supporting Hermosa Beach and the South Bay communities
Starting therapy can feel intimidating so here's a preview of what to expect.
You'll come into my waiting room and help yourself to a cup of coffee or tea. I always start sessions on time. If you arrive early, you're welcome to relax and enjoy a magazine.
When I invite you into my office, you will take a seat on my sofa. I will talk to you about confidentiality which I value tremendously. We will get to know each other, talk about your goals for therapy, and start working on a plan.
Moving forward, we will take on the goals we established in that first session. I will check in with you along the way to find out what's working for you and what isn't so we can adjust our plan along the way if we need to.
Together, we will work toward creating more clarity in your life and helping you get where you want to be.
"How ironic that the difficult times we fear might ruin us are the very ones that can break us open and help us blossom into who we were meant to be."
- Elizabeth Lesser
Walk and Talk Therapy
My office is across the street from the beach in beautiful Hermosa. In my experience, people like to feel they are moving forward. I think this is part of why so many of my clients are enjoying Walk & Talk sessions as an alternative to sessions in my office -- with every step, we are literally moving forward and I think that's powerful. Being by the ocean and incorporating physical activity into the therapeutic process are just an added bonus.
What is Walk and Talk Therapy?
It's the same services offered inside the office but we take it outside and walk at a comfortable pace.
Where does Walk and Talk Therapy take place?
Sessions begin and end in my office. We will walk together from my office along the strand in Hermosa Beach.
What is the fee for Walk and Talk Therapy?
The fee is the same as therapy inside the office.
What do I need to bring for Walk and Talk Therapy?
Just wear comfortable walking shoes and a water bottle if you'd like one.
What if I schedule a Walk & Talk session but the weather is bad or I just don't feel like walking when my appointment comes up?
That's okay. We can stay in the office if that's what you're feeling you need at the time of your appointment. Walk & Talk sessions begin and end at my office and if you decide you'd rather stay there, it's an easy adjustment to make.
Can you give me nutritional advice or physical training?
My role as therapist does not change even though the location of our work does. I am not a nutritionist or a physical trainer although I can provide you with referrals if that's what you are looking for.
Sometimes, trauma impacts us in ways we don't fully realize. When I talk about trauma, I mean all trauma. Some trauma, like abuse, is obvious. But not all trauma is so clear. What is traumatic for one person might not seem traumatic to another. While an accident or abuse is obviously traumatic, sometimes something that was said to us can be traumatic. If it feels traumatic and is stored as a traumatic memory, it can impact everything from our mood to our use of substances as a way to cope.
Once upon a time, therapists encouraged clients to talk about the details of trauma thinking that was helpful. That's not always true -- it can make the symptoms of trauma worse by deepening the neural pathways to the trauma. EMDR is an effective method of treating trauma that does not re-traumatize like traditional talk therapy can.
Basically, EMDR treats the symptoms of trauma by processing the images, emotions, sensations in the body, and the negative beliefs we form about ourselves as a result of trauma. It does not require you to go over the gory details of trauma and research has backed up its efficacy -- it's often used with war veterans. Throughout EMDR processing, we check in with built-in scales to make sure it's actually helping. I have been amazed at how it has helped so many of my clients to change negative beliefs about themselves that were holding them back or alleviate their symptoms of trauma. Additionally, it includes resource building as we work on developing healthy coping strategies as part of the EMDR process.
I don't use EMDR with all of my clients. However, for clients who feel that their history of trauma is impacting their life and their relationships, or who struggle with symptoms of trauma including nightmares, flashbacks, mood disruptions, or negative core beliefs, it is worth exploring and I am happy to talk to you more about it.
Your relationship problems may feel overwhelming. Maybe you’re afraid that if you faced it with your partner, the relationship wouldn’t survive. Your unhappiness in your marriage or relationship is far less frightening than the possibility of a failed one.
Relationships come with challenges. We sink or we swim and sometimes both. The challenges, even the painful ones, can cultivate an intimacy that saves marriages. When a couple has to struggle together to confront their issues, they build a shared history. They create something worth fighting for because they have fought for it. Together. The passage transcribed on the frogs below is one of my favorites.
Couples therapy can be difficult. Painful even. I provide couples with a safe space to explore uncomfortable issues. I help them learn strategies for healthier, happier communication and deeper, more meaningful connection. The first thing I do is identify what the goals of couples therapy are by assessing the goals of each individual within the relationship. The next thing I do is work with the couple on a game plan on how we get there.
Pretending problems aren’t there can't strengthen the relationship. Taking them on together, as a couple, absolutely can. The history you share as a couple is meaningful and irreplaceable. Couples therapy is not easy but it's an investment in the relationship that you've built together -- showing up for it says a lot to your partner about your commitment and desire to make it work.