I was born in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As one of five siblings, I am no stranger to the joys and challenges that larger families present. My father was in the car business and my mother was a successful published author. My childhood was rich in literature, theater and fine art. The predominant family culture was psychological. You weren't truly a family member until you had your own therapist -- and that happened before you reached double digits! A game my mother played with me in Elementary School was to give me short vignettes and then ask me to explain the psychological dynamics that were at play. She then would teach me the relevant psychological terms. I do imagine I was among a select group of fourth graders who could give the you definition of Reaction Formation. Needless to say, being a therapist is deeply rooted in my cellular structure and psychological process has been a life long fascination. I am forever interested in all the vagaries of human nature. I find that our similarities are as striking as our differences. We are each a "one-of-a-kind." Being a part of facilitating someone in becoming more authentically themselves is an honor and a privilege.
My childhood passions were sports and art. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a public school system that was before its time; both girls and boys sport teams were equally supported. I played competitive team sports starting in first grade -- field hockey, swimming, soft ball and lacrosse by high school. In truth, I played whatever was offered; any excuse to run, jump and learn physical skills was enough reason to join. I am an avid downhill skier and more recently, an enthusiastic Pickleball player.
I think of painting as my first language. I remember vividly my first conscious art moment when I was four years old and it has since been a life-long passion. I am accomplished in a variety of mediums from welding to water colors. Art is a supreme pleasure; making form, moving color and bringing dimension to experience.
As for my professional life, nearly all of my early jobs were people related -- from childcare to camp counselor to working in a mental institution as a teenager. Now that was an experience! My first career was as a Special Education teacher. I worked with the severely emotionally disturbed - some years with autistic adolescents and then on the other end of the spectrum - schizophrenia and a variety of behavioral issues. My favorite job in that chapter was running a day school program and having the opportunity to design and implement psycho-educational program. After a number of years, I went back to school to obtain a Masters in Counseling, yet my love of teaching remained strong. As an adjunct professor, I taught graduate school in an MFT program for 13 years. Additionally, I founded and directed a school called Creative Explorations which combined my love of art and psychology. I designed and implemented a psychologically based process in which the students explored their identity and life issues through the making of art.
I was licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist in 1986, and have been serving individuals, couples, family and children ever since. I began my EMDR training in 1993 and from the very start was deeply moved by how powerfully transformative it was. Within two years, I became a facilitator in EMDR trainings and soon after became an EMDRIA certified Therapist and Consultant. I have integrated EMDR with other modalities which include Somatic Psychology, Internal Family Systems and Expressive Arts Therapy. Over the years, I have developed some EMDR protocols which include Moving Through Creative Blocks, Transforming Process Addictions (food, sex, work etc,) and Integrating Ego States. Most recently, I developed a protocol called Super Resourcing: An Integrative Resource Protocol for Healing Attachment Wounds. Currently, I manifest my love of teaching through facilitating in EMDR trainings and providing consultation. It is both an honor and a privilege to help EMDR clinicians hone their skills and develop their own voice and style. Additionally, I facilitated and taught in a residential personal growth retreat for over a decade.
In May of 2018 I completed an intensive training program and am now a certified Change and Transition Strategist. Many aspects of myself and my life come together in this work. I find great pleasure is facilitating people through the evolutions in their lives. Working in a results based time efficient manner is consistent with much of the new brain research on the neurobiology of change. For more about this work see my Change and Transition page.
In 2008, I attended a one day workshop presented by Phillip Moffitt. It was called, Awakening Through the Nine Bodies. From the very start this work captured my mind, heart and soul and consequently, I am currently in a facilitator training program. I find it profoundly valuable; both personally and professionally. On a personal level, it has been deeply clarifying as I have always had easy access to altered states but had no capacity or skill base for navigating them. The consequence was that often, I would just end up feeling crazy or I had feelings of being an outsider. This work gave me an exquisitely detailed MAP of consciousness which allowed me to know where I am and to begin to balance the nine bodies resulting in a more reliable experience of well-being. The exploration also provided the opportunity for me to cultivate dimensions of myself that I had not fully developed. I found myself very much at home in the bodies and in the experience of their universality, I experienced a profound sense of belonging which had, in part, always eluded me.
I have also found this work to be deeply healing. I have done many decades of psychological work through traditional therapeutic modalities. I have also engaged in a variety of alternative healing modalities as well as having attended a zillion personal growth experiences. (I do live in Berkeley!) All of it has been very valuable but none of it ever reached so deeply inside of me in such a profound and healing way.
On the professional level, my work with others has developed considerably. The Nine Body map helps me see people more dimensionally and enables me to work with more clarity around their mental, emotional and physical states. My understanding of the Nine Bodies often sheds light on traditional psychological conditions. I can now see how the over-usage of one body, or the underdevelopment of another, may result in distress or limiting patterns and dynamics. Additionally, for people for whom spiritual inquiry is part of their psychotherapeutic journey, it provides ground, clarity and direction in an otherwise mysterious realm.
For much of my life I have seen myself as eclectic; I have many identities. Externally these include: my psychotherapist self, my Change and Transition strategist self, my teacher self, my artist self., etc. In addition, are the many aspects of my inner life: mother, student, women, seeker etc. The Nine Bodies has become the integrating factor, the tapestry into which all these multicolored threads are interwoven. Now, no matter what I am doing, from working with someone to washing the dishes, I am all of these things and am able to draw from each in a more creative and spontaneous way.
As an artist, my approach to life as well as my work is essentially creative. I have great trust in the indomitability of the human spirit and believe that we are all capable of transforming old behavioral patterns, self-limiting beliefs and feelings and moving toward living our lives more authentically.