I have been helping people heal, learn, and grow for more than 20 years. I am a psychotherapist, coach, teacher, and author of the best-selling book, Scared Selfless, which explores the aftereffects of child abuse and how to heal from it. My greatest gift as a therapist is my well-founded optimism. I know that no matter how bad things may currently seem, my clients can overcome obstacles, process pain, and move on to happier, healthier, more purposeful lives. I believe that all people have an innate capacity to grow into their authentic selves; they simply need the right conditions.
I pride myself on offering clients an experience that is validating, accepting, nurturing, and supportive. I have particular expertise in childhood trauma, PTSD, and dissociative disorders. My writing on psychological trauma has appeared in such periodicals as the New York Times, Time, People, Good Housekeeping, The Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and I have been featured on Dr. Phil, The Dr. Oz Show, and People magazine.
PhD - Clinical Psychology, Saybrook University
As a child, I endured a great deal of trauma. As a result, I developed mental health issues that made it difficult for me to thrive as an adult. Psychotherapy helped me to heal and find lasting happiness. I became a psychologist in order to pay it forward. I believe that everyone has the capacity to heal and lead great lives, and I'm passionate about helping my clients grow!
I'm an HGTV fanatic who loves home projects, design, and gardening. I'm also a fan of the performing arts and have been known to sing onstage or perform comedy from time to time. Oh, yeah, I also publish books and stuff…
Journaling. I do it first thing every morning whilst drinking my coffee and listening to Mozart. It allows me to organize my jumbled thoughts and emotions and set intentions for the day.
Trauma and Recovery by Dr. Judith Herman is a book I've re-read countless times. It has explained and clarified the causes and effects of interpersonal trauma for me in a way that no other book has.
The American Red Cross is the non-profit organization to which I am most committed. In 1994, I was a victim of the Northridge Earthquake in Los Angeles. (My apartment was pretty near ground zero.) My building came off its foundation, and I was unable to go back inside. Ever. I lost everything. FEMA was nowhere to be found, but the American Red Cross provided immediate help in the form of checks for rent deposits, vouchers for new furniture, and even new eyeglasses. Their response completely mitigated the trauma of the quake.
If I've got a little bit of energy, I take long walks whilst listening to uplifting books, and I meditate. If I've got no energy, I lay in my bed all day and watch Ken Burns documentaries on PBS.
True story: When I was a toddler, I got my first orange tabby cat, named Morris. Since then, every time my orange cat dies, I replace him with another orange cat named… you guessed it, Morris. At present, I also have a grey tabby named Maggie and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Lucy. In the past, I've owned Golden and Labrador Retrievers. I even raised a Lab to become a service dog.
If you or someone you know is experiencing an emergency or crisis and needs immediate help, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. Here are some additional crisis resources.