Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Studio City, California
INDIVIDUAL THERAPY - Therapy can be helpful for a myriad of issues and concerns you may have. Whether it’s relationships, work stress, family problems, or loneliness, talking to someone can make a big difference in how you feel. Having support from a professional who can listen and help you find ways to stand up to life’s dissatisfactions, can lead you to make room for new ways of thinking. In individual therapy, we typically meet once a week at a regular time for a total of 50 minutes. Keeping consistent with weekly appointments is important to maintain progress. The length of time therapy can take will vary widely from client to client, and the types of issues that are being discussed. A longer time in therapy can usually be expected when issues stem from abuse or other trauma in childhood. The longer we wait to address something, the longer it has to set in and take hold. It is very important to find a therapist that you feel comfortable talking to, and to whom you can be honest about your most personal struggles. I recommend trying out a session with a couple of different therapists, if possible, and make sure you have found a good fit. I welcome and am open to both positive and negative feedback about your experience in therapy and how we can work more effectively together. My clients are culturally diverse and have a variety of concerns. In addition to talk therapy, it can sometimes be highly beneficial to incorporate a modality such as EMDR to work through issues in a deeper way.
EMDR AND ATTACHMENT FOCUSED EMDR - EMDR (or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) was developed in order to treat PTSD caused by specific traumatic events. It has proven to be very effective at treating the recurring symptoms of PTSD such as flashbacks, nightmares, and the avoidance of places and situations that bring up reminders of the original event.
EMDR has also evolved to treat more than just these specific traumas and is now used to treat relational or attachment traumas.
AF-EMDR stands for Attachment focused EMDR. This is the type of EMDR that I specialize in. We will work to create a strong therapeutic relationship and to develop EMDR targets that trace your current struggles back to their origins, which are often key developmental moments in early childhood or other significant life transitions. We will prepare to reprocess these moments by creating strong resources for you to feel bolstered and supported by when diving into these past experiences. Traumatic moments can vary in severity and degree. We often don’t think of ourselves as having had a trauma, but the definition of trauma has evolved to include anything trapped in the body that creates a recreation of specific thought patterns or beliefs about oneself. These patterns typically go back to a moment or series of events where we may have had a lack of control over our circumstances and things were not dealt with in an optimal way for our development. Moments like these can form underlying negative beliefs that persist into our adult lives and keep us from getting our needs met and feeling like our best selves. From an attachment perspective, current relational struggles often originate from parental relationships that were not supportive of our needs in some way, or were very abusive or neglectful, whether physically, sexually, or emotionally. Working through these past experiences using resourcing and AF-EMDR can be very healing and effective. It can feel scary to take the step to dive into this, but it is of utmost importance to me that we move at a pace that is comfortable for you, and that you do not undertake reprocessing until you feel ready. It is very hard to predict how long this type of therapy can take. It is typically much faster than standard talk therapy and in some cases can involve committing to longer sessions, but the uniqueness of each person’s situation makes each timeline individual.
I do have a particular interest and experience in the following areas:
Adult Survivors of Childhood Abuse
Parenting Support and Education
Immigrants and First Generation Young Adults
ADULT SURVIVORS OF CHILDHOOD ABUSE - Experiences of abuse in childhood vary from incest/sexual abuse, to physical abuse and neglect, or emotional abuse. Often it is the people that are closest to us, parents/siblings/trusted family members or adults, that can hurt us the most. This can be a difficult thing to reconcile. Many wonder if the abuse was their fault, and if there was something they could have done differently to change it. Some may feel guilty (often in the case of sexual abuse), that they may have actually enjoyed it. Sexual abuse can greatly impact our ability to form healthy intimate relationships. It can also cause us to question our sexuality, participate in risky/excessive sexual experiences, or withdraw from sexual pleasure altogether. In therapy it is important to forgive ourselves for that which we did not invite or have control over, and to separate and understand our part. As children, we are vulnerable to the power and control of adults, and we need to place the blame on those that hurt us, not ourselves. Eventually, we may come to forgive our abuser, or we may not (depending on the circumstances). Speaking about the abuse can be very difficult at first. Often, we have spent our whole life trying to pretend it did not happen or wasn’t affecting us. However, if you are here, you have probably realized that you haven’t been able to erase these experiences and they continue to impact your life. Talking to a trusted professional that you feel safe with can be a very healing experience.
PARENTING SUPPORT AND EDUCATION - Parenting is an adventure that can be both gratifying and incredibly challenging. Children can trigger our own childhood pain, and the journey of raising a child can cause us to question ourselves and our intentions. Sometimes we may find we have lost touch with our children and the kind of relationship we want to have with them. I help parents find confidence in navigating the parent/child relationship by learning to understand and set limits around difficult behavior, working through the childhood experiences that are getting in their way, and forgiving themselves for their mistakes in order to repair broken relationships with their children. My perspective is informed by various parenting philosophies including: RIE, Hand in Hand Parenting, and the work of Dan Siegel.
IMMIGRANTS AND FIRST GENERATION YOUNG ADULTS - The acceptance and celebration of diversity is very important to me. As the child of immigrants, I have firsthand experience with some of the challenges they may experience. My work with clients may incorporate exploration around the ways in which cultural difference impacts our lives, whether or not these differences are the source of the struggles we are working to overcome.
"The wound is the place where
THE LIGHT ENTERS YOU."