"I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. ”
― Vincent Van Gogh
Becoming a psychotherapist was one of my earliest professional aspirations. In large part, I gravitated toward the field to help make sense of my own adolescent and family crises. In my mid-teens, I started reading works by psychotherapy pioneers; authors like Carl Rogers, Abraham Maslow, and Carl Jung. Some of my first jobs were at youth social work non-profits in positions such as peer-mentor, mental health technician, and youth shelter attendant. When I was 19, my aunt, a psychotherapist, lent me a book about the biological resolution of trauma—Peter Levine’s Waking the Tiger. This inspired me to pursue massage therapy as a stepping stone to becoming a somatic (body-oriented) psychotherapist. At the time, connections between trauma research, neurobiology, and body-based techniques were rising in popularity. These early experiences provided a solid foundation for my later trainings.
As I learned about the field, I became dissatisfied with how many therapeutic approaches miss out on the big picture of mental health. The multitude of approaches can be a mess, and so can the empirical evidence-bases that support them. Really addressing individual psyches requires change to families, communities, cultures, and societies—not to mention holistic health. It is all connected and only so much can be done in the modern-day ritual of psychotherapy. Yet, therapy can play an important and even vital role in healing and personal development. Talk therapy has a unique, transformative potential. To a great extent, human beings are wounded in relationships and healed through relationships. Dormant capacities for resilience can be activated through relationships. During my professional development as a therapist, I always had an eye out for the bigger picture, and I also spent a fair amount of my higher education exploring larger questions related to mental health. I’ve been particularly interested in the integration of psychotherapeutic approaches.
Prior to starting my private practice, I worked at sliding-scale community mental health clinics providing services to a wide variety of folks and addressing a diverse range of issues. I also practiced at a trauma and crisis treatment center specializing in the treatment of acute psychological symptoms. This included addressing issues such as traumatic loss, sexual assault, PTSD, violent crimes, domestic violence, vicarious trauma, human trafficking, and problematic substance use complicated by traumatic events. Additionally, as a massage therapist, I gained clinical experience in end-of-life care, the wellness field, and at an innovative multidisciplinary clinic in which chiropractors, acupuncturists, psychologists, medical doctors, and massage therapists collaborated on individual cases.
While I like to help folks who want to address specific, targeted problems and goals, I also like to take a look at their personality, life trajectory, and how they relate to others as a whole. Early formative experiences can significantly impact our personalities, characters, and senses of self, but so can choices we make throughout our lives, as can the work we put into ourselves here and now. Psychotherapy is not only effective for addressing symptoms and “dark nights of the soul.” It has a lot to say about human potential, meaning, purpose, and general life satisfaction. All of these require working with day-to-day felt experiences, thoughts, and emotions in the present moment. Psychotherapy, in its essence, helps to expertly navigate these, while providing a space to dive into them and track progress from week to week.
PhD Student and Adjunct Faculty, Integral and Transpersonal Psychology
California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, CA
Coursework completed. Elective seminars in Anthropology and Philosophy departments.
Areas of specialization: Psychotherapy education, psychotherapy integration, exceptional adult psychological development (e.g., postformal/postconvential stages), transdisciplinary education and research.
MA in Counseling:
Southwestern College, Santa Fe, NM
Areas of specialization: Bridging cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic, contemplative, and systems approaches; interpersonal neurobiology; developmental trauma; personality disorders; somatic therapies.
BSc with distinction in Geography:
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Minors: Sociology and Studies in Cinema and Media Culture. Completed core curriculum in geographic information science and select graduate coursework in philosophy.
Areas of specialization: Affective turns in the social sciences, critical education, world cinema, social movements, refugee diasporas, political economy.
AAS in Health Sciences
Northwestern Health Sciences University, Bloomington, MN
Certificate in Massage Therapy, Certificate in Neuromuscular Therapy and Myofascial Release.
Areas of specialization: rehabilitative/medical massage, energy medicine, history and cross-cultural traditions of bodywork.
Select Additional Trainings
Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy: Immersion and Level 1 and 2
Gottman Couples Therapy: Level 1 and 2, Treating Affairs and Trauma, Couples and Addiction Recovery
Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT): Level 1
Windz Institute: 5-day Brief & Narrative Therapy Certificate Program
Short-term Dynamic Psychotherapy Immersion
The Prevention and Relationship Education Program (PREP) Approach to Couples Therapy: Prep 8.0 facilitator training and PREP Couples Therapy training
Compassionate Inquiry with Gabor Mate
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: Intensive Course and 2- Day Advanced Acceptance & Commitment Therapy Training
EMDR Mastery Course: Assessment, Resourcing and Treatment Techniques for Trauma and Anxiety
Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO-DBT): Level 1
Personality Disorders Certification Training: Advanced Diagnosis, Treatment & Management
Certified Dialectical Behavior Therapy Professional (CDBT) Training: 8 Week Intensive Course
CBT Intensive Training Course and 2-day Advanced Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Workshop
Internal Family Systems: Foundations of the IFS Model
Ayurvedic Life-Style Consultant Certificate,
American Institute of Vedic Studies (David Frawley)
Yoga Teacher Certificate,
Prajna Yoga (Tias and Surya Little)
Mindfulness-based Emotional Processing: Activating and Supporting Felt-Sense Awareness of the Body’s Affective Experiencing
Lifespan Integration Level 1
Motivational Interviewing: Engaging People in a Meaningful Change Process
Engaging Adolescent Sexual Assault Survivors in Treatment Promoting Sexual Health and Well-Being, The New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs Inc.
Professional Immersion and Facilitator Trainings with Gender Equity and Reconciliation International