Hello and welcome to my practice website! I hope you find the site to be informative, friendly, and supportive during this challenging time. Psychotherapy can offer you or your family members an opportunity to better understand your situation and to learn new ways of solving problems. I am committed to providing a caring environment in which you and your child can identify and explore issues that may be getting in the way of a more rewarding home life, academic success, or more fulfilling social relationships. Please contact me via telephone or fill out an inquiry form on the Contact tab to schedule an appointment.
Originally from New York, I relocated to Scottsdale 19 years ago to attend Arizona State University where I earned my Bachelors in Family Studies and Human Development and my Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy. I am now a wife, and Mother to three beautiful and energetic children. I am a professional member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) and the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (IAEDP) Foundation, am an Independently Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and have completed my certification in Traumatic Stress Studies through Bessel van der Kolk’s Trauma Research Foundation.
My passion is to help children, families, and individuals experiencing relational, emotional, or behavioral difficulties find healing from their background and an increased sense of well-being. As a clinician, I focus on the development of the whole person. Often, my clients are excelling in certain areas of life, while struggling in other realms. My psychotherapy services aim to support persons in achieving a sense of balance in in all aspects of their lives with a focus on emotional regulation and interpersonal effectiveness.
My methods include body-oriented modalities such as sensory awareness, mindfulness, and affect regulation and integrate poly-vagal theory, parts work, and the latest research on trauma and the body and play therapy (including sand tray therapy) approaches. I am very fond of DBT which has been found to be effective in treating issues related to emotional dysregulation such as anxiety, depression, self-harm, and eating disorders and offer EMDR therapy for issues related to anxiety or complex trauma. As part of the treatment process, I will complete a clinical assessment and individualize my treatment approach to meet each client’s unique needs.
I specialize in treating children and families and commonly treat issues pertaining to anxiety, depression, adverse childhood experiences, eating disorders, substance use and abuse, co-dependency, child-parent relational issues, and developmental trauma. Please contact me for a free fifteen minute phone consultation to determine if your therapeutic needs a good match for my skills and expertise.
Child Centered Play Therapy
It is my passion for working with children that first motivated me to enter the field of mental health. In my experience working with children, I have confirmed what I have always known in my heart which is that children are capable of experiencing very deep and complex emotions, and much sooner than they are able to express them with language. Through play, which is children’s primary means of expression, children are able to not only express and share their experiences that they cannot with language but they are able to process them while mastering the skills needed to cope with them. I have been told many of the activities and interventions I utilize with children seem more like a game then therapeutic work; to this I say “Great! Who says that play and emotional growth have to be mutually exclusive?” It is through this processing of challenging experiences while simultaneously building the skills to manage new challenges as they arise that therapeutic growth occurs.
Some of the interventions I utilize include games, puzzles, puppets, art, and sand tray therapy. Sand Tray is a form of play therapy that provides a safe space to express one's perceptions and experiences by placing miniature items and symbols in the sand to create a world. This world is seen as a reflection of one's internal world, allowing children and adults alike to work through their feelings and emotions while simultaneously mastering skills to cope with them. These strategies may help: increase emotional awareness by labeling and recognizing feelings and healthy ways to manage such feelings when they arise., strengthen children's social skills and appropriate play skills, and promote use of self-control strategies such as effective problem solving steps. They may also help: increase self-esteem, reduce anxiety and conduct problems such as noncompliance, bullying, stealing and lying.
I have a great deal of experience working with adolescents who’s struggles range from preventative care to intense struggles. My calm and welcoming presence allows teens to feel comfortable addressing the core of their struggles and my unique and playful therapeutic activities allows them to have additional means of expressing themselves rather than relying solely traditional talk therapy methods. I truly enjoy working with this population and have received great feedback from the teens I have worked with, including the ones who initially entered therapy most hesitant to open up. Some of the interventions I utilize include games, puzzles, art, sand tray therapy, worksheets, recommended readings and homework assignments.
When working with children and teens, parents are always an integral part of the treatment process. I collaborate with parents to bring about positive behavior changes, to support the individual, increase family connectedness, and help expand skills, strategies, and insights beyond the therapy hour. This participation can be anything from meeting for a few minutes after session to participating in the entire family session and varies on an individual case by case basis.
Adult Individual Therapy
Children and adolescents grow up and become adults. I treat many adults individually in my practice, treating presenting issues related to co-dependency, eating disorders, substance addiction, maternal depression, grief and loss, anxiety and relational trauma. As a Family Therapist, I bring family systems concepts into the individual sessions by exploring the role our family of origin and adverse childhood experiences play in our current struggles. If you are interested in enhancing the quality of your current relationship with both yourself and others, please call me to schedule an intake session.
A Note to fellow Mommas out there: You are not alone. Whether you are struggling with clinical post-partum depression, or just need an empathetic support to navigate the beautiful chaos that is parenthood, I can be here for you.