DBT & Attachment Oriented
John F. Kennedy University - Doctorate in Clinical Psychology
San Francisco State University - Bachelors of Arts in Psychology
My journey truly started after completing my doctorate in Clinical Psychology, at a time when my professional life working in a maximum-security prison was seeping more and more into my personal life and my energy and vigor for life were being sucked out of me. It was through my own attempts to restore balance and find the combination of healing work that would renew my connection with myself and life. On one hand, I’ve always been a deeply contemplative and spiritual person, and on the other, I’ve also struggled with my own anxiety, insecurity, and perfectionism that over time led to isolation and burnout. For me, it took pushing myself through my skepticism, outside of my comfort zone, and opening up to the variety of therapies and “alternative” healing modalities that ultimately awakened me, saved me and led me to become a more integrative practitioner. Through the combination of practices like talk therapy, meditation, yoga, acupuncture, mindfulness, and many others I was able to integrate myself better, which is what helps me work with clients to gain greater integration. I’ve always viewed the world as being stronger and more beautiful for all of its diversity, yet it wasn’t until I finally applied that to my own life that the veil lifted and I could not only see, feel and understand things clearer, but deep shifts and changes started happening as well.
To me, contemplative means being willing and able to look beyond the surface level view of life and ourselves to a deeper truth and knowing that lives inside all of us and the world around us. I believe we already have all of the answers and healing we need inside of us, but it’s our duty to listen for it, awaken it, and embody it. We do this in part by opening up space and creating moments of pause in our lives. ‘Integrative’ then takes on a dual meaning, wherein it becomes both the journey we take exploring and using multiple modalities on our path towards the goal of a more integrative and whole version of ourselves.
The clients who thrive the most working with me are those who show up to the work with a strong motivation for change that propels them into taking action based on what we talk about in session, even when it means stepping outside of their comfort zone. They are open and willing to try new ways of behaving, thinking, speaking and looking at the world. The clients who seem to make the most progress the quickest are also willing to let themselves go into the uncomfortable places where healing and change occur and push themselves through their previous thresholds or tolerance for discomfort. They show up continuously not just in our work together but in their own lives and carry our work in session into their day to day lives in ways that are big and small, and show their courage and bravery. Since the majority of my clients tend to live in their more logical, analytical, pragmatic left-brained side, the work we do focuses on opening up and integrating more of the emotional, creative, free-flowing right-brained side; and the clients who thrive the most working with me are ones who allow themselves to experiment with these new ways of being and experiencing things, even when they feel silly, uncomfortable and resistant.
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