When I was in graduate school, a professor I very much respect said, “There are at least fourteen different psychological languages. You never know which language your patient speaks so it’s a good idea to become fluent in as many psychological languages as possible.” I have tried to follow his advice. I try to begin the therapeutic relationship by listening, learning and then speaking the patient’s psychological idiom. My approach is empathetic, collaborative, pragmatic.
I studied political theory at the University of California, Berkeley. After twenty years of working in political consulting, advertising and writing, I returned to graduate school and earned Masters and Doctorate degrees from The California School of Professional Psychology.
I did an internship and residency at The San Fernando Valley Child Guidance Clinic, Family Stress Center. Family Stress has a capacity of about 600 patients less than eighteen years of age; every patient is a victim of neglect, physical, sexual, and/or psychological abuse. Treatment modalities included individual and group therapy.
I did a two-year residency at the Wright Institute Los Angeles, studying psychoanalytic theory and technique and doing individual psychodynamic psychotherapy with young and middle-aged adults.
I returned to Family Stress as a post-doctoral fellow and continued to work with adolescents who had been the victims of abuse. As an employee of Family Stress, I developed a curriculum for a time-limited parenting program that incorporated the abused child’s individual therapy, group therapy for children, group therapy for their parents and conjoint groups where the children and parents worked together. Most parents who participated in this program were court referred and resistant to treatment. Kaiser Permanente acknowledged the efficacy of my program by awarding The Child Guidance Center a $200,000 grant to expand the parenting program to other community-based clinics.
I have been in private practice in Beverly Hills since 2004.
“I have particular expertise and experience in working with complex, comorbid behavioral and psychiatric disorders: manifestations of anxiety and depression, Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), bi-polar disorders and Borderline Personality Disorder.”
My patients are racially, ethnically, socio-economically and sexually diverse. Not all of my patients are cis-gendered. I work with high school, college and graduate students, young workers just getting started and others who have been working for a few years: athletes – high school, college, professional and retired – actors, high school teachers, artists, stay-at-home moms and dads, lawyers, writers, scientists, advertising executives, photographers, graphic designers, university professors, computer programmers, directors, entertainment agents and managers, real estate brokers, doctors, investors, corporate executives and other professionals.
For several years I gave guest lectures on psychology to LAUSD magnet high school psychology classes. Those lectures led to a network of teachers who refer gifted students with emotional and intellectual disorders, usually ADHD, victims of trauma, anxiety or depression, and who live in families that cannot afford the time or money to access appropriate levels of psychological support and/or medication. Our goal is to diminish these kids’ struggles so that they can perform to their potential and get into an appropriate college. I see these students for little or no fee. These high school students make up about fifteen per cent of my practice.
I also set aside about ten per cent of my time to work with adults whose mental health issues have either not been addressed or not been effectively treated due to economic obstacles.