Gottman Approved Member

You want more…

Maybe you’re struggling, or stuck, and you haven’t been able to create the change you want. Or you have a sense that things shouldn’t be this hard.

Or maybe you’re doing ok, basically, but you don’t want to just be ok. You know that being healthy means more than not being unhealthy, and being happy means more than not being unhappy.

Either way, you want more. More ease, more peace and harmony, more success, more satisfaction and fulfillment, more creativity, more happiness, joy, and passion, more love and connection…

Whatever it is YOU want more of….

I’m so glad you found me!

I want to help you get whatever it is you want more of.

When you come to see me in my relaxing, comfortable office in downtown Soquel:

  • I will listen to you. You are unique, and your story matters. I want to learn about you – your struggles and your strengths, and your dreams and desires. How did you get here, and where do you want to go?
  • I will support you. It takes courage to seek help, and sharing our stories can make us feel vulnerable. I will meet you with empathy, warmth, and understanding. I know what it’s like to be in a hard place, and I can be with you in yours while we find the way forward.
  • I will challenge you. Chances are, to create the real, lasting results you want, you’re going to have to do some hard work. I’m going to invite you to take an honest look at yourself and your relationships, to think about things in new ways, to try new ways of interacting, to step outside your comfort zone, and probably much more… and I will be your biggest cheerleader as you do it.
  • I will use my skills to create an appropriate treatment plan for you. If you’re going to take the risk and do the work I challenge you to do, you want to know that I know what I’m doing. I have extensive education, training and experience (you can read more about the details below) in helping people like you get more of what they want out of life. As I get to know you thoroughly, we’ll set goals for your work with me, and I will create a dynamic strategy for the best way to help you achieve them.
  • I will be honest with you. We will check in regularly about how our work together is going. While I have every expectation that it will be going well, if it’s not, we both need to be up front about it so we can adjust. That might mean altering our goals or treatment plan, or it might mean helping you find someone who’s a better fit for you. Usually, though, we can determine whether we’ll be a good fit to work together in our first phone conversation. You can schedule that call right now! (link).

So who am I, and what qualifies me to help you?

Bottom line, I am a helper, healer and educator – a scholar-practitioner – who sees healthy relationships and connections to other people as the keys to virtually every other area of life. From birth onward, the quality of our relationships forms the foundation of our personality and may be the single biggest impact on our physical and mental health, our ability to learn and grow, and our happiness and success in life.

That’s why my passion is helping people create and maintain close, intimate relationships that don’t just survive, but THRIVE – so that everyone in them can thrive as well.

I do this as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) working with individuals, couples, families, and groups; and as a college instructor both at my alma mater, John F. Kennedy University teaching future MFTs in their Master’s degree program, and at Evergreen Valley College, teaching classes in Psychology, personal growth, marriage and family, and human sexuality to community college students. Not only is it a privilege to be able to share important ideas and information with new students every quarter, my teaching work helps me stay abreast of current research and developments within the field, ensuring that my work with clients is always informed by current best practices.

My passion to help people began as a young woman…

when I answered the call to service, and I began adulthood serving as an Engineer officer in the United States Army. My most impactful mission while on active duty was the humanitarian disaster relief response for Hurricane Andrew in Florida in 1992, which led me to working at the American Red Cross once I left the military. Providing such important services was an honor, yet I longed to be able to help people in a more personal way.

When I was expecting my son, I was lucky enough to encounter research about the importance of creating a secure attachment between parents and their infants, and went on a quest to learn everything I could about how to support this phenomenon. With my new knowledge, and a desire to connect with other parents and young children, I began teaching parenting classes and led parenting support groups. Now I’m the proud mom of a young adult son who is happily and successfully launching into his own career and relationships!

“Love is a verb. Not a permanent state of enthusiasm.”
– Esther Perel

Thirsty for more knowledge, and especially more ways to help people…

I returned to college at John F. Kennedy University, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 2007 and a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology in 2009. Since 2008, I have had the privilege of working with clients from 3 years old to 73 years old with a wide variety of issues, challenges, and goals.

Some of the common themes that I’ve gained a lot of experience with include life transitions (especially those around adolescence/young adulthood and middle age), “stuckness”, anxiety and depression, body image issues, self-sabotaging behaviors, parenting, the effects of trauma, stress management and emotional regulation, dealing with shame, and of course all kinds of relationship and marriage issues.

This includes helping couples with challenges around communication and conflict; restructuring their relationship to reflect changing needs, desires, and responsibilities; and tough issues like infidelity and sexual desire discrepancies, and much more.

I have helped many people get to their “more”…

Let’s talk and discover how I can help YOU.