Welcome

Many people benefit from having the welcoming and safe space of therapy to explore issues, big and small. Be they mood and behavior patterns, past or recent traumas, or big picture life goals, therapy can be useful in helping individuals cope with various stressors, and elicit positive change. Are you having trouble adjusting to shifts in your life, such as a loss of a relationship, difficult event, or changes in career/job? Has your child or teen experienced a loss or trauma that is impacting their relationships, performance in school, or general functioning? I provide therapy that can be useful in helping individuals improve relationships with family members, peers, and self.

Youth Services

I am experienced working with children and adolescents, including those navigating issues with both emotional/behavioral challenges and substance use (referred to as "co-occurring"). I also have worked with foster youth for several years.

Young people experience stress just as adults do, but often have not mastered the skills necessary for coping. Symptoms of youth depression or anxiety can include: persistent sadness, withdrawal from friends or activities, increased irritability, difficulties in concentration, poor school performance, drug or alcohol abuse. Symptoms may influence functioning in different areas of life including school, social life, or other activities.

Approach

I use a warm, directive, client-centered approach. By this I mean I value the healing qualities of a strong relationship between client and therapist, while also utilizing skill building and psycho-education to encourage better coping and self care. The therapy process works toward finding the strengths in people, both to help people see strengths in themselves and also to summon as resources for change and support. I consider myself an integrative therapist, drawing from Cognitive Behavioral (CBT), Attachment Theory, Motivational Interviewing, and Mindfulness theories and techniques.

About me

I worked for 8 years at Fred Finch Youth Center in Oakland, providing clinical services for foster youth/families and probation youth in the Therapeutic Behavioral Services Program, and the Visiting Therapist Program. I also served as a Clinical Supervisor for the School Based Outpatient , TBS, and VTP programs. Prior to my time at Fred Finch I was a counselor at a methadone clinic in San Francisco. I have been a License Marriage and Family Therapist (MFC 45809) since 2008, and received my board certification in Art Therapy in 2010. BA: Psychology, University of California at Santa Barbara, MA: Marriage and Family Therapy, Notre Dame de Namur University

Office Locations

1197 Valencia St., San Francisco, CA 94110
842 California St., San Francisco, CA 94108

The Valencia St office is near the corner of 23rd St. a couple of blocks from BART. There is metered parking on Valencia and Mission, and 2 hour parking on nearby streets. The California St office is between Powell and Stockton, accessible by the 1-California, cable cars, or an energizing walk from BART. Both metered and 2 hour parking can be found near this office, however, it can be a busy neighborhood so please allow extra time for parking if you are driving.

Fees and Insurance

My fee is $120/session. I offer a sliding scale, please contact me to discuss your needs and what I have available.

I am a Victims of Crime provider

I am in network with Blue Shield of California, and Magellan. I am an authorized provider for TriCARE (deductible may apply). Co-pays and deductibles vary from plan to plan so please check with your company to verify your specific benefits (outpatient mental/behavioral health).

If you have a PPO plan you may receive coverage for services even if I am out of network. PPO plans vary so please confirm with your insurance what your “out of network, outpatient behavioral health benefits” are. There may be a deductible to meet, then a percentage of each session may be covered after that. Many clients who I have worked/are working with are able to receive out of network coverage through their PPO plan.

Pros and Cons of Using Insurance for Psychotherapy

Pros: You get to use the benefits you and/or your company are paying for! You will save money by only be responsible for the co-pay.

Risks: Sometimes coverage plans set limits on how many sessions are allowed. Insurance companies also require a mental health diagnosis to authorize service. In addition, insurance companies may request on update of treatment and progress. Paying out of pocket ensures greater confidentiality for your treatment.

Art Therapy

What is it? The American Art Therapy Association explains: "Art therapy is a mental health profession that uses the creative process of art making to improve and enhance the physical, mental and emotional well-being of individuals of all ages. It is based on the belief that the creative process involved in artistic self-expression helps people to resolve conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, and achieve insight."

Art therapy involves the use of various materials such as pencil, markers, pastel, chalk, paint, clay, collage, and many others. Participants do not need to be trained or skilled in art to utilize art therapy.

And no, it’s not just for kids!

Supervision

Yes, I do offer off-site supervision! Do you need art therapy hours? Or do you work at a setting where you are not getting enough MFT or LPCC supervision hours? I’ve been there. I offer affordable off-site supervision.

Links

Learn more about Art Therapy at Art Therapy Alliance

Validating Blog on Depression (in case you haven't read it already): Hyberbole and a Half

Tips for managing a panic attack and more at PsychCentral

Misconceptions About Therapy (eg. you need not be rich , weak, and “crazy”)

Please visit the following sites if you have safety concerns: