I am a licensed psychologist (CA PSY#22516) with more than 30 years of clinical mental health practice in the United States and abroad. I have worked in Central American war zones for about 7 years. My specialty is helping people who have survived traumas, including accidents, personal violence, situations of armed conflict, and natural disasters. I have been a Disaster Psychology trainer for the Culver City Fire Department's Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) since 2002. I am a professor at California State University, Long Beach's Advanced Studies in Education and Counseling Department, and a faculty member of CSULB's Emergency Services Administration Masters Degree Program.
My therapeutic approach is tailored to the individual needs and circumstances of the person, and includes evidence-supported therapies, as well as time-tested approaches that promote balance and well-being. I am EMDR trained, and also trained in clinical hypnosis.
I believe we all have unique, potentially self-healing capacities. As your therapist I will serve as a guide and companion for you in your progress toward healing and growth.
Because research and clinical practice increasingly suggest that trauma "lives" in the body, my therapeutic approaches include natural and gentle body-mind methods to help you find greater calm, relaxation, and focus. As a Registered Dance/Movement Therapist (R-DMT), I offer in-depth knowledge of how the body holds and releases trauma.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a science-based approach that supports the natural ways the nervous system processes and disperses traumatic memories. EMDR works on a principle similar to how the brain processes experiences with subtle eye movements during REM sleep. EMDR is a safe and effective short-term therapy, and is one of the most highly recommended approaches for trauma resolution. I am EMDR trained by EMDRIA.
Some people may experience psychological distress or confusion related to their process of spiritual emergence/emergency. I have training in this area and certification as a Spiritual Emergence Coach ™ to help guide and support you in your unique spiritual journey.
Many, if not most, people experience uncomfortable emotions at some point that may interfere with the ability to be productive and satisfied in personal relationships, work, and recreation. Supportive therapy with an experienced therapist can be a great help for moving forward through these challenges. There is hope for more ease, balance, focus, and relaxation, and a return to greater enjoyment of life.
Trauma is often thought of as a psychological injury due to a major life event, but "smaller" incidents can also threaten to overwhelm a person's protective emotional resources. Additionally, some occupations, especially in the fields of first response, emergency health, and the military, can involve stress exposure as an ongoing occupational hazard. Therapeutic approaches that are trauma-informed can help a person navigate difficult experiences with self-regulation, as well as build resistance and resilience for future events.
A wellness approach to trauma views these difficult experiences as opportunities for self-knowledge, healing, and personal growth,