What attracts me to this profession is helping others sort out the complexities of life. It isn’t as easy as we would like. We are presented with tough choices on how to get along with others, what profession and relationships to pursue, and what’s next at home, school, work or with loved ones. Sometimes the conflict and the uncertainty leave us feeling stuck or dissatisfied, frightened to take a next step for fear of failure or the unknown. I understand. I’ve been there and want to help. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, past trauma, relationship conflict, stress, low self-esteem, or just being different from the pack, you are not alone.
Even the strongest people need support managing life stages, transitions, and unforeseen events. Who we were may no longer support what we want and are becoming. We might need help, but it can be hard to let others in if you’re feeling overwhelmed, defeated, or misunderstood. And who wants to be given answers you didn’t ask for, and don’t suit you.
I strive to be someone who sees more of the “whole” of your situation, someone with whom you can safely experience emotions and insights, integrating growth without abandoning the parts of you that work. My first job is to help you feel safe, understood, and supported. Clients often thank me for having a warm smile and being open and easy to talk to. As rapport grows, I believe you will gain trust and see things newly, having learned or practiced skills that support you getting what you want.
Perhaps from my years of lawyering, I believe that life is negotiable. We will work the many assets you already have to create the life you want and enrich the life you have. I am trained to listen for your strengths, resources and resilience. I provide you coping skills and mindful tools to maintain clarity in ambiguous situations. I work in an integral way, pulling the best from your resources and mine. My years of professional experience have given me a well-designed tool kit, with different tools supporting different treatment goals. These may include cognitive-behavioral, dialectical behavioral, and trauma-informed approaches (such as Trauma Incidence Reduction), Gottman Method for couples therapy, imaginal and psychosensory techniques, mindfulness and expressive writing/journaling. I work with the mind, body and spiritual dimensions of the healing process and utilize solution-focused approaches.
My Work and Work with Others
Being a therapist is a second career for me. I benefited from therapy throughout 25 years in the workforce – first, when my parents divorced and I found myself struggling with my own capacity to find intimacy in relationship; again, after a relationship breakup that uncovered layers of broken dreams I had not faced; and finally, when I explored the exciting, but frightening prospect, of recreating my career after 25 years of lawyering. At each stage, therapy helped me sort out what mattered most to me. I found I did not have to give things up, so much as learn to integrate.
Since becoming a therapist, I have helped many trauma and abuse survivors. Clients tell me our work together leaves them feeling confident in making choices for themselves. They leave feeling encouraged to seek what is most important to them in personal and professional relationships. They reclaim power in their lives and embrace their unique self, exploring opportunities for change they were hesitant to explore in the past.
As an integral therapist, I work with teens (over the age of 15), adults, and couples to achieve positive outcomes and to facilitate healing from traumatic and destructive behaviors.
Adults: I offer men and women, many professionals or stressed care providers, tools and resources to solve problems and heal. We evaluate patterns in resolving the difficulties of life. Sometimes old habits require fresh approaches for new circumstances and solutions. I believe in proactively dealing with the issues you identify as priorities, while we track your goals and progress.
Teens: I give teens the mirroring, listening and holding they need to individuate from their parents and friends in healthy ways, enabling them to achieve positive outcomes with accountability and choice. I am not afraid to tell them how I see it, while encouraging their own curiosity into decision-making. We also work on communication and relational skills that last a lifetime.
Couples: I am trained in the Gottman Method for couples and relationships, and bring other systemic assessment tools to the table. I help couples settle down long enough to learn tools to work through relationship obstacles. I help them turn their attention to shared goals and dreams, which often diminishes the charge of conflicts that naturally arise between independent beings. Whether couples unite or split, it is never too late to adopt shared values and eliminate communication killers, enabling individuals with more freedom in finding workable solutions.
Relationships: Ruptured relationships with parents, authority figures, siblings and colleagues impact our everyday lives in the here and now. Compassionately, we bring traumas and conflicts into full view, allowing you to recast problems as opportunities for action. I also focus upon workplace wellness, providing corporate and organizational trainings to educate groups and work environments about mental health challenges and solutions.
I joined the field of psychotherapy after a challenging and successful career in law, where I focused on litigation, particularly corporate governance, real estate and financial matters. I obtained an AV Preeminent rating of professional excellence by Martindale Hubbell Legal Directory and did my best to serve. I worked hard under competitive circumstances and have a special interest in working with attorneys and other professionals facing career dissatisfaction, burnout/fatigue, or work and life balance issues.
In litigation, we work with the many parts that make up the whole of a story; change in any one part, however small, can alter a case outcome. In therapy, we also work with the parts and the whole, reframing and acting upon them in ways that better serve what you want. Even while I practiced law, I nurtured my soul through community service and my own personal growth and development work. I understand busy professionals and the need for self-care to stay healthy and focused. I also bring more than 15 years of training and development with Landmark Worldwide and participation in Being a Leader with Werner Erhard. These courses provide experiential, on the court training to deal with living an invented life.
I obtained my undergraduate degree in journalism from Loyola University in New Orleans, LA. I wrote life and times stories for the school newspaper. Expressive writing and journaling are now a focus of mine. I have steadily maintained a journal for more than 20 years and utilize expressive writing in session and in workshops entitled Write to Be.I attended law school in Gainesville Florida, at the University of Florida, Levin College of Law. There, I also served as an Associate Editor of the Law Review and was awarded the Myrna Brick service award.
I currently maintain membership in both the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapists and the Florida Bar Association. I also participate in the IASWG, the Florida Society for Group Work and the Jungian Association of South Florida. I have undertaken numerous trainings in Jungian dream work and archetypes, Trauma Incidence Reduction, DBT skills, psychodrama and group work. I see learning as a lifelong process. I am passionate about work, but also about play. I love art, music, puppets, charades, and expressive therapeutic techniques including psychodrama. When life feels out of sync, I use mindful practices such as yoga and journaling to reconnect.
Why Work with Me
One of the most important factors for a successful therapeutic outcome is the relationship between the client and therapist. My objective is not to give you an answer, but rather to give you an experience of yourself as a change catalyst. Our work together will foster the type of trust and honesty where new, natural solutions emerge. Our work will be dynamic, with each of us growing in the process. With so much potential in life, why settle for dissatisfaction. Allow me to help you catalyze change, with safe, supportive guidance. Call, text or email me to get started.
Masters Degree, Integral Clinical Counseling: California Institute of Integral Studies (2018)
License No: Marriage and Family Therapist Intern, IMT3028, Florida
Supervisor Name: Vivina Elgueta, MH9144, Florida
Degree: Juris Doctorate, University of Florida (1989)