Mental Health Care for LGBTQ+ individuals, especially transgender individuals in California
I work with individuals struggling in their relationships with their partners, friends, family of origin and/or the family they have created. Often, uncertainty and conflict in relationships are accompanied by significant distress. In therapy, we explore not only your relationships with others but also how your relationships with others impact your relationship with yourself. I work from a psychodynamic and attachment based approach to understand the sometimes hidden patterns in your ways of relating, to explore your fears and hopes in relationships, and to help you cultivate a compassionate, loving, and accepting relationship with yourself and your loved ones.
I have worked with and for the LGB+, transgender, nonbinary, and gender variant communities for over a decade. My approach is first and foremost affirming. Every sexual orientation and every gender identity is natural, normal and valid. No matter how you identify on the spectrum of sexual orientation and gender identity, you have a right to safe, affirming, and informed mental health care. Therapy can focus on a variety of topics, depending on your needs. We may be clarifying your sexual orientation and gender identity. We may be discussing how to navigate your relationships in ways that feel right to you. We may explore how to find connection and community. We may collaborate on strategies to help you navigate your workplace or school. We may discuss how to access basic medical care, especially transition-related care. Related, I can provide mental health clearance letters for folks pursuing surgery. Throughout our work together, we will often identify the impact of homophobia, transphobia, and heterosexism on your daily life and psychological health. Finally, therapy can be a place to integrate your sexual orientation and gender identity into other parts of who you are so that you feel whole and grounded in all of the identities you carry.
Body Image | Chronic Dieting
I have extensive experience with body image issues and chronic dieting, from my work in both university counseling and with trans communities. Many body image issues are rooted in and perpetuated by a culture that promotes sizeism, which is deeply interwoven with patriarchy, homophobia, transmisogyny, and racism. The beliefs associated with these forces become lodged in our minds and have us at war with ourselves and our bodies. I work from a relational, feminist approach and emphasize a non-diet, self-attuned approach to eating and your body. Specifically, I use the Health At Every Size (HAES) approach, which values weight inclusivity, eating for well-being, respectful care, and addressing the impact of weight stigma on our psychological health.
Grief & Loss
So many of the individuals I see in psychotherapy are struggling with loss. You may be grieving the death of a loved one or the end of a relationship. You may need to grieve an identity you once held, an expectation you had of yourself or someone else, a job, or an imagined future. We are always in the process of letting go of someone, some place, some wish, or some part of ourselves. Therapy around loss focuses initially on providing empathic support to help you access and move through your grief. We may also explore the meaning of your loss and how this loss may be connected to other losses. You will learn to live alongside loss and find solid ground again. What is so beautiful about grief work is that you not only find relief from your suffering, but you also cultivate your own healthy and connected way through grief, which you can rely on when confronted with loss again in the future.