I grew up during the Vietnam war. My father was a pilot in the Navy, so I moved often, and lived all over the world, which has helped me to be open minded, and accepting of people and cultures. My father died in Vietnam when I was eleven years old. He was the love of my young life, thus my journey integrating pain and grief began early, which ultimately led to my life work as a psychotherapist.

After my father died I developed a severe eating disorder, which I struggled with for fifteen years, which led into my journey with personal growth and my belief in the depth of the human spirit and our ability to transform pain into healing. We crack when unable to integrate our experiences, but through those cracks, we learn to deepen, and to accept all that life brings, and in time the pain can transform into wisdom and freedom. I believe this is the essence of psychotherapy.
I pursued spirituality and education in my twenties, then got married and had two children in my thirties. My marriage lasted ten years. I raised my two children as a single mother in the woods of Northern California, growing old-fashioned roses as a home business, thus developing my passion for plants. I raised two beautiful children who are the loves of my life. My twenty-one year old son drives heavy equipment for a logging company which keeps our forests safe, and my daughter is an animator at Pixar, making creative, inspiring films for children. When you bring issues of family, marriage and children to therapy,  I understand the challenges involved with attempting to balance work, marriage and family, as I have lived through this, sometimes successfully,  and other times with utter failure and profound lessons. I love working with teenagers as it is a life stage of profound change.
In my forties and fifties, as my children grew up and successfully flew the nest, and into their own lives,  I worked deeply on my own psyche and healing. I joined twelve step programs to deepen my understanding of addiction, I walked in the woods, swam in the rivers, healed my body from years of disordered eating, I learned many forms of energy work, including participating in four SunDances in the south western desert, which has contributed to my love of EMDR and the magic of healing trauma. I went back to graduate school and became a psychotherapist as I felt my path was to build a bridge between traditional practices and non-traditional spiritual practices.
Which brings me to my current life stage of continued pursuit of my life work, aging, and becoming a mature woman. I am learning to gracefully live life, with challenges  and changes. I am balancing my work with the severely mentally ill in a hospital setting, and my private practice. It humbles me, and deepens me to work with those with severe mental illness, who have cracked and not returned to life as most of us know it. And in my private practice, I love to work with those who choose to pursue awareness of themselves, and their relationships, and have an interest to grow and heal. Sometimes we choose to change and sometimes it arrives like an unexpected storm. My desire is to help others to authentically navigate the changes.

Clinical experience:

The first five years of my clinical experience has been working with clients with acute mental illness, as I feel this is important in understanding the psyche. Most of those with acute  mental illness have had trauma in their early years, which has led to my study and interest in working with, and healing trauma. I worked for two years in a level fourteen group home, with the most seriously mentally ill children in the state of California. I worked at Nevada Union High School as a counselor in the STARS program, and as a Special Ed therapist. Currently I do crisis work at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, and work in the Crisis Intervention Unit, and I have a private practice working with individuals, couples and families who want to heal, and make changes in their lives.


I have an undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Colorado, Denver, and a graduate degree in Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies, in San Francisco, which specializes in transpersonal psychology. I am a lisenced marriage and family therapist. I am trained in attachment focused EMDR by Laurel Parnel, approved by Emdria.

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