My theoretical approaches to psychotherapy are grounded in cognitive behavioral treatment, family systems, harm reduction, and are viewed through a lens of human development. I use a variety of techniques in therapy and will try to find what will work best for you. These techniques may include EMDR, cognitive reframing, training in mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotional regulation, awareness exercises, self-monitoring, behavioral analysis, journal-keeping, and reading books. If I propose a specific technique that may have special risks attached, I will inform you of that, and discuss with you the risks and benefits of what I am suggesting.
After a thorough evaluation I will work with you to develop a treatment plan which addresses your specific needs and goals. I am flexible and creative and strive to provide a supportive and collaborative therapeutic environment. As a therapist I have worked with all sorts of people, from homeless and incarcerated youth to Seattle IT professionals. I am down to earth and straight forward. I particularly enjoy working with adolescents because they demand a therapist who takes them seriously and approaches them with honesty. All my clients have strengths which I encourage and challenges which I help them to identify and overcome. I am sensitive to issues of gender, sexuality, and economic advantage and disadvantage. I am particularly interested in how culture and ethnicity affects our lives and experience in this world. Change does come from within, but it is important to understand how the context of society and history make individual change difficult.
I grew up on the East Coast and graduated from Wesleyan University with honors in History. In 1994, I received a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Connecticut. I moved to Washington State in 1991 where I completed a pre-doctoral fellowship at the University of Washington and a post-doctoral fellowship in adolescent psychology at Children’s Hospital in Seattle. I am a licensed psychologist (#2036) in the State of Washington.
In addition to my psychotherapy practice, I am an adjunct professor at the UW Department of Psychology, supervising clinical psychology graduate students. Through the non-profit Human Rights Clinic, I provide pro bono mental health evaluations to people seeking political asylum. I balance my professional life with lots of outdoor activities and travel with my amazing family. I enjoy cooking Sichuan food and reading novels. During the school year of 2008/2009 our family took a sabbatical in Chengdu, China, where I volunteered in the resettlement camps for survivors of the 2008 earthquake. I returned to my Seattle practice with a renewed perspective that now informs the work I love so much.