Experience & Background

My work with people is very directive and focuses on the strengths each person has while noting what was not working, clearly identifying the obstacles to healthier ways of relating and then very specifically identifying how to shift into new and effective ways of relating. My way of working is humanistic and I keep my client informed as we go…empowering them to “own” what we discover so they can transform the aspects of themselves and their lives. My approach is non-pathologizing, strength-based and solution-focused.   I work in a very humanistic, systemic way and often use cognitive-behavioral methods.

I have had a private practice located in the South Bay Area since 1997, where I see individuals, couples and families.   Over the years I worked with hundreds of kids and families in various communities of the San Jose area.

My work began with highly at risk clients of all ages.  Over time, working with so many families so intensely has evolved and I have developed a set of tools, exercises to help support faster change.     I have extensive experience with highly at risk teenagers, victims and perpetrators of crimes and domestic violence.   I have seen quite a lot of teens and adults in individual, couples and family work   In more recent years I have been primarily working with couples and families.

A lot of my work has been far from my office as well.

Special contracts at various times held with: Santa Clara County Office of Education/South East SELPA, Santa Clara County’s Juvenile Hall with domestic violence youth.  I helped design and implement a school based counseling program in Alum Rock, and headed up the crisis team for that district. Supervisor and Adjunct Faculty/ Instructor for Graduate School of Professional Psychology Masters in Psychology program Clinical Skills A: Self as Clinician class. Also co-directed their Expressive Arts Kid’s Camp in planning, coordinating and implementing every aspect of the camp, including the training process for the 20+ MFT trainees in JFKU’s MA program.  The camp served 145 children from the community each Summer.

I have also spent over eight years in service (volunteering) at the Foundry High School running girls groups, some family therapy and coordinating an intensive self-defense training (Bay Area Model Mugging), and I was fortunate enough to be a mentor on their annual desert retreats for seven consecutive years.   I learned a great deal about what it takes to make powerful changes in struggling families and gang youth from the leadership that was in place at that time.

A few other places of service…co-convener for Western Regional Association for Experiential Education participated in every aspect of planning, booking, coordinating, implementing their 12th Annual Western Regional Conference in Soquel, CA…Americorp’s City Year program serving as a Team Hero in their Young Heroes Program for several years…served as committee member for BIC (Batterer’s Intervention Committee) that functions as a special interest in reforming aftercare services for families involved in domestic violence.



Foster Parents Series- West Valley College – Facilitated monthly classes covering a wide range of topics exploring the various aspects facing the complex circumstances for parents fostering youth.

Professional Development Workshop – Facilitated separate required professional development Workshops for John F. Kennedy.  These quarterly workshops were for advising students about their field placement process, and all BBS procedures.

Working With Gang Youth – Guest speaker for a child development course at San Jose State University and Santa Clara University regarding gang youth

Parent’s and Teens:  How to talk to Eachother  – Co-led this one lecture in a series of free lectures offered to the community at the John F. Kennedy University Community Counseling Center.  Attendance was approximately seventy.

Play Therapy with Children – Facilitated one session in a series of required clinical orientation trainings for twelve school based trainees/graduate students in John F. Kennedy University’s internal field placement program.

How to Lead Children’s Groups – Aided the instructor in facilitating this one unit workshop at John F. Kennedy University.


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