I earned my MA in counseling psychology in 2001 at John F. Kennedy University in Concord, California. I was drawn to the struggles that teens go through, so while in graduate school a good part of my therapeutic work focused on adolescents. I participated in the school-based program at JFK, training at Mt. Diablo High School in Concord. There I counseled teens individually and co- led my first “self-esteem” group.
After graduation, I continued my school-based work with teens as an intern and later as a staff therapist at the Y-Team Mental Health Program of the YMCA of the East Bay, in Richmond, California. There I supported middle and high school students struggling with self-esteem issues, family crises, mental health issues, and trauma. After two years with the Y-Team, I took a job at Thunder Road Adolescent Treatment Center in Oakland, California, an in-placement drug and alcohol treatment program and part of the Alta Bates/Summit Medical Center. My experience at Thunder Road made me I realize acutely how high risk behaviors can be quite common with teens and can have significant negative repercussions on their lives and their families’ lives. This was challenging and profound work, during which I led numerous and multifaceted groups with adolescents and families.
In 2002, I became a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and since 2008 I have been treating individuals, teens and families in private practice. Some have enormous amounts of stress related to school. Some have depression and anxiety or are dealing with a family struggles. Families often need help communicating with their teen, and others benefit from tips on how to set appropriate limits. Some are relieved to have a place to vent frustrations and a place to reflect on their own part in the family
Currently I am also the Program Coordinator of the Youth Out-Patient Drug-Free (ODF) Program at Alameda Family Services (ADF) in Alameda, California. This is a job I have held since 2007.