I became a therapist because I love bearing witness to people’s growth and development as they strengthen their sense of self. I believe we each have the power to improve our vitality and well-being, and to live a life of acceptance, appreciation and connection. I believe that by approaching ourselves gently and compassionately, we will participate in restoring health to our families, communities, and the planet we all share. I especially love working with pregnant women and families with young children, because I am awed by the profound beauty and pure potentiality inherent in every infant and toddler, and the extraordinary opportunities for healing inherent in the transition to parenthood.
I began my career as a postpartum counselor at a residential treatment facility for teen mothers. It was there that I discovered the magnificent potential contained in each infant and child, regardless of circumstances, and how pregnancy and parenting can be harnessed for personal growth. Through this experience, and my subsequent training as a homebirth midwife, I learned how to bear witness: to hold each individual parent and baby’s experience, allow it to be what they need it to be, and support them in using it to maximize their resilience and strength. Midwifery also taught me so much about the powerful bonds created by the birth of a child into a family, the intensity of the joys and the struggles of the childbearing year, the wonder of new life, and how to support infants and their parents to have the best possible beginnings together.
Since then, I have acquired training and expertise in treating postpartum depression and in fostering early childhood (0-5 year old) mental health. My training includes the internationally known Napa Infant-Parent Mental Health Postgraduate Fellowship. There, I was lucky to be exposed to luminaries in the field of early childhood mental health, including T. Berry Brazelton, Bruce Perry, Dan Siegel and many more. I have since completed phase 1 of the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics. I have learned about the latest research and theories of infant and early childhood neuro-development in the context of primary caregiving relationships, and how to incorporate this understanding of the developing brain into dyadic (relationship-based) therapy for young children and their parents.
I am proficient in offering mindfulness-based therapies to support individuals through life challenges ranging from depression and anxiety to relationship issues, health issues and difficult transitions. I have extensive experience using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, an evidence-based mindfulness therapy. I have training Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, an evidence-based method designed to help children who are coping with trauma. I have training in Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, Adoption Competency, and a variety of parenting education models, including the Triple P positive parenting method and Collaborative Problem Solving. I combine these skills into a mindful parenting approach attuned to the unique needs of each child and family. I harness the similarities in brain structure and function between mindfulness and a secure, healthy attachment, to support clients in healing their own wounds and building the best possible relationships with their own children.
As I and my community struggle to integrate annual wildfires and severe drought, I am turning my professional attention more and more towards my true personal life’s work: crafting conscious and resilient community as we encounter the unfolding climate crisis. I am developing workshops modeled on Joanna Macy’s Work that Reconnects for parents of young children, as we all co-discover what it means to nurture new life on the brink of ecological collapse. I am moving my individual and family therapy work outdoors as much as possible, so my clients can experience what my daughter and I have learned together – that family relationships thrive in the embrace of our beautiful natural world. And I am embarking on regular public speaking engagements designed to promote trauma responsive community, so that we can all work together to hold our children through the challenges that are to come.
I look forward to speaking with you and discovering if we are a good fit to work together.