I believe everyone has a purpose in life, and harmony and happiness result from living that purpose.  Life can be challenging, sometimes tremendously so, and can present us with obstacles to living our purpose.  Depression, anxiety, stress, and illness can all be a result of being out of sync with our true path and who we really are.  At its best, good psychotherapy assists us on our path back to our true purpose that, once lived, results in an inner freedom and aliveness.  At the same time, some of life's sorrows and difficulties are unavoidable, even when living an authentic and purposeful life.  Therapy can provide a safe space to process grief, explore our inner emotions, develop adaptive coping strategies, and simply be seen during times of turmoil or uncertainty.

I have a deeply spiritual orientation in my view of therapeutic work.  This view is not specific to any religious school of thought, but rather is an overarching philosophy that all humans and life are intimately connected, that love is the source and goal of all things, and that we are not alone in life or death.  At the same time, I am a scientist by training.  I have rigorous academic training in research methods and empirically supported treatments; have published several papers about adjustment to cancer, and have great respect for the knowledge and contributions of the academic community.  Ultimately, I see my work as a bridge between the academic and the spiritual; the known and the unknown. 

"Ultimately, I see my work as a bridge between the academic and the spiritual; the known and the unknown."

 

As such, my therapeutic approach integrates several modalities according to your individual needs and preferences.  Insight-oriented work, cognitive behavioral therapy, a focus on the present moment (mindfulness) and valued-focused living (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), meditation/visual imagery and relaxation training may all be part of our work.  There will be an emphasis on accessing your own inner guidance, as intuition and gut feelings are valuable sources of information in helping us navigate our lives.  I will seek to incorporate any spiritual or religious beliefs you may have according to your own desires and preferences but this is not a required part of our work together.  I am open to the use of prayer and focused intention for emotional and physical healing and incorporate prayer as desired by each client.  

I have experience with many populations, have specialty training in health psychology, and have worked extensively with cancer patients.  I have been previously employed as a Staff Psychologist at the UCLA Simms/Mann Center for Integrative Oncology, as the Associate Director and Clinical Supervisor of the Behavioral Health and Wellness Clinic of the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin, and also spent a year working with veterans at the Downtown Los Angeles Veteran’s Administration.