waiting roomHow I Got Here

I’ve been intrigued by relationships for as long as I can remember. As a child I wondered what made a healthy relationship and marveled at relationships that seemed positive and loving. I was equally captivated by relationships that seemed toxic. What were the differences? How was it that some relationships seemed painful and others joyful? Did the people in those relationships experience it the same way as I did watching from the outside? I wanted to know.

My fascination with people and relationships led me to study Human Development at UC Davis (BS, 1978). Human Development combines psychology and sociology and looks at people across their life span. Initially I worked as a preschool teacher. I loved the curiosity, playfulness and open-heartedness of young children. Later I worked as a family services coordinator at a model children’s center that saw the wisdom in supporting the whole family not just the child. It was there that I realized I wanted to be a therapist and help people create healthy relationships. I studied marriage, family and child counseling at San Francisco State University (MS, 1987). Since I wanted to work with relationships I choose training sites and jobs that focused on teens and families. I worked exclusively with teens and families in crisis for over 12 years. I worked with teens before I became a parent myself. When I became a parent I also became a better therapist. I understood the hopes, desires and challenges of being the parent as well as the hopes, desires and challenges of being the child or teen.

In 2000 I began working at Sonoma State University. After spending 12 years working with teens, it seemed like a natural progression to work with college students. I spent 14 years at SSU initially working at the counseling clinic on campus, seeing individuals, couples and families and later as an adjunct faculty member in the counseling program (master’s level). As a therapist on a college campus I worked with a wide variety of issues including anxiety, depression and relationship problems. I continue to enjoy working with teens and young adults in my practice.

Only families or couples?

Absolutely not, as a marriage and family therapist I also work with individuals and groups. I choose to become a marriage and family therapist because of the emphasis on relationships. I’m interested in all relationships even the ones we have with food, money, ourselves and our problems. 

When I’m not at work

While I’m a dedicated therapist, I do enjoy my free time. I like hanging out with family and friends as well as traveling. I enjoy walking, hiking, and listening to live music. I usually have some sort of DIY project going on, often involving painting, whether it is furniture, walls or fabric.

Sound like a good fit?

Or want to learn more about my practice in Petaluma CA? Call for an appointment or a free 15 minute phone consultation: 707-765-2635. Or email me