I view psychotherapy as a form of energy work. To facilitate the shift needed for therapeutic success, I find an integrative or holistic approach most useful in addressing the whole person and their unique history and background. I work in a culturally affirmative way.
My orientation can be described as depth-focused, systems-oriented, and transpersonal. The work of therapy is navigated not only through words, but also through imagery in symbols and in dreams, and the felt sense of experience. I find my theoretical inspiration in the psychodynamic works of Jung, Bion, and Ogden.
As a certified philosophical counselor, I believe that many questions clients carry have an existential dimension to them that wants to be explored. Issues stemming from trauma often reverberate with questions of identity, of belonging, of meaning and purpose. I am interested in the beliefs we harbor about ourselves, about others, and the world, and the ways in which we can work with and ultimately shift these beliefs if we find that they no longer resonate.
how i work with trauma
Imagine trauma as a white silky thread that gets passed down, together with its medicine, from generation to generation. It wraps us in its very own understanding of love, trust, and care. Through trauma, we learn how to exist in another dimension, untouched by the cold hard experience of hitting the ground. It shows us how to keep ourselves safe in unimaginable situations. Trauma spells out reality for us when we are tired and scared to try another time.
In time, and often long after the original disruption, trauma will keep us hidden within and from our own life. Trauma keeps us at a distance from the people we love. We continue to follow the path of least inner charge, at the cost of fully becoming who we are in this life time. We keep walking a loopy serpentine across what used to be a mine field, what is now a recovering meadow, and it looks just as dangerous. Trauma rattles the core of our reason for being, until we become ghostly drifters in a world bursting with beauty and significance.
People who sense deeply are affected by trauma in specific ways. They are oftentimes what is clinically referred to as “the identified patient”: the person who will take on and carry and express the illness of the family system - the child who acts out - the black sheep - the one who is sent to therapy so nobody else has to. In a state of natural empathy, we were filled up with the pain of everyone we loved. We were not taught how to filter, regulate, or set boundaries. We did not know what that meant. We didn’t want to be heartless.
Trauma integration is a process that involves several steps:
1. The first is to bring down the original charge around a triggering experience. This can be done through techniques such as EMDR and Somatic Experiencing.
2. With complex trauma - that is, several traumatic experiences over a longer period of time -, we need to understand how trauma has shaped our nervous system. This part can take up a longer period of time. Especially for complex trauma, there are no quick fixes, and that’s ok.
3. The third element is the healthy practice of being in time and space, making sound choices that are in integrity with who we are and in respect of the people around us and our greater environment. It is the art of dwelling - of being present with reality in the large and in the small. And being present ultimately means to be in relationship with that which surrounds us.
Contemporary, cutting-edge research is slowly coming around to what wisdom traditions around the world have been teaching for millennia: The fact that trauma is passed down, through nature or through nurture, to the next generation. And so, whoever decides to step into the spiral of healing does not only effect their own health and wellbeing, but also that of the generations past and those to come.
It is my interest to walk with you on that path.
Due to ongoing disruptions to our daily rhythms beginning in 2020, I have decided to transition my practice to exclusively offer telehealth.
This means that I am able to provide psychotherapy to clients from all of California. Inner work is available to my international clients as well.
I offer sessions via a secure video platform and phone call.