I was born in San Francisco, adopted when I was two months old, and raised in the Bay Area. I started playing music and singing when I very young and that continues. I loved nature and learned to care about the world and others from my grandmothers. Life as a psychotherapist emerged naturally. I started as a meditation practitioner, went on to study Buddhist psychology, and became engaged as a volunteer Buddhist chaplain in California prisons and in anti-violence programs. Before that, I had been a literature professor at Georgetown and later an attorney with the federal courts. I have a PhD in German Studies and an MA in counseling psychology, with academic training in Buddhist studies. I have worked with teens on meditation retreats at Spirit Rock and Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (iBme) and with inmates in mindfulness and anti-violence programs. The thread running through these various paths and engagements is the joy of meeting people nonjudgmentally where they are on their own path, attuning to them, and providing safety and trust for them to become more open and honest with themselves.
I have trained in mindfulness practices, Somatic Experiencing™, and Mentalization Based Treatment (MBT) for many years - practices which work together to help clients develop resilience, release trauma from the body, increase self-regulation, improve empathy, and and reduce the physical and emotional symptoms of anxiety and the feelings of shame. My mindfulness practice includes many months of intensive meditation on retreat and ongoing daily practice. Today, I continue to integrate practice with formal study in Buddhism and chaplaincy. What started as a hope for less stress became a way of life. Clinical training and counseling have focused on depth psychology and psychodynamic theories that support clients in enhancing their sense of self and, from this, finding greater resilience, flexibility, and creativity in their lives, as well as deeper connection and expression in their relationships.
It is an honor to be a part of this process for clients. My story continues and develops with each client and the unique relationship of growth and healing that develops together.
I live and practice in Berkeley, California, and see clients throughout California and Montana as a therapist and nationally as a mindfulness and somatic coach. I identify as a gay and cis male and see clients of any gender, sexual orientation, race, and ethnicity, political orientation or economic status, and those who are differently abled.
I also play the organ, love road biking and hiking.
I am a member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists and an associate member of the American Psychological Association.