Relationships, Family and Life Transitions

    It is in relationships that we gain identity, are wounded, and heal.  From early attachment relationships, that directly influence our relationships throughout life, to our interpersonal relationships with friends, co-workers, neighbors, and family.  The challenges of modern life often impact the quality of our connection with ourselves and others.

    Trust and communication are at the core of healthy connections. Building trust in the therapeutic relationship, is an important component.  Together we will identify your beliefs and the meanings you have given them, while improving communication and listening skills to promote being heard and understood.

“…you were designed to survive

and thrive no matter how life


-Deepak Chopra

Depression, Anxiety, and Stress

   Signs of depression include changes in sleep, appetite, or energy level, and loss of interest in activities, friends, or family.  Self-doubt and accusations will just make you feel worse.  A better approach is to seek help from someone who provides perspective and can explore the origin of your depressive symptoms, as well as teach skills to help promote well-being.

    Busy family schedules, high-pressure jobs, and financial troubles—all of us have a few reasons to feel stressed out occasionally. And that’s why it’s good to know how to manage stress and find balance.  Anxiety can be a response to stress or past experience.  Therapy can help you to identify the source of your anxiety and how to respond in creative, proactive ways grounded in the present moment.

Trauma and Post-traumatic Stress

    Trauma is any overwhelming life event that wires our brains for certain types of emotional and behavioral responses. Studies about neurological development and the functioning of the brain show that we create our own perception and understanding of reality. Focus of treatment is about how you processed what happened rather than the event itself.

    Managing distress is the first stage of treatment, followed by acceptance and understanding the origin of your pain. Therapy will help you make sense of your life story, and move beyond past patterns of adaptation and denial. You will become open to your needs and able to meet them in healthier ways, and live a life of meaning and purpose with more ease in the face of uncertainty.

“…And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud

was more painful than the risk it took to blossom..”

-Anais Nin

Grief: Dealing with Loss

    Endings and losses are phenomenally impactful.  Loss of health, job, money, home, relationship, “empty nest”, dreams, childhood, and hardest of all, the loss of a loved one.  Feelings of anger, sadness, or guilt are common responses to loss.  Unresolved grief can lead to depression, low self-esteem, emotional disturbances, physical illness, and addiction.  Coping by drinking alcohol, smoking, or abusing drugs can hurt your health and will end up making you feel worse.

    Openly acknowledging your feelings is the first step in the grief process.  If you are having difficulty functioning, sleeping, or eating, you may need the support that therapy can provide.

Addiction, Co-dependency, and Aftercare

    The impact of addiction and related mental health issues can be devastating.  Addiction affects everyone in your life.  Initial assessment will determine what your treatment options are and whether medical intervention is required.  Referrals for intensive treatment are available if necessary.  12-step meetings are recommended in conjunction with therapy.

    Co-dependency is an emotional and behavioral condition that can occur in any kind of relationship. Unresolved patterns of self-sacrificing, excessive care-taking and preoccupation with the needs of others can lead to more serious problems.

    Understanding addiction/and or co-dependency helps reduce associated guilt and shame, and is one of the first steps of treatment.  Therapy helps get to deeper issues of trauma, coping strategies, belief systems, and negative patterns of thought, emotion, and behavior.  Identifying triggers, and addressing associated issues, as well as addiction issues is the best chance for long term recovery.

“…the less you open your heart to others,

the more your heart suffers.”

-Deepak Chopra


    Of all interpersonal relationships, none is more treasured than the one with our children.  Parenting brings unique rewards, as well as challenges. It is an opportunity to deepen our connection with our children and ourselves.

    Our childhood experiences with our parents shape how we parent.  Unresolved issues often impair our ability to parent effectively.  While we cannot change events that have happened in our life, we can change how we think about them.  Making sense of the past, and understanding its impact on the present allows for deeper connections in the future.


Adoption has a psychological impact on children, adults and families.  If you have been touched by adoption you may not be aware that adoption can trigger life long core issues for adoptees, adoptive parents, and birth parents regardless of the circumstances of the adoption or the character of its participants. As an adoption specialist, I will guide you through the process of a healthy adoption story.

“…we are more often frightened then hurt;

and we suffer more from imagination then reality.”


Let's find out what I can help you with.

Call 650-532-0514 or email me for a free 20 minute phone consultation.