I've been a psychotherapist and licensed clinical psychologist in Santa Monica for over twenty years.
During this time I've helped hundreds of adults and adolescents make changes that have transformed their lives:
They've been able to recover from anxiety or depression, enhance school, social, or work performance, learn how to develop and maintain healthy relationships, and eliminate longstanding, self-destructive behaviors such as substance abuse.
Fortunate to have been the first in my graduate school's history to be invited to train at the prestigious Wright Institute in Los Angeles, I pursued a psychoanalytic and psychodynamic course of study from my doctoral training onward, and focused on becoming a child development specialist at the Early Childhood Center at Cedars-Sinai Hospital. My training and experience includes trauma work at Barrington Psychiatric Center and developing a seminar for single women considering motherhood, as well as parenting and divorce groups. You can read more about my academic background and clinical affiliations in those sections of this site.
I've enjoyed a rich and diverse academic and clinical foundation as a professional. However, what you need to know about whether or not I can be helpful to you or your teen is more complicated than a list of qualifications. The information here will give you a peek into me and my practice, and perhaps lead to the next step, which is to meet and learn how we work together.
In truth, the therapist who can help you the best comes to her profession with something that isn't easy to teach--- an innate understanding of and empathy for human nature, and an awareness that every individual has an inner world that's often at odds with the external one they live in.
Your therapist should be able to enter this world fearlessly, with the confidence that she can use her training to help you make sense of it. You should feel "known" in a way that you haven't, before.
My way of doing this is tried and true: through in-depth therapy, I'm able to get to know my patients, help them get to know themselves, and to see beneath the surface of behaviors, which is important both to solve problems and to make changes last. Then, with the aid of cognitive behavioral methods, I help them develop an individualized set of tools to use in everyday decision-making, long after therapy is over.
As an adjunct to my work with adults and adolescents, one of my specialties is relationship therapy. I help partners repair their relationships without returning again and again to a recitation of the hurts of the past, which makes it a less stressful process than expected for most people.
Therapy often begins as a result of a crisis, but it can also be a first step toward creating a more satisfying life, whether you're beginning at sixteen, or sixty. It's a great journey, that can be as long or as short as you want to make it.