“My whole life I have tried to fly, not realizing that our arms are our wings, and we glide by reaching out, and land by reaching in.” - Mark Nepo
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist #90324
Somatic Therapy for Adults, Preteens, & Teens
Oakland, CA & Teletherapy
Are you feeling stuck, lost, hopeless, or out of balance?
Psychotherapy is the work of coming home to yourself. Therapy works because we do this work together. Please browse this site for more information, and when you are ready to reach out, I'll be here to greet you.
I see things in terms of relationships. How we relate to one another, and how the various parts of ourselves come together to form our sense of self. I consider therapy to be one of the most sacred forms of relationship there is. Therapy is the art of bringing our inner and outer relationships back into harmony, of putting the pieces back together so that we can “re-member” who we really are. Sometimes we discover this for the first time, and surprise ourselves by what we are capable of.
I have known I wanted to be a therapist since I was a teenager, and found first solace and then self-confidence with the help of my own therapist. I’ve also held a lifelong admiration for the human body - the whole that will always be immeasurably greater than the sum of its parts. When we work with the body, we work with your direct here-and-now experience of yourself. This is the place from which change becomes possible.
"What is wounded in a relationship must be, after all, healed in a relationship" -Annie Rogers
My style is warm, relational, and sincere. Trust building is our first priority, and I always consider you the foremost expert on yourself. In my work with adults and minors both, we weave together meaning based on thoughts, emotions, and body sensations. We ask, “What wants to happen?” and then listen and make room for the answers. Depending on the age of the client as well as the modality we’re using, this could happen verbally or non-verbally. Each session is a creative and collaborative act. I can be direct and spacious in turns, and I am fond of giving little “homework” assignments so that our work can continue throughout the week. We can do either brief goal-oriented work or longer-term depth work, depending on what’s needed.
Education & Experience
I received my BA in Psychology from Pitzer College in Claremont, CA, and my MA in Somatic (or body-oriented) Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. After graduating in 2011, I pioneered and ran the counseling program at a PreK-8th grade school in San Leandro, before transitioning into private practice. My work is informed by my experience and training in Jungian, mindfulness, and attachment approaches, Hakomi, Rosen Method, and Kathy Kain/Stephen Terrell's "Touch Skills for Trauma Therapists" and "Somatic Resilience & Regulation" trainings. I also have a separate practice of massage therapy and somatic bodywork.
“There is deep wisdom within our very flesh, if we can only come to our senses and feel it.”
-Elizabeth A. Behnke
For Preteens, Teens, & Adults
I work with people dealing with:
Grief & loss
Identity & spiritual crises
“Somatic” simply means “of the body.” In somatic therapy, we use the lens of what your body is experiencing as our entryway into exploring what is going on in the whole of your self.
Every mental and emotional event has a physical counterpart. For example, stress isn’t just a mindset; it’s also very much a bodily event. Stress is our fight-or-flight response, our survival mechanism, the fuel that powers us through so many big and small moments. But when our natural stress response doesn’t come to a natural close, we can become run-down, shut down, or irritable. We can be prone to health problems or relational problems in this state, and feel cut off from our sense of vitality. Somatic therapy helps you deeply listen to the wisdom of your body, so that cycles that need to complete can do so, and your natural healing response can bring the various parts of yourself and your life back into harmony.
I find touch work to be the most direct and effective method of somatic therapy. There is a massage table in my office, and I often offer fully clothed hands-on work as a part of our psychotherapy. Touch work can be as quiet or talk-filled as we choose. Each session generally begins and ends with at least a little seated face-to-face time, so we can first check in, and then integrate what came up during the touch portion of our work.
Hands-on somatic therapy is for anybody with a body. We will go as slow as you want and need in preparing for touch work. We can work with issues ranging from personal growth to grief and loss, anxiety, depression, relationship issues, life transitions, and identity and spiritual crises.