When you finally decide to reach out and ask for help, you are probably at a breaking point. The pain, distress and uncertainty in your significant relationships and/or in your life can make you feel as if you don’t matter. I chose to become a therapist because I truly believe that everyone matters and I know that you are important. I offer a trusting, safe, reliable and consistent relationship through which you can develop emotional strength. I’m passionate about giving you what you need to feel worthwhile and empowered so that you can seek out and enjoy healthy relationships.
What I do best is help individuals and couples identify and solve the core issues of their relationship problems. It’s fulfilling to work at a deep level to help clients repair the emotional damage of their pasts and relate to others in satisfying ways. It’s moving to see my clients grow, become self-attuned and allow love in.
Over the years, I have acutely noticed the fear people have of being emotionally intimate with their loved ones. When one member of a couple tries to get close, the other puts up a wall and vice versa. I started to explore the causes rooted in early emotional traumas that shame couples into closing the door just when it was about to open. My focus on helping fearful couples develop a language of emotion led to my latest book, published in 2014, called Now You Want Me, Now You Don’t! Fear of Intimacy: Ten ways to recognize it and ten ways to manage it in your relationship. I wrote this book to help couples who feel this frustrating pull-push in their significant relationships recognize how therapy can help identify fears around intimacy and prepare the ground for safe connection.
Working with single people from their 20s onward who long to find a life partner is also a major part of my work. There is a richness and depth to the process of peeling back the layers of protection that prevent many singles from selecting someone reliable and stable. As we work through the dating experiences in real time, it’s satisfying to show my clients how they get attracted to people who disappoint and let them down. In sessions, I help my single clients develop and use effective communication strategies to make connections that can lead to long term commitments, rather than repeat old patterns that have led to break ups, separations or divorce.
Helping those who are afraid of commitment is one of my strengths. Some people can’t trust anyone and find faults in their partners to ensure a break up. Others cheat to ensure that the relationship dies. In either case, I value the opportunity to establish a trusting relationship with you that you can draw from to build trust with potential partners.
Many of my clients have long histories of poor relationship experiences. They are anxious, depressed and their bodies scream out in pain. My deep knowledge of the importance of secure, safe and stable attachments provide me with tools to help my clients uncover what has gone wrong. I help them connect to their buried emotions and release them from their physical pain, which has a very real connection to emotional unease.
Ongoing courses on the psychology of pain and pain management have helped me treat clients with insomnia, eating disorders, weight issues, skin breakouts, headaches and back pain. I am also an anger management specialist—working at all the frontiers of how anger and stress is expressed in relationships. This work includes helping clients transform their anger into self-empowerment in abusive relationships or when the fear of losing a loved one diminishes assertiveness.
I am very interested and excited about dreams as a source of understanding and empowerment for my clients. Dreams are windows into the soul, and I believe that they can act as personal healers. In collaboration with you, I can help you understand your current problems in the context of dream symbols and their meanings. Dreams illuminate new paths that can help you made headway in the problematic areas of your life. And, dream images can help you connect with experiences that you’ve downplayed or left undigested. I’m blown away by how the unconscious often provides a dream just when you need to act on an issue. Dreams can show you what’s getting in the way, as well as shine a light on the tools you have to overcome obstacles. I’m privileged to facilitate these major milestones, smoothing the road ahead.
My career as a psychologist began in 1979 in the UK. I started with a strong desire to help children under stress and pain feel understood, accepted and taken seriously. My strong intuitive skills coupled with my Master’s degree in child and educational psychology enabled me to not only connect with and support children in distress, but to also help parents better understand and relate with their infants, toddlers and teens.
The best part of this job was my ability to translate the deep hurt, pain and anxiety that children of all ages felt so that their parents and teachers understood them. Explaining that a 10-year-old boy was truanting from school because he was desperate to unite his fighting parents was an eye opener to them and took the burden off the child to fix his parents’ relationship. My special training in family therapy provided me with the skills to get everyone involved in taking up their appropriate roles and responsibilities.
In my early days as a psychologist I loved using my expertise in child development to teach parents who couldn’t control screaming toddlers in the supermarket how to avoid those embarrassments. From helping parents manage temper tantrums with aggressive youngsters who refused to get dressed or eat their food to teaching mystified parents how to communicate with their substance abusing teenager, my interventions gave parents a sense of control and self-confidence that made life less shameful and easier to bear.
Busy and stressed teachers also needed understanding and support in order to offer the best learning environments for their students. As an expert in stress management, I offered ongoing workshops that promoted effective management strategies in the classrooms. I used my skills in adapting curriculum for special needs students to create personalized programs that suited their learning styles and pace. When parents and teachers collaborated in reinforcing the program together, the rewards for everyone, including me, were immeasurable. In fact, I wrote a book published in 1984 that included many of these programs for use by other teachers working with special needs children, called Teaching The Child With Special Needs, published by Ward Lock.
Having established a successful private practice in the UK, I moved to Los Angeles and took care of my terminally ill mother until her passing. Then, I taught in an elementary school while I earned my Ph.D. in clinical psychology. With a doctorate in clinical psychology and special commendation for my dissertation, followed by a license to practice in California, I set up a new private practice focusing on adults. My experience of caring for a terminally ill parent helped me understand the stresses that care givers experience, as well of the pain that is created as we go through bereavement. As a psychologist, this experience helped me understand, empathize and help clients suffering from depression, grief and loss.
In 2017 I obtained a Certificate in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, an advanced training in deep emotional work with people who have emotional trauma affecting their lives and relationships.
The wealth of experience I have accumulated together with ongoing education puts me in a unique position. I understand and have succeeded in helping individuals, couples and families connect, feel secure and enjoy healthy relationships both emotionally and physically.
I have the experience, skill and passionate to help you enjoy a more satisfying relationships and a more fulfilling life. I invite you to call me on 310.985.2491 to set up an appointment.