Why I Became A Therapist and Couples Counselor

I am a therapist and couples counselor because ....

 I love watching people discover they are so  much more amazing, resilient, and wonderful than they often ever knew.

I love witnessing my clients learn what  honors and feeds their highest well-being.

I love watching clients discover that their feelings of depression, shame,  anxiety, grief and loss, fear, or loneliness are not the hopeless swamps they can feel like at their worst. As clients turn towards themselves with more compassion, dedication, and commitment to healing and growth, new possibilties often  emerge and unfurl.

I love watching people realize they don’t have to keep being the person they have become and making the same choices if they don’t wish to any longer.

I love watching them turn longings into realities, and if they aren’t happy with the quality of their relationships with others, then rolling up their sleeves and working together to turn this around.

I love working with people from all walks of life, backgrounds, cultures, ages, sexual orientations, political persuasions, religions, and histories. My youngest client I ever worked with was 5 years old, and my oldest client - so far- is 92.

If you feel called and want to do your work, I want to work with you.

My Educational Background and Training

I am both a Licensed Professional Counselor in Oregon and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in California. My private practice is located in Portland, Oregon and I also am available to work with clients on a limited basis in Los Angeles, CA. I also work with clients via telephone and Skype who live elsewhere who are coming to work with me specifically due to my training with Terry Real. 

To obtain my license, I had to complete 3,000 supervised hours of counseling clients and attend many trainings.

I received my Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy in 2003 from Antioch University. During and after graduate school, I trained intensively at The Maple Counseling Center in Los Angeles, CA, The Southern California Counseling Center, LifeWorks Northwest, and Morrison Child and Family Services. I’ve led women’s groups, including those for trauma/abuse survivors.

After graduate school, in addition to my specialties working with adults struggling with depression and anxiety, I discovered a second love: working with couples in crisis. In the past  four years, I have trained intensively and in person with two of the top couples therapists in the nation- Terry Real and John Gottman.  I am now a Certified Relational Life Therapist through Terry Real’s Relational Life Institute in Boston, MA and an Advanced Trained Gottman Method Couples Counselor through Seattle’s Gottman Institute. My greatest mentor has been Terry Real, and I use his work almost daily to create profound growh in my clients, Together, I have accumulated thousands of hours in both direct counseling time and trainings in cutting edge approaches and treatment to help even the most estranged couple.

Before becoming a therapist, I was a teacher and a former Peace Corps Volunteer. I’m also a writer, artist, avid reader, world traveler, and public speaker on a wide variety of issues related to my work. 

About My Approach

 There are always very good reasons why people are suffering and struggling. As we untangle these reasons and get in touch with our underlying histories, feelings, unmet needs, thought patterns, and life experiences, it is rare for people to not begin shifting in different areas of their life as they connect or reconnect to themselves more deeply, try new things, and only when they feel ready, resituate themselves where the sunlight can reach them more easily and consistently. I view depression and any other challenge people have as an invitation, a symptom, and often, a blessing in disguise because it tells us that something is hurting and not right. If we honor and listen to what pains us instead of continuing to ignore, stuff it down, criticize ourselves for not feeling better, or wish it away, we find that our best days can still lie ahead of us. I feel very privileged to have people trust me with their innermost feelings and needs.


This is why I love my job.


Thank you for visiting, and please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. I am happy to make the time to talk with you!