In 2011 I earned a master's degree in clinical psychology, specializing in marriage and family therapy, from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in downtown Los Angeles. Through the course of my education I found I was most drawn to working with children and adolescents. Perhaps it was the influences of my "Child and Adolescent Psychology" course professor, and later clinical supervisor, Douglas Green, LMFT who taught me that helping children to navigate those treacherously formative years gives them a far better chance of growing into happier adults.
So I began my clinical traineeship in North Hollywood at New Directions for Youth: a non-profit agency providing support and community mental health services to children at high risk for gang involvement. As a staff therapist I was able to work with so many wonderful kids and their families--many of whom lived in single parent homes struggling with extreme poverty. This was an immensely difficult first experience in practicing psychotherapy that challenged much of how I viewed myself and the world. Yet, despite the obstacles, this is also where I fell in love with being a therapist. Everything changed when I learned I could make an actual difference in someone's life. Empowering kids and their families to help themselves, literally witnessing their personal growth and progress right before my eyes...I was hooked.
When my traineeship ended, and I had accrued enough experience to register as a Marriage and Family Therapist Intern, I wanted to continue my work in the public sector. Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services became my home over the next four years. Founded over a century ago, this non-profit organization specializes in treating severely emotionally and behaviorally disturbed children. It was at Vista that my real training began and I was able to hone my clinical skills treating a wider range of kids struggling with a variety of issues. I received extensive training in a number of evidence-based treatment practices, and became adept at managing crisis issues. But the "crown jewel" of Vista Del Mar is the outstanding clinical supervision. I was fortunate enough to practice under the tutelage of brilliant therapists such as Ali Goldstein, LMFT and Dyan Colven, PsyD. They were the guiding force encouraging me to constantly be better and they helped me to develop my own style and specialties. I am eternally in their debt.
While working at Vista Del Mar, I wanted to expand my focus to include not only treating clients in a private practice setting, but to treat adults and couples as well. I began working under the license of Doug Green (my aforementioned supervisor) and later Curt Widhalm, LMFT. In private practice I treated children, adults, and couples, yet many of my clients somehow shared similar concerns (ADHD, anxiety, anger). Before long, my specialty in treating Attention Deficit Disorder, anxiety issues, and difficulties managing anger became fully apparent.
Since then, I continue to love what I do and want to share what I've learned with the world. So I have spoken on multiple panels regarding assessment and treatment of ADHD and anxiety issues, I've been lucky enough to get an article published about parent-child conflict over video games, and have functioned as a behavioral consultant for private school teachers and faculty. And I'm still learning!
After getting my license as a Marriage and Family Therapist, my specialities and approach to treatment haven't changed. In fact, my passion for helping those with ADHD and anxiety has only grown stronger. However, please don't be dismayed if neither of these issues represent the reason you're seeking therapy. I do also treat a variety of other problems and concerns.
The final thing about me as a therapist is by far the most important...a guarantee. To be clear, I'm not guaranteeing results from treatment. I am assuring you that therapy is my passion, it often does not feel like work, and when I am your therapist you get 150% effort. To me you are a person, not a disorder or a paycheck. So, how can I help you?