As a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, I bring 15 years of experience in counseling individuals of various ethnic, religious and socio-economic backgrounds. My clients have included children, adolescents, and adults, and I have counseled individuals, couples, and groups. As a Mental Health professional at the Sequoia Center (a treatment facility for substance abuse), I worked within a team-based approach to handle the multiple priorities and demands created by addicts and their families in crisis.
As a Mental Health Counselor, I exhibited skill in leading situation-specific counseling sessions as well as multi-family groups for addicts and their families in various stages of recovery. I met twice weekly with the treatment planning team from each level of care (residential, day or evening program) to share observations and create a unified, integrated approach to each client and family.
As a Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice, I brought a compassionate, solutions-oriented approach to clients dealing with substance abuse, recovery, domestic violence, trauma and PTSD. I adapted a series of serious games to the various stages of therapy as part of creative treatment planning, and wrote and published a book about this approach that clients and therapists can use.
In my private practice I focused mainly on addiction, recovery, and codependency. My work with this clientele included addressing the depression, anxiety and trauma symptoms that often co-occur. In addition to compassionate, solution-focused CBT and DBT interventions, I employed EMDR and relaxation techniques, especially for those clients with somatic symptoms.
I continued to have an association with the Sequoia Center through 2011, including clinical supervision of MFT interns and occasional filling in as multi-family group leader when needed.
While studying for licensure, I expanded my clinical experience by co-leading a weekly multi-family group that consisted of gang members and men and women recently released from prison. Substance abuse was a common denominator among members of this group, as was domestic violence and trauma. Several of the group, which has been in existence for several years when I joined, were returning veterans who were experiencing PTSD, depression and anxiety, and the difficulties of taking up civilian life and family relationships.
This group had a separate class, in another room of the building, for children. I directed this group for about six months, using art therapy, sand tray, and age-appropriate educational materials about addiction. I worked with the adults as well, offering education, support, and empathic listening, as well as solution-focused approaches.
As an intern, I worked in the Los Altos and Mountain View public school system, giving counseling services to children from kindergarten through middle school. this work took a variety of forms, depending on the ages and needs of the children. For younger children, art therapy and sandtray work was helpful. My responsibilities including coordinating care with teachers, principals and parents.
At CHAC, interns also had in-house clients, who came from a variety of socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds. I did individual, couples and group counseling. I helped create programs for middle school children considered at risk for substance abuse, domestic and gang violence. My thesis was with live subjects, and titled "Children and Divorce: Assessing the Impact of School-based Intervention."
Certified in Domestic Violence Intervention
Certified Level II EMDR practitioner
Advanced training in treating PTSD and trauma
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