Succulent

Areas of Expertise

Parental Identity Discovery™

DNA discoveries are surprise revelations, often from commercial DNA tests, that you have falsified or misattributed parentage, and can come from learning you are donor conceived, late discovery adoptee or a non-paternal event (NPE), now referred to as misattributed parentage (MPE). After my own MPE discovery in 2014, I pioneered the only mental health treatment protocol dedicated to DNA surprises, called Parental Identity Discovery; a unique, holistic approach to resolve trauma, synthesize identity and adjust to family dynamics.

I moderate an on-going, virtual, worldwide NPE support group via Zoom, third Mondays, monthly - 7:00pm-8:30pm PST

EMDR

I have extensive experience with EMDR, having trained under founder, Francine Shapiro.  I utilize this efficient and effective treatment to address traumas of all sorts, core beliefs resulting in stuck behavior and have cultural competence with first responder communities.

Adult ADHD

I structure ADHD counseling as a two pronged approach: first, resolve poor self-esteem and core beliefs therapeutically, addressing emotional pain usually stemming from family of origin relationships; and second, shift focus to a coaching format in support of cognitive-behavioral tools for better daily functioning.  The result is accountability and well-adjustment.

My Approach

I favor cognitive-behavioral interventions due to their practical and empirical nature - common sense tools we already know but often misperceive their accessibility. I engage in a strict application of ethics and strive to make the therapeutic relationship engaging by focusing on rapport using humor and empathy.

Throughout my training, I was drawn to family systems models and use genograms (family maps) to learn about a client’s family of origin patterns.  I had no idea that this training was setting me up for the work I would later come to pioneer as Parental Identity Discovery™.  In fact, one of the very founders of family system’s work, Erik Erikson, was influenced by his DNA story from falsified parentage – an affair.

In 2001 I received a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology from Dominican University of CA, and in 2004 obtained licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist and later Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, opening offices in Marin and Napa counties.

 

I embarked on a doctoral program at Touro University Worldwide in 2020 and expect to receive a PsyD in Human & Organizational Psychology in 2022.

 

I currently serve as an Adjunct Professor at Dominican University of CA, Counseling Psychology graduate program.

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