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"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.  These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern.  Beautiful people do not just happen."

                                                                                            -Elisabeth Kubler-Ross​

Practice Focus and Specialty

Couple Therapy 

Major Life Transition

Grief and Loss

Depression, Anxiety and Addiction

Love

Couple Therapy

I work with couples to address high conflict communication, intimacy issues, parenting differences, significant adjustments (e.g., becoming parents, parenting adolescents, launching young adults, cultural adjustment, and career change), betrayal, grief and loss (e.g., fertility challenges; miscarriage; illness; death in the family), extended family relationship, mixed race couples, blended families, etc. 

Couple therapy is a specialty.  As such, it requires skills and experiences significantly different from, and in addition to, those for individual therapy.  I have received extensive trainings in couple therapy, including some of the most impactful and empirically validated couples therapy approaches (see more details HERE)

I also incorporate elements of several other well developed relational or experiential therapy approaches in my work:

I continue to prioritize professional development in this area.

Family Therapy and Individual Therapy:

My couple therapy experience has also contributed greatly to my work with families and with individuals in addressing relational challenges.

Major Life Transition

Changes are external events: a job change, relationship breakup or a new relationship, a sudden event, a significant illness, going to college, etc.  Transition is our inner process to cope with these external changes.  I work with "phase-of-life transitions" such as emerging adulthood, new family formation, becoming parents, and parenting adolescents.  In addition, I work with individuals on adjusting to significant relationship changes or career changes. 

 

New people, new relationships, new roles, new capacities, new goals, and new needs in these "phases-of-life transitions" require us to make significant internal adjustments, even challenging our fundamental assumptions and attitudes about oneself and the world.

Transition starts with an ending, develops through an often long “in-betweens” before the start of a new beginning*.  A challenging transition often involves grief and loss about the ending as well as anxiety and ambivalence about the adjustment and future. 

Difficult as they can be, transitions can offer unique opportunities and openings for significant healing and growth.

 

If you are supporting a child or adolescent through a life transition, check out this list of stories/fictions that can help them process emotions.


William Bridges in his seminal works "Transitions" (2004)

Winding street
Stone Pebbles

Grief and Loss

I work primarily with traumatic and complex grief and anticipatory grief, both in individual therapy and with families.  My clinical work with grief started at Kara, a Palo Alto based grief agency, where for three years I worked exclusively on grief and loss, ranging from spouse loss, child loss, suicide loss and sudden death to end of life issues, victims of crimes and other traumatic grief cases.  I also facilitated grief groups for spouse loss, suicide loss and teen grief.  Outside of my private practice, I remain a member of Kara’s community outreach team and continue to facilitate debriefings for local companies, organizations and families to address difficult death/crisis situations, including, most recently, pandemic impact and hate crimes.

Depression, Anxiety and Addiction

I work with clients to address depression, anxiety, addiction, and other forms of underfunctioning or ineffective coping that often present as "symptoms" during relational distress, major life transitions, and grief and loss.  Of course, these "symptoms" would in turn complicate the relational distress, the tasks of major life transitions, and the coping of grief and loss.  Skills of, and barriers to,"self-regulation" and "co-regulation" - as well as their dynamic interplay - often need to be worked through in therapy.

Holding hands
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