My Background


Psychology Practice
Since receiving my psychology license in 1997, I’ve worked with families, couples and individuals, first in California, and now in Portland, Maine. I like to be active and collaborative with clients in addressing problems. I maintain a sense of hopefulness about the possibility of change.

B.A. in English from the University of Michigan—1984

B.A. in psychology from the University of Washington—1990

Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology in Alameda, CA (now located in San Francisco)—1995

On my first session as a therapist, I met with a family. Family and couples therapy remained a strong focus of my training for years, starting with my first practicum in 1991 at Xanthos in Alameda, Ca. I then trained from 1992-1993 at the Center for Special Problems in San Francisco, which emphasized group therapy with men who engaged in physical and sexual violence, and individual work with incest survivors and transgendered persons in various stages of transition. From 1993-1994 I returned to an emphasis on family work, holding an internship at the Family Therapy Clinic of California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. Between 1994 and 1996 I trained at Redwood Psychology Associates in Berkeley, CA, which emphasized a systemic approach.

From 1995-1997, I held a postdoctoral position at the Mental Research Institute (MRI) in Palo Alto, CA, one of the founding sites of family therapy. MRI was my professional home for six years. I served from 1997-1998 as director of MRI’s Residency Program, which offered training opportunities to visitors from the U.S. and around the world. From 1998-1999 I was MRI’s Director of Training.  From 1999-2001 I worked in MRI’s OllinQi Center for the Exploration of Alternatives, Changes and Solutions, and co-organized the 2000 conference, Stories of Hope: Responding to Violence Through a Multicultural Lens.

At MRI I began training intensively in Narrative Therapy, drawn to its emphasis on transparency, its story metaphor, and its explicit negotiation of power in therapy. I participated in MRI’s eight-month Narrative Therapy Externship, taught by Vicki Dickerson, Jeff Zimmerman and John Neal. I also saw clients through the MRI Clinic, which emphasized a Narrative approach, including the use of reflecting teams. In 2001 I traveled to Adelaide, South Australia for a two-week intensive training with Michael White, who co-founded Narrative Therapy with David Epston. Throughout the years I’ve attended workshops with David Epston whenever I can, deeply influenced by his exquisite attention to language, passion for respectful inquiry, and continued reinvention of Narrative Therapy practices.

In Spring 2014 I published “Negotiating Power Relations on the Threshold of Supervision” in the Journal of Systemic Therapies—the article explored ways to address power in teaching and practicing supervision. In 2011 I co-authored an article for Family Process on the use of reflecting teams in therapy, titled “A Fugue in Four Voices: Sounding Themes and Variations on the Reflecting Team.” In 1997 I published an article in the Journal of Systemic Therapies titled “Voices of Experience: Inviting Former Clients to Rejoin the Therapy Process as Consultants.” In an earlier stage of my life I worked as a newspaper reporter and freelance writer.

I taught in several San Francisco Bay Area graduate schools from 2003-2009 before I moved to Maine. My courses included Family Systems, Narrative Therapy, and “Learning How to do Supervision.” I also co-taught in a postgraduate family therapy training program focused on culturally informed, post-modern approaches to family therapy.

Starting in 2001, I began supervising in a number of settings including the Psychological Services Center in Oakland, CA; the Family Institute of Pinole, CA; and the Alternative Family Institute in San Francisco. I’ve also provided “live” supervision using one-way mirrors at several locations, including Argosy University.

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