Westlake marriage counselor, child counselor, couples counselor and adolescent counselor

My personal philosophy of psychotherapy is that I am a fellow traveler who accompanies my clients as they take their inner journey toward recovery and growth. Along the way, I offer support, respect, information and various modalities for facilitation of client awareness and self-discovery.

When working with couples, I facilitate their awareness of effective communication, conflict resolution, fair fight techniques, and empathetic listening. Transference of family of origin issues are explored so that couples can become healing agents for each other.

As a play therapist, I offer children an opportunity to express their emotions through the use of: art materials, sand tray with figurines, puppets, games, clay and metaphorical story telling. From the ages of two through 12, children are able to more fully express their feelings and heal their problems through the manipulation of materials than through traditional talk therapy. By observing play themes such as good guy vs. bad buy, dominance/submission, protecting, destroying, rescue, nurturance, etc., I am able to enter into a child’s world and understand the situation which may feel unmanageable to the child. I also involve parents by training them to understand metaphoric play themes and helping them to engage in therapeutic play interactions with their child. From the empowerment gained in resolving problems through play therapy, children leave their sessions noticeably lighter and happier than when they arrived. I also train and supervise therapists in play therapy techniques.

Adolescence is a stressful time of change for parents and teens. Adolescents often need a safe place to voice their struggles and learn about themselves. By age 12, most children no longer need play therapy. They are developing a capacity for abstract thinking and are developmentally able to use cognitive discussion for resolution of their issues. When I see an adolescent, I usually find the issues are about self-identity, self-esteem, motivation, individuation/separations, sexual identity, morality standards, relating to the opposite sex, belonging to a peer group and peer pressure.

-CAMFT Therapist Supervisor training 2001
-Registered Play Therapy Supervisor 2000
-EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization
Reprocessing) Certification 1996
-Marriage, Family Therapist license 1985
-Registered Play Therapist 1990
-State Certification in Hypnosis 1990
-Certification in S.T.E.P. (Systematic
Training in Effective Parenting) 1986
– Art Therapy Training 1983
-School Psychologist Training 1981=1992
-Gestalt Therapy Institute Training 1978-1981
-Standard Teaching Credential 1977
-Learning Handicapped Credential 1974

Systematic Training in Effective Parenting classes

This six hour workshop provides parents an opportunity to explore practical aspects of parenting:

-Keeping the communication channels open
-Preventing power struggles
-Setting limits
-Developing appropriate discipline tactics
-Understanding the themes of your child’s play
For information on upcoming workshops, send inquiries to e-mail: [email protected]

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