I am a clinical psychologist (license #PSY29444) specializing in the practice of contemporary psychoanalytic psychotherapy to address a variety of problems, including: depression, anxiety, relationship difficulties, creative blocks, loss and grief, and past/ongoing trauma. Over a decade of clinical experience and extensive training has given me a foundation for being able to treat psychological distress holistically and to appreciate the critical interplay between environmental, behavioral, cognitive and unconscious factors.
I received my B.A. in Psychology and Social Behavior (Magna Cum Laude) from the University of California, Irvine and my M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Health Psychology from the APA-accredited California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University. I went on to obtain additional clinical training at the Wright Institute Los Angeles, USC Student Counseling Center, and Pasadena Prototypes REACH Program. I also worked as a Crisis Responder and Therapeutic Behavioral Specialist for the South Coast Children’s Society.
I’ve been honored with numerous awards, including: the American Psychological Association Division 39 Scholars Grant, Dennis Klos Professional Psychology Scholarship, Alliant International University Diversity Scholarship, Early Career Achievement Award from the American Psychological Association, Arthur Kovacs Academic Merit Scholarship, and the Alliant International University I-MERIT Service Award. I’m also a published researcher and gained international recognition for my study on psychological factors underlying risky use of over-the-counter workout supplements among gym-active men.
I am an active member of the Society for Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Psychology (Division 39 of the American Psychological Association) and the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, for which I have served on the Colleague Awareness Resources and Education (CARE) Committee and the Continuing Education Committee.
My Clinical Approach
To varying degrees and for our own unique reasons, we all struggle to process and make use of challenging emotional experiences that are inherent to life as a human. Thus, we develop survival tactics that help us skip over feelings that are overwhelming. But if early experiences left us with emotional resources that are insufficient or if circumstances are too pervasively stressful, we tend to over-rely on such tactics. Often without even realizing it, we engage psychological and behavioral numbing/heightening maneuvers aimed at drowning out our most essential feelings. The resulting sense of isolation, feeling less-than-real, or being caught up in depressive or anxious ruts are indicators that something’s gone off track; that in our attempts to take care of ourselves we’ve resorted to skipping over ourselves altogether.
My expertise is in helping you to break this cycle and restore a baseline from which to connect and thrive.
My method for assisting you in this process is empirically informed and tailored to your specific and most immediate emotional needs. I strive to hold space for organic moments to emerge over the course of each session so that the richness of your inner world can come to be understood in an emotionally salient way. This unique experience may include an emphasis on our therapeutic relationship as a microcosm for difficulties you have in relation to yourself and others and, ultimately, as a model for change and new possibilities.
Humans learn and grow in the context of relationships. As social animals, we need to feel the presence of an empathic companion in order to bear the reality of our most entrenched existential and psychological dilemmas. By working together to forge that companionship, we will gradually develop your capacity to deal with a wider range of emotional states than would otherwise be possible.
There are a myriad of benefits associated with the ability to process difficult emotions, including: increased capacity to identify and assert boundaries in relationships (thereby enhancing intimacy and interpersonal fulfillment), decreased symptoms associated with mental illness, improved self-esteem, and better physical health.
Moreover, in being able to better tolerate the wholeness of your emotional world, you are more equipped to grapple with the tension between some of life’s unavoidable conflicts (e.g., love/hate, togetherness/separateness, destruction/creation, control/surrender, presence/absence, known/unknown, order/chaos). We will work together to transcend the rut of either/or and arrive more readily in the realm of both/and—a realm of possibilities, perpetual transformation, and enhanced dimensionality.
I view my work as an epic project aimed at developing your capacity to better observe and process your emotional experiences so that you can use your feelings to understand yourself more deeply, become more alive and creative, and connect with others in new ways. Far from wallowing in doom and gloom, our time together can ignite a sense of joy that is inextricably linked with knowing yourself more fully—the good, the bad, and the ugly—and finding that all aspects of you can coexist freely, fluidly and meaningfully.