Oakland-based psychotherapy for healing through creativity, connection, and liberation.
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Oakland, CA
I have always known that my purpose in life is to work with survivors of trauma, because they are the most in need. I believe that it is important to tell the stories of the past and talk about intergenerational trauma and institutional racism to build resiliency. Silence inhibits healing. Telling these stories does not have to be only through speech. Metaphors and the arts are helpful in addressing intergenerational trauma, because trauma is often stored in the body and not the consciousness.
Agents of change (community organizers, leaders, providers, etc.) often struggle with stress because of the sense of responsibility for changing the world. We fill our "plate" too full and further stress about finding balance. Often, this sense of responsibility for changing the world leads to anxiety, because we are focused on the future "what ifs." We often set very high self-expectations and become both anxious about achieving expectations and about being "enough".
Self-medicating, coping, escaping, numbing, addiction...these are some of the reasons we use or abuse alcohol, drugs, and even work and people. Some people can control their substance use, but many people cannot. Addiction is the desire to control our substance use, but not being able to. When we struggle to control our use and it makes our lives unmanageable, we need help. Addiction is powerful and very hard to solve on our own. Admitting we have a problem & accepting help are the first steps.
Relationships are another way to heal trauma, both with ourselves and others, especially because of disorganized attachment that might occur (especially from childhood neglect or abuse). The relationship with a trauma-informed therapist can be healing and allow a client to practice earned attachment through unconditional positive regard and empathy, free of judgement.
Narrative therapy is effective in re-framing our narratives that keep us stuck in unhealthy loops. Externalizing the problem using creativity and imagination makes it easier and safer to face and explore it. Narrative therapy can help with changing the narrative of being a victim into being a survivor and thriver. It can be helpful to grieve and mourn losses of things like hope, childhood, attachment figures.
Expressive arts therapy is using creativity and a variety of art modalities (visual art, music, movement, drama, etc.) to heal and grow. Expressive arts therapy can provide safe, fun, and creative ways to explore and express ourselves, which can be difficult using only talk. Expressive arts therapy also allows us to access our inner wisdom and our subconscious mind. I am an expressive arts therapist because I know its power in healing people and making personal and social change.