Opening up to a stranger can be one of the most challenging aspects of therapy, which I have personally experienced as I've pursued my own therapy path. In fact, I firmly believe that all therapists should have their own therapist – it's an essential part of our own growth and development. My hope is that my personal experiences in therapy have made me a more empathetic and understanding therapist for you. To help you get to know me better, I'd like to share some information about myself. I'll begin with my professional background and then sprinkle in a few personal tidbits to paint a fuller picture.
- I am a licensed clinical social worker in Oregon, California, and Washington. I received my Master of Social Work (MSW) from San Jose State University (SJSU) MSW program in California. This program focused on Mental Health utilizing the Transcultural Perspective. This means my education was infused with a focus on power, privilege, partnership, cultural humility, and positionality with each client I work.
- Before graduate school, I graduated Summa Cum Laude with my BA in Psychology from SJSU. This education has provided a balance of seeing the individual while promoting empowerment and understanding people based on community, cultural, and societal interactions through my social work degree.
- I worked at a Portland practice working with individuals with eating disorders. My work focused on those with binge & purge, binge, and those who wanted to end their destructive relationship with diet culture and heal their relationship with their body.
- In California, I worked in clinical settings serving those with a variety of mental health disorders from severe anxiety disorders, complex trauma, along with substance use disorder for 5 years. I additionally worked with young adults in community college, and supported foster youth in educational goals during my grad-school internships. My experience is wide and diverse.
- I am a Level 1 AEDP therapist. My clinical supervision and consultation has been provided by a practitioner of AEDP (Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy). This modality is centered in undoing a person's aloneness and aims to achieve a transformative experience through emotional and relational processing with a trusted therapist. This model informs my clinical work.
- Maintaining the highest ethical standards in my clinical work is paramount to me. To uphold these standards and ensure the quality of care I provide, I actively engage in ongoing consultation with my mentor, a licensed clinician of 20 years.
- I lived in the California Bay Area my entire life and built my education, experience, and practice in the heart of Silicon Valley. I moved to the Pacific North West in September 2021 and I am slowly adjusting to what it means to have rain in my life :)
- With over three decades of personal substance recovery, my journey has been one of growth, self-discovery, and healing. I understand the complexities of addiction firsthand, and I use my lived experience as a person with a substance use disorder to inform and enhance my therapeutic work. When appropriate, I draw upon my own experiences to help others on their path to recovery. I also believe in harm reduction, and support exploring your ideas of wellness.
- My therapeutic beliefs are firmly rooted in the principles of body neutrality/positivity and marginalized empowerment. I stand for the inherent worth and dignity of every individual, irrespective of their size, shape, abilities, or identity. Equity is what drew me to becoming a social worker, and I'm dedicated to promoting it for all human beings.
- I am an active advocate and member of the LGBTQ+ community, cherishing the opportunity to lend my support in any way I can. Your journey, whatever that may look like, is significant to me. I am here to provide understanding, acceptance, and a safe space for you to be your authentic self.
- I am married and I have been with my wife for 20 years! (wow). With two decades of partnership under my belt, I understand the ebb and flow of long-term commitment. I've weathered storms, celebrated triumphs, and grown as a partner and spouse. There are no magic answers or one-size-fits-all solutions. Each partnership is unique, with its own set of joys and challenges. However, what I bring to the table is a wealth of experience, education, and training to assist in the delicate art of relationship work. This real-life experience informs my approach to helping couples navigate their own journeys.
- Health At Every Size (HAES) and Intuitive Eating are guiding lights in my approach to wellness. I understand that our relationship with food and our bodies is deeply personal and complex. I honor the diversity of bodies and the importance of nurturing a positive and intuitive connection with food.
- Last but certainly not least, I'm an unabashed dog lover! My canine companion(s) hold a special place in my heart, and I'm convinced that dogs are some of the purest souls on Earth. I extend this love to all dogs and even your feline friends – yes, I'll love your cat too!
Take a Tour with me:
Princess offered her love & support to my California clients pre-Covid. She crossed the rainbow bridge in July 2023.
Ding (as in, at your service) is engaged in training to learn how to hold space for in person Oregon clients. She will be joining in the months to come (for those who wish to have her by their side.)