My interest in Psychology began with my under-graduate work at a secure youth treatment facility. The facility treated severely mentally ill youth ‘in the system’. These youth were challenged so much in life at a young age and appeared to need a lot of things, one of them was counseling. This was a time that I could not provide any assistance due to my undergraduate status. Filled with compassion and intrigue, off I go, back to college.
I decided to become a therapist after personal discovery of wanting to help people kept arising in my life. I first began work with the homeless, dual-diagnosed population during my practicum at the Salvation Army. I gained valuable experience there but the most valuable thing I learned was to just be myself while incorporating my education. There I began to learn the art of therapy. I co-facilitated a group and began doing therapy with the adult population there. Upon graduation, I began my internship with Interfaith Community Services where I gained valuable experience working with single-parent, lower socio-economic families, became exposed to the art and practice of EMDR, and began to work again with the seriously mentally ill. This experience propelled my interest in the nature vs. nurture within mental illness.
I was very fortunate to receive an internship with the Mental Health Systems, Incorporated where I was able to fine tune my work with the severely mentally ill population by working with individuals just released from Federal Prison. I learned that not all people are a product of their own making, sometimes it is just circumstances. I also actively pursued an internship with the Kearny Mesa Juvenile Detention Facility working with the Crisis Team assisting juveniles in the facility. Again, faced with some individuals who are in a situation and needing someone to talk to.
I have also needed someone to talk to at times, a professional. Taking the first step to looking up someone on the internet is a big first step. Learning to trust another to guide, to offer information, to just listen, and to offer insight is a big step that I do not take for granted…because I have been there too.
My training is in Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Psychosis, Juveniles, Young Adults, Adults, and Older Adults. I continue to increase my clinical knowledge and skills through ongoing trainings. I am also a member of California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT), and I am increasing my skills with Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing – EMDR.
Personally, I reside in San Diego. I grew up in San Diego. When I am not working, I can be found gardening, practicing core strengthening classes, cooking, and enjoying the San Diego sunshine.