I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
who strives to grow and evolve as a professional
and as a individual. During my years of experience,
I have grown to believe that:
- the resiliency of the human spirit to overcome adversity is often underestimated
we can often do more to affect positive change than we think
- there is almost always more to be grateful for than we realize
- nothing can beat an unshakeable belief in oneself to weather the storms of life
- we are generally doing the best we can at any given point in time
- in the end, "family"-those that we love-is everything.
With over 20 years of experience in the mental health field, and a graduate of Loma Linda University's Marriage and Family Therapy program, I currently maintain a private practice in Colton, California working with a broad spectrum of clients. I especially highlight the treatment of young adults launching into the world, family/couple therapy, life transitions, and grief and loss experiences throughout life.
From 1997 to 2010, I worked for Riverside County Department of Mental Health, where I gained a broad depth of experience in working extensively with children, adolescents, and adults in multiple treatment contexts. These experiences included interfacing with psychiatrists, mental health professionals, the public school system, special education teachers, school psychologists, vocational rehabilitation staff, Cal Works staff, probation officers and the juvenile court system. For 8 of my 13 years in county mental health, I worked exclusively at an outpatient clinic for children, adolescents and their families. Currently, I also work for Inland Psychiatric Medical Group in the High Desert where I treat a variety of issues to an underserved population.
I am a thoughtful, compassionate and interactive therapist that sees each person and family as the ultimate experts in overcoming their own life problems. I believe in the power of individuals in each family to work through obstacles, find hope and grow closer to each other than they may have thought was possible. I have often been inspired at the resilience that individuals and families find in themselves to cope with life's disappointments and I value fostering resilience by helping each person find the strengths they may have thought they lost.
During my years of experience, I have been most influenced by concepts that seek to understand the influences that shape how we become who we are, and how we define ourselves in the context of our relationships to others. The theories most influential to this understanding have been Object Relations Theory, Family Systems Theory, Attachment theory, and Narrative Therapy.
My additional training in grief counseling and thanatology has also increased my appreciation for the cultural and spiritual practices that give life meaning especially in bearing the pain of grief after a life changing loss. I have also been inspired by pioneering research on grief and bereavement from a meaning reconstruction (finding personal meaning from experiencing tragic losses) viewpoint.
My therapeutic approach is to work together as a skilled team member with each inidividual, couple or family. The idea that "we are all in this together" is adopted to highlight the commitment to work through challenges in a thoughtful and determined manner. I utilize my combined skills and knowledge in my best attempt to provide the most effective therapeutic intervention in any given moment. With compassion and understanding, I work with each individual, couple and family to help them build on their strengths and find the hope, meaning and healing they are searching for-because the value of building your best life-is priceless!
Currently a Doctoral student in Psychology at California Southern University
M.S., Marriage and Family Therapy; Loma Linda University, 1991
Ed.S., Specialist in Education: School Psychology; La Sierra University, 2006
LICENSE, CERTIFICATIONS & AWARDS:
Licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist in California since 1996.
Certified in Thanatology (CT): Death, Dying and Bereavement; through the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC). ADEC's Mission Statement: "ADEC is an international, professional organization dedicated to promoting excellence and recognizing diversity in death education, care of the dying, grief counseling, and research in thanatology". See ADEC.ORG for more information.
Certified Grief Counselor through the American Academy of Grief Counseling.
Previously trained (2009-2010) in Multi-Dimensional Family Therapy (MDFT) through Riverside County Dept. Of Mental Health. MDFT is a cutting edge, evidenced based treatment program for adolescents and families with drug and behavior challenges.
As an evidenced based treatment program, MDFT involved in-depth training and supervision in family therapy skills with multiple family problems. Although I am no longer connected to this program, I continue to utilize my sharpened skills from that extensive training experience.
PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES AND MEMBERSHIPS:
Member of Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC).
Member of the International Association of Trauma Professionals.