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Services Offered

Helping Hand

Marriage and family therapy is much more than a career; it is my life calling. Working with adults, children, parents, families, and even other therapists is both rewarding and meaningful. Witnessing individuals or families making positive changes and beginning to live healthier, happier, and more productive lives has been my pleasure and passion. I believe in the power of the human psyche and the strength of the individual when given support and unconditional positive regard. People can make amazing strides to change their lives. Many people encounter emotional experiences in therapy that help them heal and internalize behaviors. Also, clients can develop an awareness in relation to themselves, which will help clients in all life arenas.

I work individually with clients, as well as facilitating support groups. In the group section below, you will find information about the current groups I facilitate. I also teach parenting and stress management classes, which are also listed in the group section under classes. In the individual therapy section, I discuss a little more about my approach to therapy and what people need to consider when choosing a therapist. In the section covering Play Therapy, I give more information about play and children in therapy.

Some Considerations When Selecting a Therapist

Selecting a therapist can be an overwhelming and frightening experience. How does one know who is qualified to work with him or her? How does one make the right choice? Every day I sit in my office and speak with people seeking quality therapy. Some ask questions of prospective therapists, while others use personal referrals. Sometimes I receive phone calls from individuals who found me in the telephone directory. What should prospective clients consider when seeking a therapist?

A good therapist has knowledge, experience, education, and additional training in areas where you need expertise. For example, a therapist who is a qualified Parent Educator would be the choice for parenting issues. A therapist who works with play therapy may not automatically be the best choice to treat all adolescents. A therapist who specializes in divorce may not be the best choice to work on trauma issues. Ask questions regarding additional experience and other areas of work.

Take time and speak with the therapist before deciding if you feel confident in the therapist. Ask about the way the therapist works and determine if you are comfortable with the information given. Sometimes it is just a matter of personality. Selecting the right therapist may progress your work more quickly because you will feel confident and relaxed.

If possible, get a referral from a qualified professional such as a doctor, teacher, counselor, or other professional. Friends can be an excellent resource for therapists. However, just because a therapist worked well with one person does not mean that same therapist will work well for you. It is important to trust your instincts when making such a personal choice.

Because therapy can take time and is costly, know your limits. Decide how far you will travel and how much you are willing to spend. Check with experienced therapists and find out the going rate. A qualified seasoned therapist will be more expensive, but the additional training and experience may allow you to be treated more completely and rapidly.

Good luck! I wish you success when seeking a therapist.

Individual Counseling

I work individually with children and adults to provide the most supportive, comprehensive, and personalized therapeutic experience possible. Working with all family members can be beneficial for the entire family. I specialize in two areas: Trauma and adjustment to a disability.

My trauma background combines a psycho dynamic approach with somatic work and some EMDR. Volunteering to work with survivors of sexual abuse was my first work with trauma. However, traumatic events can be big or small, leaving the interpretation or organization of these experiences to the individual. It is my belief that working through traumatic material needs to be slow and focused on self-care or self-regulation. Clients need to play an active role in setting boundaries and maintaining a regulated and therapeutic pace. As the therapist, I am watchful and maintain an appropriate therapeutic tempo. It is my desire to create a nurturing, safe, and supportive environment so clients can grow and thrive.

Another area in which I specialize is adjustment to disability or vision loss. My work includes parents, children, family members, and therapists with disabilities. I combine both personal and professional experience to create a comprehensive and knowledge based approach, which enables clients to feel confident and secure that their experiences will be fruitful and positive. Since I am visually impaired, I have a unique understanding of different issues impacting children and adults with disabilities. Fostering an emotional connection, being a role model, and facilitating communication between family members are all a part of the restorative process when adapting to a life changing event, such as a disability. My first hand experience with limited vision gives me a formative knowledge of community and professional resources from a consumer’s vantage. It is my hope for each client that they will make the necessary changes to continue to live out their dreams. Part of that work for clients maybe actively seeking and finding a new dream. I can be a witness or enlightened guide accompanying clients on their journey.

I also consult with therapist who counsel clients with vision loss or physical disabilities.

If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please call me at 818.676.1363.

Group Therapy

Some clients like the interaction, connections, and diverse experiences found in a group therapy setting. Currently, I am facilitating and developing the following groups and classes:

If you have any interest in signing up for a group or class or have questions, please contact me at 818.676.1363.

Play Therapy

I am a play therapist with over 14 years experience counseling children and their families. Parents often say to me, “My child does not need to play. They are very mature for six. You can just talk with them like an adult.”

I understand parents and children talk, and a child may have outstanding verbal abilities. Yet, a six year old is not developmentally, emotionally, or intellectually at the same level as an adult. Often, adults struggle with words, feelings, and experiences in the therapy room. Young children will struggle even more. Even though children may be mature, they are still children and need to be respected as such. They should not treated as if they were adults.

I believe play is valuable for both children and adults. Families who play together may experience less stress and be more solidly connected with each other. Play is a common language that we all, hopefully, learned early in life. The late afternoon tea parties on the front lawn, the neighborhood plays, and the late evening games of “hide and seek” are all memories from childhood that we carry deep inside us. Many adults had to grow up too early and have found play uncomfortable. Getting in touch with that playful part may bring new passion, creativity, and laughter to your life.

In order to help children and parents get to understand, know, and connect with each other, I encourage group play in the therapy room. While working through difficult, painful, and private material, children play with me alone. Play is the work of children and much more. They use play to work through conflicts and difficult material. They express and release feelings through play that they may be unable to discuss or otherwise manage. Play is a safe comfortable way for children to do their work and connect with the therapist. Therefore, you could say play is the language of childhood. In order to understand and communicate with children, you need to observe, understand, and correctly interpret their play.

For example, a young girl working through the trauma of surviving a house fire may not be able to speak much in detail of the events. Yet, through puppet play, she plays out her father rescuing her from the flames. She expresses her anxiety and need for control through controlling the therapists play. She uses the fire engines and houses to enact the putting out the fire. As her feelings of anger, fear, and sadness are worked out through the use of swords, blocks, bats, and animals, she expresses her feelings about her father’s burns and the loss of her home. The child felt safe and contained. She was not pushed to conform to anyone’s agenda and all the work was finished. Obviously, if this were a case, there would be even more complicated feelings related to the experiences of a home fire. Yet, you can see how play works and moves the child gently through her process.

You might wonder, this sounds good but is it based on a theoretical model? Is there any research about play therapy? There is much research about play therapy and the American Association for Play Therapy is dedicated to promoting quality play therapy. Please click on the following link for more information about play therapy: www.a4pt.org

If you would like to know more about play therapy or have other questions, comments, and concerns, please contact me

 

21243 Ventura Blvd., Unit #139, Woodland Hills, CA 91364
818.676.1363

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