My Approach to Helping
Are you or your child struggling with stress, depression, or anxiety? Do you want to have better relationships with your friends, children, or spouse? Do you feel frustrated, out of control, or hopeless? Located in the ultra private neighborhood of Serra Retreat Malibu, minutes from the Pepperdine campus, I specialize in psychotherapy for children, adolescents, couples, and individual adults. I am trained in short term treatment modalities (such as CBT and DBT) and offer more intensive psychoanalytic treatment designed for clients who require a high degree of therapeutic support. Treatment plans are customized based on your specific needs and resources.
I specialize in working with childhood behavioral disorders including ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder, children and adults on the autism spectrum, marital conflicts such as betrayal and sex addiction, and family conflicts. My clients have found the integrative treatment approach I offer to be effective in creating long-term positive change.
I have been trained in attachment theory by U.C. Berkeley Professors Mary Main and Eric Hesse, I practice EMDR with both children and adults, and am certified by DCFS to work with childhood trauma. I am a trained psychoanalyst, with degrees from UCLA, USC, and ICP.
Specific Issue(s) I'm Skilled at Helping With
I have worked with children and adolescents in a private practice for over a decade with all varieties of behavioral and psychiatric difficulties, such as ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder, and anxiety. I have helped couples to strengthen their bond, repair their marriages, struggling with issues such as betrayal and sexual addiction. I have worked with individual adults with depression, anxiety, OCD, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder.
Working with all stages of human development I believe that I have a unique perspective that helps me to create an individualized treatment customized to each client based on need and resources.
How Psychotherapy Can Help
Many people who attend psychotherapy come to realize, sometimes even after just one session, that the skills they have relied upon to cope for so many years are actually harming them instead of helping. Psychotherapy can help your marriage or relationship, child or teenager, or you as an individual replace your old ways of coping, which have long ago ceased to be useful, with more effective methods.
My Therapy Focus
Treatment plans are customized based on your specific needs and resources. I am trained in short term models of treatment such as EMDR, CBT, DBT. I am also a trained psychoanalyst and offer more intensive treatment designed for clients who require a high degree of therapeutic support.
Important Factors for Choosing a Therapist
Today, there is so much variability among mental health practitioners in terms of training, licensing, and schooling. What do all those letters behind the person's name mean? And what is the difference between an MFT, LCSW, Psy.D., LPCC?
While I would like to endorse my own masters and doctorate degrees because I worked very hard to earn them, it is not the important factor in choosing a psychotherapist. Finding a good fit is what matters most. Someone who you feel understands you, because ultimately it is through this understanding that you can be helped.
Sure books, experience, and licenses are important, that's a given. But the bond between therapist and client is not something developed through book learning.
My View on the Nature of 'Disorders'
I wrote my doctoral dissertation on the impact of culture and history on childhood disorders. I view disorders as just that, a cultural and historical phenomenon. In other words, our definition of what is disordered changes with the times and culture. And, the expectations you place upon yourself, your relationship or marriage, and your children are also culturally embedded.
Being labeled as, or thinking of oneself as disordered can be a relief for some because it allows a person to finally put a name on what they've been experiencing, to define what has for so long been indefinable. However, it also can be debilitating, causing a person to become isolated and lonely. Friends, family, employers often do not understand what you're experiencing, and you feel marginalized.
What I've come to understand about people who think of themselves as "disordered" is that, in general, they are healthier and more capable than those around them. However, they lack a good understanding of themselves because their identity has been reflected back to them by a fun house mirror, distorted by others who lack empathy and understanding. Therapy helps by correcting these distortions.