Online EMDR and Depth therapy for people dealing with anxiety, trauma, grief, or BPD and providing therapy for therapists.
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Capitola, CA
People are meant for relationship, but many of us find that our past impairs our ability to develop meaningful intimacy in friendships, family relationships, and intimate relationships. I work with you on communication, boundaries, expectations, and trust to improve your ability to relate to others in a healthy way.
People are naturally wired for growth. If your growth is blocked, we will work together to identify obstacles both internally and externally that are keeping you from accessing your potential. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is a powerful tool to help you step back from your circumstances, clarify your values, and take meaningful action toward your best self.
Your sexual identity is foundational in how you relate to yourself, others, and the world. Using personal experience and professional therapeutic techniques, I will work with you to confront the societal norms of heterosexism and gender normative scripts to develop your unique identity, presentation, and voice.
The psychodynamic approach to therapy gives a deeper look into how your past affects your present compared to modern present-focused therapies. This depth orientation helps address transgenerational themes from your family of origin. Your internal unconscious world is revealed through your actions, dreams, words, and thoughts. Exploring your inner world is transformative and results in deeper change than addressing external factors alone.
Existential therapy is concerned with meaning, isolation, loss, and death. These four themes permeate our lives, whether we are actively avoiding them, fascinated by them, or holding them in balanced awareness. Like psychodynamic therapy, this method focuses on internal awareness as a key factor in creating transformative growth.
This third wave cognitive therapy incorporates mindfulness to deepen what is normally a very surface based work. ACT is useful because it can provide timely relief of distress and other symptoms so that you are more free to participate in depth work toward meaningful change.
Panic attacks can be debilitating, but they are treatable. I address panic disorders using a proven formula in addition to ACT for anxiety.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is a proven method for managing anxiety. By learning mindfulness to separate from your anxious thoughts, you will be able to refocus your life away from the limitations of anxiety.
Sensitive people are highly attuned to the people and environments around them. If you are a HSP, you will find particular benefit in creating rhythms and spaces that support and protect your unique sensitivity. Sensitive people are often strongly drawn to helping professions, but you are also at VERY high risk of burnout because you take in ALL the stories of pain that you are hearing throughout your day.
Emotional eating is a major sign of disorder and need for rhythms of rest. Food is a source of comfort going back to our infancy, but as adults we need to learn new ways of coping. Explore the root causes of emotional eating and learn new ways of managing emotions, situations, stress, and trauma without turning to food. As you build structure into your life and grow your coping skills, you can watch the pounds melt off as you return to your natural weight.
Burnout is SO common for helpers. We give and give and give to others, and then there's nothing left for ourselves at the end of the day. It's hard to say no to one more thing at work, staying late because someone needs you, saying yes to every good volunteer opportunity. But you CAN learn how to combine your deep desire to help others with structure and boundaries that put YOU and YOUR NEEDS first.
Self-examination helps you look at how your past affects your present. Discover why you do the things you do, explore connections, and create a roadmap for your future growth. We are always growing and changing, but unless we direct our growth, our environment and circumstances will have a larger effect on us than our values do. Conscious growth is key to personal fulfillment.
CBT-I is considered the gold standard of insomnia treatment and is typically recommended as a first line treatment before medication. About 70-80% of people will see significant improvement with CBT-I and will not need medication to sleep.
CBT is based on the idea that your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are all connected and all contribute to your insomnia. The high structure of CBT makes it excellent for managing targeted problems efficiently.
Life transitions are where our pain points often show themselves. It's easier to feel okay when everything is going as planned. But change is inevitable in life, and we often discover new sides of ourselves when we go through the stress of a life change. These changes also represent new opportunities for us to grow as we transition out of our old life, and we have a choice how to respond to transitions whether they are planned or unplanned.
Sensitivity can be an amazing trait- you may be more open, empathetic, and aware than others. But sensitivity can also lead to issues in relationships where others experience you as too much, too intense, or too emotional. As a sensitive person, we can work together to help you navigate life in a world that is often insensitive and does not value your gifts.
Women face unique mental health issues including pre- and post-natal changes, hormonal fluctuations, and the challenges of living as a woman in this world. As I have worked with women over the past several years, I have enjoyed growing alongside all of the women that I have been privileged to know.
ACT starts from the standpoint that much of the pain and difficulty in life is inevitable, and our response to these natural ups and downs can either create even more pain or be the source of our freedom. Acceptance is the center of ACT. Acceptance means shifting your energy from striving to fix or prevent pain to simply letting it be. Acceptance naturally flows into Commitment, which is your ability to live a life based on your values and not in reaction to circumstances.
I work extensively with queer relationships with both individuals and couples. My specialty is in mixed orientation relationships where one partner is asexual or aromantic and managing their relationship with a partner who is allosexual or alloromantic. As a Christian therapist, I also work with queer people who are navigating their relationship with religion and how they want it to function in their lives to serve them and not to harm them.
Relationships are a core part of who we are as humans. We are not meant to do life alone. But loneliness is a huge problem for many people- not feeling connected to friends, community, or partnership. And a history of trauma, loss, or bad relationships makes it harder to trust others and move forward in a healthy way. By looking at these patterns in your history, we'll get to know what you need to change the future of your relationships.
Therapists are at a HUGE risk for burnout because, compared with other professions, we give so much more of ourselves in doing the work. Your natural compassion and attunement to others help you key into your clients' needs, but they also open you up to second-hand trauma and compassion fatigue. You can learn to recognize the signs of burnout and address them before they turn into a desire to quit this career entirely.
