Life can be many things—colorfully painful, beautifully complicated, and at times, completely overwhelming.
And it doesn’t come with a how-to guide.
We all experience complicated twists and unexpected turns that cause sadness, worry, anger, and destructive patterns with food, drugs, alcohol, and within our closest relationships.
I help children, adults, families, and couples break free from these unhealthy cycles, rewrite their life narratives, and make changes to create a life truly worth living. Our lives are too short to lose precious time to unhappiness, feeling hopeless, and being “stuck” in the same vicious cycles. Through therapy, I can help you create a richer, more meaningful and fulfilling life for yourself, your family, and your relationships.
Life is messy.
Therapy can help you find beauty, growth
and meaning in its colorful chaos.
THE THERAPY PROCESS
Choosing a therapist is a bit like shopping for new jeans. You need a fit that may initially feel new and (at times) slightly uncomfortable as we work through the tough stuff, with the confidence that over time as the relationship deepens, you’ll feel safe, secure and supported. A personal connection with your therapist is such a vital part of the healing process, since it’s this “fit” that will help us do the deep work that will help you design a life you truly love. Years of research on the therapy process have shown that an authentic connection with your therapist is the single most important factor that promotes healing. Only within the non-judgmental safety of a strong therapeutic relationship, where we experience compassion, acceptance, and—if needed—a sprinkling of being gently challenged, can we begin to identify and heal our most vulnerable parts. To this end, it’s crucial that you have a genuinely good fit with your therapist, and I wholeheartedly recommend giving me a call to determine whether my style will benefit you.
I’m a licensed therapist in California (LCSW # 82455) and provide therapy to children, adults, families and couples. I have over 10 years of experience working with children and families in educational, residential and mental health settings. Educationally, I earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from Virginia Tech and a Masters of Social Work from San Diego State University. My professional background includes extensive work with eating disorders and body image issues, anxiety and depression, anger and behavioral issues, family conflict, trauma, ADHD, and parenting and divorce issues. I’ve received training from UCSD Eating Disorders Center, Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego and Grossmont Union High School District. I'm certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) as a national provider, in addition to holding certifications in AIM-HI (An Individualized Mental Health Approach for Children with ASD) and working towards certification in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT). My therapy style is nurturing, collaborative, and authentic, and I tailor treatment to your needs using evidence-based techniques and specialized training.
THE THERAPY DOG
Hershey is a 7 year-old Shih Tzu mix who quickly evolved from “just a foster dog” into a "forever spoiled fur baby”. He provides the unconditional love and acceptance that our canine companions are so wonderful at giving, and he loves people and his role in the therapeutic process. Hershey has a part-time schedule and is not in the office every day, so if you dislike or are allergic to dogs, please just let me know so I can schedule your session on a day when he's not working in the office.
As a therapist licensed by the state, I can provide teletherapy services—sessions held via secure online video or phone—to any California residents. I understand that if you’ve never tried it before, teletherapy may feel unfamiliar at first (remember that new pair of jeans?). However, research has shown that teletherapy can be every bit as effective and healing as in-person sessions. Many people actually prefer the convenience, comfort, privacy, and flexibility—not to mention, zero commute time to therapy sessions!
I value creativity, humor, compassion and enthusiasm, and infuse all of these in therapy to help you become unstuck. While everyone’s path to healing looks different, my approach provides empathic evidence-based therapy to promote mind, body and soul healing. All of us get stuck in the “one step forward, two steps back” dance, and therapy can give you a personalized roadmap to help you get back to living a life you love.
CHILD & ADOLESCENT THERAPY
I specialize in working with children and teens to help them navigate challenges such as school stressors, peer conflict, anger, sadness and anxiety, disordered eating, and parent-child conflict. Children and teenagers experience many unique life obstacles and can be a challenge to connect to. Often when they need us the most, their words and actions push us away. My background as an early childhood educator, high school therapist, and clinician at Rady Children’s Hospital—along with a healthy dose of creativity and humor—help me connect to your angsty teen, anxious child, hyperactive kiddo, depressed daughter, or angry son. Within the non-judgmental safety of therapy, we can get deep and unpack your child’s challenges to help him or her reconnect with you, feel happy and confident, and truly love themselves.
Our families have the power to foster great happiness and joy, and also significant challenges and pain. If you find your family doing more yelling at each other than laughing together, family therapy may help. Many families find themselves caught in repetitive, unhelpful cycles ending with frustration, disrespect, and tears. Family therapy can improve the cohesiveness of your family and help you reconnect with your children so that you don’t just love them—you like them, too. Family work requires us to roll up our sleeves and get into it, and my approach is just that: I work with the whole family unit to promote healing from the inside out. Family therapy can help children and their families reconnect, understand and change current negative patterns, and find meaning in the beautiful, messy, colorful chaos of our lives.
Do you want to find the person you fell in love with, but doesn’t seem to be there anymore? Do you feel more and more distant from your partner each time you continue to argue about the same old things without any change? Often what starts as a small, irritating wedge between two people in love can grow into a chasm that can make us feel unheard, invalidated, unappreciated—and utterly alone. Couples therapy can help you and your loved one reconnect, overcome gridlock, change your vicious cycle of fighting and distancing, communicate without stonewalling or lashing out, and turn towards each other in the hardest moments, instead of away. Couples therapy, like all good work, requires some discomfort, some growth, and some raw authentic vulnerability, but the results—a deeper connection and greater joy in your romantic relationship—are worth it. I use principles from research-based approaches including the Gottman Method and Emotionally Focused Therapy to help you fall back in love with your partner, better understand your relationship and its patterns, and reconnect on a deeper level.
AREAS OF SPECIALTY
SESSIONS & RATES
LOCATION & HOURS
Individual, family, or couples therapy appointments are $150 per traditional 50-minute session or $225 per extended 90-minute session. I offer extended appointments when we are engaging in couples or family work as this often allows for greater progress to be made; however, services are based on what works best for you. Similarly, session frequency is typically weekly but is flexible to your needs. I offer a limited number of reduced fee/sliding scale slots for those who are unable to afford my standard rate. To discuss this option, please call me to discuss rates and availability.
I’m located in La Jolla, California. However, at this time, all therapy sessions are being held via video to help “flatten the curve” and keep everyone safe and healthy during the current COVID-19 crisis.
I understand you’re likely experiencing significant disruptions to your “normal” life routine, whether due to working remotely, having children home from school, juggling new situational stressors, or something else entirely. During uncertain times like this, therapy is often even more crucial to our well-being than ever, and I’m happy to accommodate specific session time requests, including flexible evening and weekend hours, as much as possible.
INSURANCE & PAYMENT
Payment options include cash, check, or major credit card. I am an out-of-network provider and am not affiliated with any insurance panels. However, some insurances provide out of network coverage. To check, contact your insurance provider directly and ask about their out of network coverage for mental health services. If your policy offers reimbursement, I can provide you with a superbill of services that you can submit to your insurance company.
READY TO TAKE THE LEAP?
GREAT. LET'S CONNECT!
Send an email to
Submit a message using the online form
Call or text me at 858-208-0198
I’ll reach out to set up a free phone consultation with you so we can discuss your needs, answer any questions you have about me or the therapy process, and assess if my style is the right fit for you.