissistic” a lot in my office. While I am unable to diagnose somebody that is not a patient, it is fair to say that it is likely that many perpetrators of abuse or neglect may fall on the continuum of narcissistic traits.
Some of my clients come to me already knowing terms such as “gaslighting” and “love bombing.” Some of them already understand the impact that years of invalidation, minimization and lack of empathy has had on them as the child of a narcissistic mother or father or the spouse of a narcissist. For some of my clients having somebody outside of their inner circle describe the common patterns that we see when people are struggling with a narcissist is eye opening and may be the first validation they get that they’re not alone and the situation is truly not ok.
Whether you’re the adult child of a narcissistic mother or narcissistic father, the partner of a narcissist, or the ex partner of a narcissist, the damage can be profound. Often people lack the words to be able to describe what years of having their reality denied and manipulated to an outsider, but be assured that healing is possible. Many people struggle with feelings of anxiety, self-doubt, depression and difficult personal relationships after being partnered with or raised by a narcissist.
There is hope for healing your life and relationships. Whether you want to learn tools to cope with a family member who is incredibly difficult and toxic or you need to heal after coming to the realization you need to cut this person out of your life, I can help. I typically help people first address the intense anxiety they feel in their personal relationships and help them address whatever triggers are most disabling in the moment. Then if the client is willing we go back and explore what it was in their early life or personality that made them vulnerable to narcissistic abuse. Often I use psycho education to help increase understanding and awareness, psycho dynamic interventions to heal emotional wounds and EMDR to address traumas. This therapy can be particularly helpful for people going through high conflict divorces with an ex-spouse who is impossible to compromise with.
In addition to applying the general techniques that were noted in the Trauma & PTSD section, I have extensive experience supporting crime and abuse survivors navigate the often complex legal and court systems.
A niche of my practice is dedicated helping women and couples with the unique issues that pregnancy and motherhood can bring up. Pregnancy and motherhood is supposed to be a joyous time but for some women it brings up feelings of fear, loss, anxiety, and doubt. For example:
In these situations and similar situations women feel anxious about their ability to mother, memories of abuse can re-surface, or the grief of losing your mom can come back once you begin to mother. Some women, due to a history of abuse or difficulty with their own parents, aren’t even sure if they want to have babies of their own.
These feelings are normal and with proper help most women can get relief. Addressing these feelings can allow you to better bond with your baby or child, feel more comfortable during pregnancy and labor, and reduce chances of postpartum depression, major depressive symptoms, or trauma.
*For my clients without kids-please know I work with people without kids and honor the choice of an individual to choose whether or not to become a parent! Being child free by choice is an important right. On the other hand, being child free due to fertility problems can bring people to counseling for a different set of issues. I honor my clients and their individual situations.
Coping with chronic pain or chronic or terminal illness can be life altering. Together you and I can improve your quality of life, develop coping skills, redefine your identity and in some cases provide a level of pain relief and improvement of health. Often the roots of chronic health issues or pain are steeped in difficult experiences from our childhood. Many of us are now familiar with our ACES (adverse childhood events score) and how this impacts our health. In addition to using tools like EMDR and IFS to address emotional pain I also use cbt, guided imagery and other holistic coping tools to help clients live their best possible lives.
Betrayal Trauma refers to the profoundly damaging consequences of having a loved one such as a spouse or partner violate the sanctity of the safety of your relationship. While our field has been slow to recognize this as a true trauma research shows that indeed this type of violation can cause the same level of PTSD as a sexual assault. This is typical for partners of sex and porn addicts, alcoholics or partners of drug addicts. The betrayal trauma model goes beyond the old codependency model and truly treats the partner's pain as the trauma that it truly is. Unfortunately many mental health or medical professionals do not recognize the profound trauma that this causes in partners which can further make the innocent partner feel isolated. I use approaches including EMDR and cbt to support my clients in healing their trauma, setting healthy boundaries, establishing their independence, making healthy choices and healing their marriages if that is what they choose to do.
I offer confidential, effective treatment for first responders and military veterans. The long term effects of exposure to combat or crisis can significantly impact your relationships, well being and quality of life. Treatment and support can help. I have a unique perspective on the culture of law enforcement, the fire service and the military as I come from a family with many first responders and military veterans. Including practical self care approaches I often use EMDR to help alleviate symptoms of PTSD and burnout that can interfere with health and quality of life.
Grief can take many forms. Despair, depression, distraction, numbing out, loss of sense of time or connection to those around you and more. I have worked with clients through the loss of a child, spouse, parent, sibling, friend or pets. I am experienced in working with my clients to help them through one of life's most difficult challenges and create meaning and find comfort through the pain.
I offer confidential, effective treatment for mental health and medical providers related to burnout, vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue. The cumulative effect of providing front line care to those in crisis can cause a profound negative effect on your life, health and relationships. Counseling can help alleviate burnout and ptsd and improve your health and quality of life. I am also available to consult with mental health providers on issues related to complex trauma cases and EMDR.
As of March, 2020 I am offering teletherapy in order to allow clients to continue to access safe, confidential support in spite of the pandemic. Offerings include therapy and EMDR by phone or secure video platforms. Please note that with few exceptions all new clients will be teletherapy only until further notice. Contact me to find out more.