I have been on a lifelong journey of learning how to live with greater ease, health and joy. I have found that the most efficient way to nurture these qualities is to work on myself and to make more skillful choices. I continue to increase peace by observing and changing my filters of personality, beliefs, and habits. For much of my life I have been driven by anxiety, perpetuated unnecessary mental stress and danced with addictive habits. I am amazed how awareness and compassion can transform such “problems” into vehicles for learning and growth. I am passionate about helping others to see their own filters more clearly and to make internal and external choices that will increase their well-being.
I am a psychotherapist licensed in both California and Massachusetts. I have maintained a daily practice of yoga and other forms of mindful movement since 1997. I have practiced mindfulness meditation on an almost daily basis since 2000. Most of my meditation training has been in the Buddhist Insight Vipassana tradition. I have done many silent, intensive meditation retreats, totaling about 11 months. Thus I can offer you the psychological sophistication of a trained professional and the experiential knowledge of a devoted practitioner of mindfulness.
My formal education includes the following degrees and trainings:
- Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Massachusetts, MFT 1412
- Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in California, MFC 46832
- M.A. in Integral Counseling Psychology, California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, CA
- B.A. in Visual Arts, Brown University, Providence, RI
- Certified Instructor of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
- Dedicated Practioners Program (A two year program of Buddhist Dharma study and mindfulness practice through Spirit Rock Meditation Center)
- Hakomi Professional Skills Training (Hakomi is a somatic and mindfulness-based method of psychotherapy.)
- Somatics and Trauma Training with Staci Haines (Learned somatic approaches to work therapeutically with trauma.)
- Anusara Yoga Teacher Training with Deb Neubauer
- Nonviolent Communication (Several courses and ongoing practice)
- Insight Dialogue (17 days of training with Gregory Kramer and ongoing practice)
My informal education has occurred in many ways, most notably through time spent in other cultures. I spent 3 years living, studying and working in Varanasi, India and am conversant in Hindi. I have spent about 10 months living in Vitoria, Brazil and am conversant in Portuguese. I have also traveled widely in Asia and Europe.
These experiences have helped sensitize me to the formative power that culture plays in our self-concepts, emotions, values, assumptions and communication styles. I always consider the influence of one’s culture and try to be conscious of my own cultural bias in working with clients.
Last but certainly not least, I am someone who likes to laugh and enjoy life. Personal growth through counseling can be difficult and weighty. Counseling provides a valuable space to be with our deepest regrets and sorrows. I find it essential to bring lightness and humor into the work when appropriate. Being able to laugh about our habits and stuck places helps to energize our work together and keep oriented to the goal of cultivating greater joy in life. As Suzuki Roshi said, “What we are doing here is so important, we better not take it too seriously.”