I am a psychologist, an LMFT and a board-certified art therapist. I am also trained and certified in several mindfulness-based approaches. A full professor in the Couple and Family Therapy program at Alliant International University in Los Angeles I have over three decades of providing psychotherapy and art therapy to people across the lifespan. A mindfulness compassionate arts psychotherapy approach informs all my services and specialties. In addition to my psychotherapy work I provide therapy, consultation, supervision and continuing education.
I use proven approaches to work with trauma, pain, obesity, depression and anxiety problems. For the last ten years my studies have focused on the application of an empirically supported four drawing protocol. I am the author of two books: Art Therapy & Clinical Neuroscience; and Art Therapy & the Neuroscience of Relationships, Creativity & Resiliency, the latter of which was published by Norton’s Interpersonal Neuroscience series.
Compassionate Psychotherapy services and specialties
Individual, Child, adolescent and family art and verbal psychotherapy therapy services:
Children and adolescents who go through distressing times often find that a picture helps them to self-express when words cannot. I have found that behavioral and emotional issues are more easily discoverable through the art expression whereas compassionate attachment- based practices help resolve and soften distress and when appropriate bring families together. When I see children, I ask that parents or care givers consult with me at least once a month.
Couples Therapy: I help couples who for very good reasons are try to cope with conflict and anger. I use a proven approached called Integrative behavioral couple therapy (IBCT). I will work with you to create change while at the same time learning to accept each other emotionally. It is my experience that this compassionate acceptance helps maintain positive outcomes. The arts help discover both strengths and weakness of the relationship.
Single Session: Clinical studies have shown that a single session is sometimes all that is needed. Single sessions are recommended for people who have a clear and identifiable problem that they see resolution for. I will meet with you for one assessment session then we will have a two-hour interventions and brainstorming session and finally follow up and check in after two weeks.
Art Therapy Groups Online: Two main approaches to art therapy complement each other; art as therapy and insight orientated art psychotherapy. The group focuses on art as therapy where you will benefit from creativity joy pleasure and sharing.
Trauma, Grief & Loss Reconsolidation: Living with trauma and effectively mourning losses is tricky due to the unexpected persistence of complicated memories. My work on memory reconsolidation suggests that people can learn to forget what they need to and remember what they want to. This continuing bond is greatly facilitated by the arts psychotherapy. My research has shown positive trends in reducing trauma and grief related symptoms specifically depression and anxiety.
Obesity and Weightism: I help people reduce and control their weight as well as mindfully explore the vicious cycle of overeating and stress. A survivor of obesity myself I will tailor my approach to your needs and what works for you. Our work will compliment the work that you will do with your medical or nutritionist provider,
Chronic Pain Work: Shame, invisibility, lack of trust are some related pain problems. In 2019 I received the prestigious Rawley Silver Research Award for my art-based pain research which has showed reductions in such related problems as well as some ease in pain symptoms.
Mindfulness Self-Compassion for Fear Anxiety and Depression Reduction
and Increase in Acceptance and Self-Growth: I find that for short term and sometimes for the long term unresolvable problems such as the pandemic this might be most helpful in these instances. This radical compassion approach integrates both acceptance of fear and action while at the same time I will encourage you to open and close to experiences thus always protecting yourself from further damage. As part of this approach, you will learn brief meditation practices.
I hope that you and your family will find some comfort and safety during the complete and utter of chaos of our times.
For consultation, training and supervision please contact me.