I have been a licensed clinical social worker in the state of California, specializing in individual and relationship therapy, since 1983 (LCSW #L10609. Click here to verify my license status). I received my masters (1977) and my doctorate (1983) in Social Welfare from the University of California at Berkeley. I maintain a private practice in Rohnert Park, California and online in California.
I describe my style as informal but professional. I am not a blank screen therapist. I have learned that while the primary focus of therapy is on your needs, that my most successful work is when I bring my full self to the work. There’s a place for humor, for tears, for reflections for current political events. As a musician, I have a special fondness for bringing music into therapy as I believe music is a special language of its own. So feel free to bring you instrument, to sing a song.
As a professional, I adhere to the ethical guidelines of the National Association of Social Workers and the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. I have learned how to adopt these guidelines to meet the unique challenges of people who live in rural and small communities.
I work with adults individually and in relationships. My approach in individual therapy is individualized to meet your specific needs. I will spend 5-10 minutes on the phone with you first to see if it makes sense for us to meet in person. If it isn’t, I will help you find another therapist. After our intake session, we’ll check in to see how we feel about working together. While I am a great therapist for many people, I am not for everyone.
Together I will help you identify the issues you want to work on and the possible approaches we might take. I am trained in a variety of approaches and do not do cookie cutter therapy. Some of these approaches include psychodynamic, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Solution-Focused, EMDR, and the Problem-Solving Approach. I am strongly influenced by humanistic, feminist, and existential approaches. I am a Sex-Positive therapist and am comfortable working with people of all genders and sexual orientations and relationship and sexual configurations, including open relationships and kink. While I believe that some people can benefit from 12 step programs, I am more comfortable with harm reduction approaches. I prefer to use language that steers away from labeling people. Instead of alcoholism or sex addiction, I talk about people who use alcohol or sex in ways that aren’t good for them. I believe that it is critical that our work take into account how your racial, ethnic, social class, and disability status impact upon your life. I am strengths-oriented and will check in with you frequently to make sure therapy is working for you.
Most of the work I do with couples is influenced by the approach of John and Julie Gottman. I have done Levels I and II of Gottman training. This approach is one of the few evidence-based couples therapy. While it involves a longer assessment process, the overall length of therapy is usually shorter.
Please see my resume for more information about my education and experience.