I love bridges. They are such a great metaphor for life, its transitions and milestones. In my role as a mental health professional, I have the privilege of being both a bridge builder and one who gives individuals the tools to create their own bridges. I am pleased to be a part of the clinical team at BACA, where we taking on the task of bridging the gap in mental health services for young people and their families that are so vitally needed.
Growing up in Northern California, with views of Mt. Shasta, Mt. Lassen, the Sundial Bridge, and summers spent camping, backpacking and exploring, I have a fondness and appreciation for the beauty and adventure of the outdoors.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, I attended Santa Clara University and received a BA in Communication. After several years in communication related jobs, and a role as an Office Manager / HR Director at a start-up biotech company, I still felt that I had not yet discovered what I was wired to do. I knew I needed to be working with people, helping in a practical and meaningful way. I returned to school to complete a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from Western Seminary. During graduate school, I did a traineeship at a therapeutic community center in downtown San Jose, working with adults with severe mental health challenges, followed by an internship at EMQ FamiliesFirst in Campbell, working with children and families in crisis. At EMQFF, I worked with children ages 3-18 and their families. It was in this setting, working closely with children who had experienced all manners of trauma, and showing challenging emotional and behavioral problems, I realized I had found my calling.
During this time, my approach to therapy took shape: a combination of evidence-based practices in a creative and fluid approach, being in the moment, using talk, play and expressive art therapy to navigate the healing process. I strive to give young people and families, practical tools that can help them construct their own bridge and to create their own better future.
Before joining BACA, I was in private practice. I still occasionally see clients in private practice outside of BACA, but now, only doing Equine Assisted Therapy, and am pursuing certification in the EAGALA model. Horses are wonderfully honest in their interactions and challenge us to see ourselves differently and to be our most authentic selves. Besides equine therapy, another area of clinical interest for me the human brain – neuroscience, its connection between our physical functioning, nutrition, and our mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.
Outside of BACA, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, and can be also be found cooking, taking photos or taking in the outdoors – geocaching, hiking, biking, playing basketball, gardening or camping.