Existential questions come up every day, especially as we face death and loss. What is the purpose of life? Why are we here? Why do bad things happen to good people? These are key questions at the heart of existential therapy, and therapy helps you to create meaning out of chaos and order out of disorder. Existential therapy helps to clarify the questions and help draw us closer to our own answers.
In addition to my focus on anxiety and panic, I also work with people who are asexual, aromantic, or questioning if either of these fit their experience. Many of my asexual/aromantic clients are in mixed-orientation relationships with partners who do experience sexual or romantic attraction. I have lived experience as well as clinical training in helping individuals and couples navigate the issues that may come up with an asexual/aromantic identity.
I have helped many clients navigate panic attacks. Whether they have just had their first panic attacks or their experience is ongoing for years, ACT can help defuse the fear of having another panic attack and help refocus on what matters right now in the moment.
Between my personal experiences with anxiety and my professional training, I have a thorough understanding of the difficulties and frustrations that come along with anxiety. ACT is a proven process that helps change your relationship with anxiety from the first few sessions.
You can't fix a problem you're not aware of, and mindfulness is a process of exploring your inner and outer worlds to get to know yourself and get a fuller picture of what needs to change for you to see the growth you desire.
Choosing growth is the highest good of humanity. As conscious beings, we have the option to stay in our comfort zones if we want to. Growth is difficult and often painful, but it is ultimately good. Growth often means engaging with our shadow side, the parts of ourselves we might rather not see. It takes bravery and conviction to look honestly at ourselves and choose to change for the better.
I have additional training in career counseling because a large part of our anxiety shows up in the workplace. You spend so much of your waking time working, you deserve to have a fulfilling and purposeful career. Instead, so many working people are burned out, stuck in dead ends, and feeling undervalued by employers. Modern technology has transformed the world of work, and you no longer need to stick with something that isn't working for you.
Transitions can be expected or unexpected, but any transition point invites a new opportunity to shape your identity. Some transitions like graduating school, changing careers, or welcoming a child are positive changes, but that doesn't make them any easier to navigate. Other transitions like grieving a death, losing a dream, or failing in life can feel devastating, but they can be the most transformative opportunities for you to grow.
I specialize in treating anxiety because it's something I've dealt with for years. ACT is one of the best methods for treating anxiety, and it's what has worked for me. The process of navigating anxiety can be short- ACT techniques can give relief in only a few sessions- or it can be long- as you explore your thoughts and narratives, you may notice old habits that no longer serve you.
Grieving as a therapist is hard. You want to fully feel and honor your grief but you also have to hold it together for your clients. And you are often there for them in their losses while not being able to share yours. Too often, friends and family grieving with you are turning to you to know what to do even though you're there grieving right alongside them.
Investing in yourself by prioritizing your growth is a major choice, and one that often receives a surprising amount of pushback from people in your life who benefit from your staying small. Choosing growth takes a tremendous amount of courage to be fully honest with yourself as you critically examine all aspects of your life. It also takes grace, compassion, and non-judgment as you build new habits and pick yourself up from sliding back into old ones.
If you are a HSP, you know what it's like to live with your perception, awareness, and empathy on overdrive. And you know that these same traits can spin you straight into exhaustion, overwhelm, stress, and physical illness. As a HSP, you have different self-care needs from the majority of the people around you. Through therapy, you can learn how best to nurture and soothe your sensitive system so that your sensitivity becomes your greatest strength.
Can we talk about that harsh inner critic? When you don't fit in with what everyone else is doing, your inner critic can grow exponentially. This shows up as overcompensating- you're not going to have the husband-wife-2.5 kids-picket fence sort of life, so you fulfill your family's other dream of having a doctor in the family. This can also show up as underfunctioning- there's nothing you can do to make your family approve of you since you came out, so why not miss all expectations?
The inner critic speaks LOUD for women. There's so much pressure to have it all, do it all, and look good while you're doing it. But it also feels like you can't win no matter what you do. And the little voice in the back of your head can sure get nasty when it reminds you of all the different choices you should have made. It doesn't feel good. But there is another way- a better way- free from the shame and blame and criticism.
We all have a story of ourselves that includes our experiences and how we understand the way we fit into the world. But we often feel trapped by a thin narrative that fits us into particular labels and does not adequately encompass the richness of our full experience. Grief work fits well with narrative therapy because our losses change the story and push us into new directions. In narrative work, we'll explore your stories of losses and how they fit into your life story.
As a therapist, you see a very different perspective of people and the world. It can be a challenge to incorporate the things you see and hear into your spiritual life. But spirituality can also be a huge asset in your work. It gives you a sense of why things are going wrong, what can be done to help, and the path forward.
Infertility is a unique grief. Every month that passes is another renewal of your grief that it just hasn't happened yet, but every new month is another renewal of your hope that it could happen this time. Over the years, this up and down can leave you feeling emotionally exhausted, stressed out, and frustrated.
ACT is the foundation of the way I work. Starting with mindful awareness, ACT gently coaches you through a deep examination of your values and an analysis of how your choices and actions move you toward or away from those values.
EMDR is a method that can help you process deeper emotions and traumatic memories using bilateral stimulation instead of focusing on talk therapy. Online EMDR is not for everyone, so if you are interested in processing through EMDR, we can talk about if it is right for you.
Burnout is huge in the mental health field. And often, you know the solutions but they're difficult to implement. You don't have to burn out. You can set meaningful boundaries and have them respected. You can work toward a job that serves you and your clients.