I became a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFC #44854) in 2007 and have been in private practice in the Los Angeles area since then.
Prior to receiving my Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University in 2005, I spent fifteen years working in the entertainment industry. During that time I transitioned from production and agency assistant to film and television development executive, gaining an intimate understanding of how the business works and the effect it has on the personalities involved, both in front and behind the camera. I also developed that understanding something is “just business” doesn’t mean it can’t feel personal.
While considering appropriate sites for clinical training (all MFTs must complete 3000 hours of supervised clinical work), I chose the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center because of its reputation for providing exceptional supervision and exposure to a wide variety of issues including sexual orientation, gender identification, HIV/AIDS, sexual compulsivity/addiction, domestic violence, and substance abuse. While there, I co-facilitated Anger Management groups and have since incorporated these tools, as needed, into the individual therapy I do with my clients.
Following my tenure at the LAGLC, I accepted a position as a CalWORKS Therapist at Didi Hirsch Community Mental Health in Inglewood, CA, working specifically with the “Welfare-to-Work” population. In addition to facilitating more groups, I dealt with individual therapeutic issues related specifically to trauma, including sexual abuse/rape, physical abuse/domestic violence, gang violence, and incarceration. It also provided an opportunity to assist clients to improve parenting skills and life skills in the face of extreme economic hardship.
After leaving Didi Hirsch, I spent 18 months as Program Director at Bridges to Recovery, a private residential psychiatric treatment facility in Pacific Palisades, CA. Because Bridges is a “hospital alternative” for those who can afford this option, the facility attracted a population ranging from clients who had recently attempted suicide to those who needed a “respite” due to overwhelm in their every day lives. This experience also intensified my growing interest in Dual Diagnosis, a combination of serious self-medicating behaviors plus an underlying, untreated mental health issue.
In 2011, I completed a year long psychoanalytic psychotherapy certificate program at the Los Angeles Institute and Society for Psychoanalytic Studies (LAISPS), deepening my understanding of how very early life experiences shape how individuals manage their feelings in interpersonal relationships, as well as the defenses unconsciously developed to protect them from their developmental traumas. In 2014, I completed a 6-month trauma studies program at LAISPS to deepen my understanding of the effects of all types of traumas, from those caused by war and crime to those caused by abuse and through the natural course of development.