Both therapy and assessment require a lot of trust in the provider. Confidence in your provider should not be based solely on their academic, educational, or clinical accomplishments, although that can be a good place to start. Below is a summary of my training, education, and experience, as well as areas of expertise and specialization. A link to my full CV can be found here.
Licensure & Certification
- California Clinical Psychologist License: PSY26004 (state)
- Washington Clinical Psychologist License: PY61313565 (state)
- Board-Certified Child and Adolescent Psychologist (national)
- Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist (state)
- B.A. in Psychology, Biola University, Psychology (Child & Family Emphasis)
- M.A. in Clinical Psychology, Rosemead School of Psychology, Biola University
- Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, Rosemead School of Psychology, Biola University
Formal Clinical Training
- Pre-doctoral clinical internship: UC Davis Children’s Hospital: Child and Adolescent Abuse, Resource and Evaluation (CAARE) Center
- Post-doctoral fellowship: Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Areas of Expertise
- Infant and early childhood mental health
- Foster care and adoption* (special interest: transracial adoption)
- Child abuse and neglect
- Clinical assessment, including infant and toddler assessment
- Neuropsychological and psycho-educational evaluation of learning disorders
- Secondary traumatic stress/vicarious trauma in health and mental health care providers
General Theoretical Orientation
The term “theoretical orientation” is used to describe how mental health providers think about health and pathology, and what types of interventions they find the most useful. I have been trained both psychodynamically and behaviorally. As I have grown as a professional and a person, I find that neither of these approaches can fully address the challenges and needs of all people, particularly over the course of a lifespan.
As a result, it is easiest to understand my theoretical orientation as integrative, and marked by three primary values or beliefs:
Safety is essential for growth, and must be in place before any other work can be done. This includes physical, psychological, and relational safety, as well as safety from coercive institutions and systems.
Relationships have the power to restore. With children, it is my goal to help strengthen and deepen the parent-child relationship so that both members can feel secure and accepted. By teaching parents how to help their children regulate their affect and behavior and develop adaptively, I empower the parent to be the expert instead of me. This allows the child to continue to reap the benefits of a therapeutic relationship (now with a primary caregiver) long after they complete treatment. For adults, establishing a secure and warm relationship with a therapist where you can fully express and explore all aspects of yourself without judgment can be a corrective experience for many types of early challenges.
Empowerment is the antidote to the helplessness of trauma. A primary experience of trauma is helplessness. Chronic trauma often creates a pervasive sense of helplessness and loss of agency. Empowering clients to advocate for themselves, take steps to act in their best interest, and influence their environment can be very therapeutic.
A Note About Systemic Oppression
I am a white, cis-hetero female and as such have experienced and benefitted from significant privilege. I am actively engaged in anti-racist work within myself and within the broader community. It is my desire to hold space for the experiences of people who have been systemically oppressed and marginalized by white supremacy. It is also my desire to challenge white supremacy when it arises within myself or my clients. At times this can be uncomfortable and unpleasant. However, it is necessary in order to create safety for all people.
*I am a former foster parent and an adoptive parent. However, I believe the most overlooked voice in the adoptive triad is that of adoptees (followed closely by placing parents and birth families). I enjoy helping foster and adoptive parents attach to and successfully parent their adoptive children, but it is one of my core values to center the voice and needs of the adoptee. I am particularly interested in helping foster and adoptive families meet the cultural identity needs of their transracially adopted child.