I have over 24 years experience helping people and working in the Mental Health field. I started as a psychiatric nurse, and then worked many years in the field of addictions including; drugs, alcohol, gambling and sexual addiction. I found that the majority of people I worked with who struggled with addictions or dependency issues also had some form of trauma. I have a lot of compassion for those who struggle with trauma, nightmares, excessive worries, anxiety and panic attacks because I struggled myself with early childhood trauma and was able to work through it with the help of others. For this reason I never ask my clients to do something, i.e.use a method that I have not done or worked with myself. I strongly believe one must walk their talk and live in integrity to feel healthy.
I have been blessed to have traveled and lived in many countries and to have had the opportunity to have studied cross cultural psychology experientially. My primary purpose for traveling in other countries was to study with various teachers on the nature of consciousness. I lived, for example, with a group of Indians studying indigenous medicine in the Amazon jungle of Columbia. I also traveled through India, Europe, Canada, Latin America, Mexico and Turkey studying the psychological teachings contained in the religious teachings, histories, sacred sites and art of these cultures. I am interested in how psychology has manifested over the centuries and have published an academic paper called “The True Origins of Psychology and the Influence of Euro-American Ethnocentrism“.
I have studied and practiced classical Meditation methods for over 25 years (Samatha Vipassana); and have over 6 years of formal meditation and mindfulness training from Buddhist and Christian Monasteries. I have established and directed 3 active meditation centers on the west coast of the U.S. I have integrated this learning over time into training clinicians and clients in the application of Meditation and Mindfulness based treatments into the Treatment of Addictions, Trauma, Anxiety, and Impulse Control Disorders.
I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Marylhurst University in Oregon. I received my Masters in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Jungian Depth Psychotherapy and Psycho-dynamic Process from Pacifica Graduate Institute in California. I also have a strong background of training in mindfulness based therapies such as Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (really great for helping one learn how to manage emotions); Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (really great for working with serious depression and hopelessness); Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (generally great for treating depression , anxiety, panic and self hatred); and Gestalt Therapy (I trained with this for over 3 years in treating severe trauma and childhood wounds). I am also in the process of developing a new form of treatment with a colleague Psychologist called, Mindfulness Centered Somatic Therapy.
I have extensive training in an Eye movement somatic therapy called Brainspotting; (you can read more about this on my FAQ section) it is considered one of the highly effective trauma therapies available.
I am currently finishing certification in an amazing somatic therapy called, Trauma Release Exercises (TRE). TRE was developed by Dr. David Bercelli and is one of the most amazing forms of trauma therapy I have ever worked with, as the vast majority of people who learn it report gradual to large reductions in anxiety within the first few sessions.
I believe that it is important to have compassion for all beings. All people struggle and suffer in different ways. Suffering might mean that you struggle with anxiety over your job, Suffering might mean watching too much pornography, or having an affair. Suffering might mean that you have panic attacks, or cant get over the loss of a relationship or loved one. It might mean that you don’t know who you are, feel like you do not belong in the culture you live in, or do not feel heard and understood by others.
Whatever is your struggle, I will be with you in it and we can work through it together.