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 (DCP), late discovery adoptee (LDA) or a non-paternal event (NPE), collectively referred to as misattributed parentage experiences (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 am also licensed in New York State for MPE Telehealth.
In addition to individual or family sessions, I moderate an on-going, virtual, worldwide MPE support group via Zoom, every third Monday, monthly - 5:00pm - 6:30pm Pacific Standard Time
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.
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.
I favor an integrative approach combining elements of cognitive-behavioral, attachment, family systems, narrative, and solution-focused theories, combining deep psychological work with practical interventions based on evidence-based practice. I am an ally to clients coming as they are, inclusive of all demographics, cultures, races/ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, genders, etc., to prioritize an engaging therapeutic relationship by focusing on rapport using humor and empathy.
Throughout my training, I was drawn to family systems models in particular and used 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 modern psychotherapy, Erik Erikson, was influenced by his DNA story from falsified parentage – an affair.
I received a Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology from Dominican University of CA in 2001 and a PsyD in Human & Organizational Psychology from Touro University Worldwide in 2023. I also serve as a full-time Assistant Professor in the Counseling Psychology graduate program at Dominican University of CA. I hold reciprocal licensure in the states of New York and Florida and currently pursuing Massachusetts.
Why choose me over the new boutique therapy agencies like BetterHelp or Talkspace? These new agencies provide low-cost services which have a place, but to do so requires therapists to see 40+ clients to make a living wage at the reduced fees they pay clinicians. This is an undue burden on clinicians who are asked to provide short sessions deemed unethical and unworkable since nothing substantive can be accomplished in 15 minutes by text, a common format for these companies' counseling. With a private practitioner you are getting an experienced, skilled clinician who manages their own caseload in order to provide you with the quality of ethical service we were trained for.