Education, experience, background, and beliefs.

ABOUT

Introduction

Overview of my approach to therapy

Areas of clinical expertise. 

 

Introduction 

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When all these parts of you are welcomed, seen, and appreciated, it frees you up to be your most authentic self in our work together.

A Welcoming Experience

I am a queer and trans therapist committed to providing trauma-informed care.  I work with the frameworks of neurodiversity, fat liberation, HAES (Health at Every size), and disability justice.  Many of my clients come to me because they need a provider who is LGBTQIA-affirming, kink and polyamory aware, and sex worker-friendly. 

If you’re a member of any of these communities, you know how challenging it can be to find a therapist who truly “gets it”. I offer an environment where all of these parts of you can be welcomed, seen, and appreciated. This frees you up to be your most authentic self in our work together, and for us to focus on what matters most to you in therapy. 
 

Approach

Therapy isn't one-size-fits-all

My role as a therapist is to collaborate with you. I bring my skills and experience, but you are the expert on your own life. I believe in your strength and resilience and I'm here to help you reach your goals. 
 
Maybe your goal is to make sense of traumatic experiences, to build more connection in your life, to explore your own identity, to understand yourself better, or simply to get through the hard times in one piece. Whatever your focus is, I'm here and ready to work beside you on this journey. 
 
I know therapy isn’t a one-size-fits-all experience. I incorporate a variety of therapeutic approaches tailored to each client.  I use strengths-based, person-centered frameworks and often draw from somatic modalities, internal family systems, CBT, DBT, and more. 

An eclectic approach

More information coming soon. 

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I bring my skills and experience, but you are the expert on your own life. I believe in your strength and resilience and I'm here to help you reach your goals. 

About Me

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Therapy is most effective when we acknowledge and work with the realities of social injustice, instead of pretending that everything can be fixed with individual reflection.

Education

I began my education in Critical Race, Gender, and Sexuality studies at Mills College in Oakland, CA. I loved what I was learning, but I wanted to take that knowledge out of the inaccessible world of academia and apply it to a career where I could be of service to others directly.

 

After leaving Mills, I turned my attention towards completing a bachelor’s degree in Social Work at CSU Los Angeles. Following that, I graduated with my master’s degree in Social Work from CSU Long Beach in 2018.

There are many educational paths to becoming a therapist including degrees in counseling, marriage & family therapy, psychology, and more.  I chose a social work path because I believe that social systems have a huge impact on our lives.  I find therapy is most effective when we actually acknowledge and work with the realities of social injustice, instead of pretending that everything can be fixed with individual reflection and growth.  

Career

Prior to becoming a therapist, I worked in youth-focused community programs between 2005-2015. I had the chance to work with several LGBTQIA+ arts-based initiatives where we created space for collective healing, peer support, and mentorship. While in school, I worked as a Social Justice Peer Educator and provided workshops and individual mentorship related to queer and trans rights, disability justice, white privilege, fat liberation, and more. 

I began my career as a therapist in 2017. I have been lucky to intern and work in a variety of settings where I received training in different therapeutic approaches. In addition to the time I've spent in private practice, I've also worked in middle schools, field-based community mental health, and acute inpatient services. I have been a registered associate clinical social worker since 2018.  

Today I am lucky to work one-on-one with clients from marginalized communities, many of whom have struggled to find therapists who are culturally attuned or who share their worldview.  It's an absolute joy to get to be of service to so many people from my disabled, neurodiverse, fat-positive, poly, and LGBTQIA+ communities. 

 
 
 

Who I am

I am a Long Beach-based therapist, educator, and artist. My work is informed not only by my clinical education, but also by my lived experience and community knowledge.  I am proud to be a therapist who is disabled, fat, neurodivergent, queer and trans. 

 

In my free time, I paint, make music, and swim in the ocean. You can usually find me in the middle of a DIY project or playing with my two rescue cats (Myra and Thistle) who are fond of making guest appearances in online therapy sessions.

My beliefs

Some people believe therapists should always be a blank slate.  I think there can be value in knowing where your therapist stands on issues that are important to you. I share these things not because I need my clients to agree with me, but because I know how hard it can be to find a therapist who shares your beliefs.  

I believe that we all deserve bodily autonomy and unconditional access to healthcare, shelter, education, and social services.  I believe that black lives matter, that white privilege is very real, and that borders should not separate families. I believe in the abolition of prisons, immigration detention, police, and carceral mental health systems. I believe in the many creative alternatives that abolitionists have implemented to uplift communities and reduce violence. 

 

I believe that our worth should not be defined by our ability to be productive in capitalism. I believe that disabled lives are valuable and that universal design benefits us all. I believe in harm reduction approaches for drug users. I believe that sex workers deserve autonomy and self-determination.  I believe that trans youth are perfectly capable of knowing themselves and making choices about their own bodies. I believe that gender and sexuality are complex personal experiences that can't be summed up by dominant narratives.

 

I believe that weight is an ineffective way to measure health, that intentional weight loss is a high-risk activity, and that health is not a moral imperative that we owe to others. I believe that fat people are beautiful, important, and resilient. I believe that neurodivergent voices are valuable and should be at the center of conversations about autism, ADHD, and more. 

 

I believe that the DSM is a way of categorizing human experiences that is deeply limited and flawed. I believe that many of the things that we call mental illness can also be understood as manifestations of complex trauma. I also believe that diagnoses can be incredibly useful for people as a tool for finding community, resources, and self-understanding. I believe self-diagnosis is meaningful.

If you have questions or concerns about any of these beliefs and want to have a conversation, I'm an open book and life-long learner.

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I believe that we all deserve bodily autonomy and unconditional access to healthcare, shelter, education, and social services.

Specializations

I specialize in working with several marginalized groups including people who are: LGBTQIA+, disabled, fat, chronically ill, polyamorous, kink practitioners, engaged in sex work, and/or neurodivergent.  I also work with several social frameworks including: Health at Every Size, fat liberation, disability justice, and neurodiversity.