This image reminds me of a journey into the unknown, Yet it invites me to travel down the highway to explore new places I’ve yet to see. The fence line leads my eye to the road which disappears around a corner into a dense forest. It is a great metaphor for counseling and therapy on so many levels – the journey, gaining the insight to see the forest for the trees. This picture was taken in the front range of the Colorado Rockies on the way to Colorado Springs at around 8000′ elevation.
Education & Experience
I received my Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from John F. Kennedy University. To be licensed by the state of California as a Marriage and Family Therapist, I completed 3000 hours of supervised clinical experience and passed two licensing exams in addition to completing my masters degree. I am also certified as a Process Therapist, and as an Equine Assisted Psychotherapist. I specialize in marriage and couples counseling, and the treatment of eating disorders, alcohol/chemical dependency, premarital counseling, and other general issues.
In addition to my private practice, I have facilitated food, weight and body issue groups for women through InnerSolutions™ Counseling services in Soquel, CA. For many years I worked in a residential drug & alcohol treatment center providing individual, family and group therapy, and relapse prevention.
John F. Kennedy University (M.A.)
I received my Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology at JFK University, based in the San Francisco Bay Area. JFK is known for its high-quality, innovative education that integrate theory and life experience. I was attracted to their program because of the practical experience of their faculty who all work in private practice in addition to teaching. The Counseling Psychology program is one of the largest clinical training programs in Northern California. The curriculum provides an in-depth combination of experiential learning, theory and fieldwork.
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)
The licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) has a graduate academic degree, clinical work experience and has passed two state-certified licensing exams. Along with the 2-3 year full-time Masters program with a practicum and internship (such as the JFK program), LMFTs are required to complete 3,000 hours of individual or family therapy with 100 hours of supervision, a process that can take one to three years. They are also required to complete 36 hours of continuing education every two years in order to maintain their license.
Click here for more LMFT info
IAEDP Member (International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals)
Established in 1985, the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals (IEADP) is well recognized for its excellence in providing first-quality education and high-level training standards to an international multidisciplinary group of various health care treatment providers and helping professions, who treat the full spectrum of eating disorder problems. IAEDP offers a highly respected certification process for those who wish to receive specialized credentials in their work with people with eating disorders and publishes.
Member of California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT)
CAMFT is an independent professional organization representing licensed marriage and family therapists. It is dedicated to advancing the profession as an art and a science, to maintaining high standards of professional ethics, and to upholding the qualifications for the profession.
CAMFT Clinical Members have met the stringent education and training requirements that qualify them for Marriage and Family Therapist licensure. Membership in CAMFT indicates a Marriage and Family Therapist’s dedication to their professional development. Members of CAMFT are expected to be familiar with and abide by the CAMFT Ethical Standards for Marriage and Family Therapists and by applicable California laws and regulations governing the conduct of licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, interns and trainees.
Certified PREPARE/ENRICH Facilitator
Certified Process Therapist
The Process Model has been created over the past 27 years by Don and Carol Hadlock and has been taught to hundreds of licensed and pre-licensed therapists at the Process Therapy Institute and various universities in the Bay Area. The basic perspective of the Process Model is that all people are looking for a sense of fulfillment in their lives. When they are experiencing this well-being, they are allowing their life energy to flow easily and without resistance. However, when negative events happen and we begin to perceive that we are not safe or broken, we begin to constrict this flow of well-being. The Process Model of therapy helps people identify their constrictions and release them, allowing their life energy flow to increase, which increases their experience of ease and fulfillment in their lives.
Certified Equine Assisted Therapist
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) incorporates horses experientially for emotional growth and learning. It is a collaborative effort between a licensed therapist and a horse professional working with the clients and horses to address treatment goals. Because of its intensity and effectiveness, it is considered a short-term, or “brief” approach.
EAP is experiential in nature. This means that participants learn about themselves and others by participating in activities with the horses, and then processing (or discussing) feelings, behaviors, and patterns. This approach has been compared to the ropes courses used by therapists, treatment facilities, and human development courses around the world. EAP has the added advantage of utilizing horses, dynamic and powerful living beings.
The focus of EAP involves setting up ground activities involving the horses which will require the client or group to apply certain skills. Non-verbal communication, assertiveness, creative thinking and problem-solving, leadership, work, taking responsibility, teamwork and relationships, confidence, and attitude are several examples of the tools utilized and developed by EAP.
EAP is a powerful and effective therapeutic approach that has an incredible impact on individuals, youth, families, and groups. EAP addresses a variety of mental health and human development needs including behavioral issues, attention deficit disorder, substance abuse, eating disorders, abuse issues, depression, anxiety, relationship problems and communication needs.
InnerSolutions™ Counseling Service
InnerSolutions™ is a counseling service in Soquel, California helping people heal from weight and body struggles. The philosophy at InnerSolutions™ is based the personal experiences of each therapist overcoming weight problems and the knowledge that diets do not work.
InnerSolutions™ teaches people how to live with food, believing that when aware, most people know exactly what they should or should not eat. Weight gain or obsession is really a symptom of inner pain, not a lack of knowledge or willpower. InnerSolutions™ helps people look beyond their symptoms and into the real issues that have caused them to overeat in the first place.
By creating a non-judgmental, supportive atmosphere InnerSolutions helps people understand their personal history and learn what it is they are truly hungry for. Using professional counseling expertise, education, personal stories and humor, they teach people how to address the underlying psychological issues that cause their weight problems. They learn why they overeat, how to distinguish between obsession and health, and specific tool to use in their daily lives.
The Camp — Group Leader
I completed many of my supervised internship hours at the Camp Recovery Center located in Scotts Valley. The Camp provides adults and teens with alcohol and drug problems comprehensive and specialized detox, residential, outpatient and aftercare treatment programs. Emphasizing the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual transformation of the individual, their substance abuse programs are designed to assist residents in taking responsibility for their own recovery.
For over 20 years, The Camp Recovery Center has been considered one of the premier leaders in the field of drug rehab and mental health counseling. Its substance abuse treatment program combines the 12-Step recovery principles with individual, group, art, recreational and experiential therapies to help individuals understand their disease and guide them through the recovery process.