To witness another in the throes of personal process is a sacred gift. Adding a living record of another human enables the traveler to see into the eye of the eye, to truly feel inside the heart. As an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist, I am honored to accompany you in your self discovery.
So what does that even mean?
Therapy is a tailored relationship to assist you with gaining insight about yourself, in the service of becoming the best version of you. I'm interested in helping you feel more alive and at ease in the world. I'm interested in investigating patterns that no longer serve your sense of purpose. I'm interested in following images and body sensations to uncover deeper memories and desires that may be running your reality undetected. I'm here to accompany your experience of yourself however that wants to show up. I'm here to assist you with having experiences outside of narrow definitions or conditioned ideas of selfhood that don't actually belong to you. Who are you when you aren't doing anything, when you're simply being? Who are you underneath whatever pattern or behavior you are wishing to change? What would it feel like to embody a fuller version of yourself?
What does a typical process look like?
A process is a long as a piece of string, and something that we weave together. I tend to take a more active role in assisting you with identifying goals and guiding you to learn more about yourself through a deepening of what appears on the surface of your consciousness. There is no typical process, but I usually see a client for a good year, and recommend weekly or regular sessions to maintain the momentum of the work. Therapy functions by creating a designated landmark for your psyche to reveal itself. I incorporate a variety of modalities, including interdisciplinary/expressive arts interventions, to customize the nature of the work with you. As an artist and a wounded healer, I draw upon the imaginal realm to develop creative experiments both within and outside of sessional space. Ultimately, the client always holds the reins on how we proceed.
I offer suggestions based on what organically uprises in the room. That occurs as visualizations inside a container of mindful meditation, as well as somatic investigation into the meaning of a gesture or tension in the body. It can also appear as experiential invitations, such as writing, visual, or physical prompts, to explore outside of our meeting time. I also excitedly encourage any dreams, fantasies, or spontaneous images to be untangled together. I resonate with the concepts of ritual and reciprocity, and find that creating a tangible symbol or ceremony is a way to cement and expand the work. The idea is that what is essential often lies just at the edge of our awareness, so turning to symbolic or somatic representation is a way to directly work with this core material that plain insight often doesn't budge.
Who comes and what framework holds the space?
I work with individuals and couples. I am a part of a collective of relationship and sex counselors at the San Francisco Intimacy & Sex Therapy Center, and receive ongoing training and support in the realm of the special skills needed to assist couples in stress. This entails a mixture of EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy) and PACT (Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy) techniques. You can find the SFITC's website here.
I am also involved in a somatic training modality known as Hakomi, which is a present centered approach that uses feedback from the body coupled with missing attachment experiences within a space of mindfulness. For a larger understanding of the loveliness and depth of Hakomi, please read an interview with the founder of the modality, Ron Kurtz, here. I especially am drawn to working with artists, or those in creative fields, who wish to unfurl blockages and understand the true thrust of their work. I feel comfortable with assisting people in discovering and piecing together their life's purpose. I specialize as well in supporting those with terminal or chronic illness, and those who identify as highly sensitive or empaths. Additionally, I enjoy working within fringe communities, with kinky, queer, and spiritual folks. I trust the synchronicity of who finds me, and believe the relationship is a space of deep learning and transformation for both parties. The most important quality in a prospective client is an earnest commitment to inner work.
Lately, I have deepened my exploration as a somatic practitioner to include therapeutic touch. While Hakomi naturally includes the use of touch, I have expanded that to involve table work. I use a massage table to complement talk therapy, using a combination of craniosacral therapy and energy based practices. Touch is the foundation of all attachment, a survival need without which, I believe, longstanding healing and transformation cannot fully occur. As a client, we go over your history with touch, and distinguish between safe and unsafe touch. Craniosacral therapy (CST) is a biomechanical and biodynamic form of bodywork that entails a series of light holds from the feet to the head. CST works directly with the nervous system to activate a restorative state in which the body can naturally move towards balancing itself. Some experience this work as an assisted nap. Others report a more spacious kind of mindfulness. Table work is always clothed, consensual, and optional.
What is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist?
I earned a M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute, which is an accredited school devoted to depth psychotherapy. I have been seeing clients since 2011, and am currently running a private practice internship under the supervision of Dr. Adina Ascher, PhD, LCSW #28900. This means that I receive overhead guidance on the practice, as well as the space to consult on cases as needed. The professional license covers expertise in relationship issues, personal insight, and mental health. I am not qualified to prescribe medication. My license number is IMF #91792.
My office is located in the Civic Center in San Francisco, half a block from Civic Center BART. I am also available for tele-therapy.