You don’t need any more self-care tips; the only way out is through.
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Rafael, CA
As a lesbian I have firsthand experience of the difficulty of thriving within a heteronormative society, as well as a background of queer activism, education and community building. With me as your couples therapist you can relax your guard and know that we have a common basis of understanding right off the bat. I am especially experienced with navigating family of origin issues (including estrangement), religious background, and poly/kinky/sex work dynamics.
I'm not someone who just will tolerate your sexual identity; I have wide-ranging knowledge of BDSM and sex work, strong ties to those communities, and a nuanced perspective on the benefits and pitfalls of those aspects of identity. Ultimately I am not interested in steering you toward or away from any particular way of being, but supporting you in making the best possible decisions for yourself.
I am thrilled to work with people who want to move beyond survival mode and explore areas of the self that have always felt out of reach.
I trained in Gestalt therapy at the Church Street Integral Counseling Center in San Francisco, with Gieve Patel and Debbie Stone. This approach incorporates mindfulness of one's own moment-to-moment experience with a belief in the individual's ability to act out of this awareness of self.
A person-centered approach was one of the core tenants of my graduate program at the California Institute of Integral Studies. I believe in the individual's ability to determine and enact what is in their own best interest, and that the therapist's role is to support this capacity. My ultimate goal is to make myself obsolete and see you off into the world stronger than when you first arrived in my office.
Many of us experience difficulty in relationship with others, whether it is avoidance of closeness, over dependence on a partner, anxiety or anger around authority figures, or frequent conflict. Exploring your attachment style and how it was formed can allow you to break old patterns and experiment with more satisfying behaviors in relationships.
Harsh self-criticism, frequent feelings of shame and doubt about our abilities can suck the joy out of living and prevent us from reaching for our dreams. Therapy is a great place to learn more about how to grow into your strengths and to address your shortcomings realistically and with compassion.
My approach starts by talking about how trauma affects body and brain, by causing emotional reactivity, lowered self-esteem, concentration issues, difficulty in relationships, and other symptoms. Next we will work together to create strategies specific to you, to calm symptoms when they arise. Once these tools are in place and you feel ready we will tackle the trauma itself, going slowly to avoid becoming overwhelmed.
We all need personal connection in our lives, and the way we engage with others is heavily influenced by how we grew up in our families of origin. If your early family life was dysfunctional, abusive, or neglectful, you will benefit from re-examining core beliefs and exploring ways to increase authenticity, intimacy and mutual satisfaction in relationships.