Unique life experiences lead different therapists to care about, train in, and work in different aspects of mental health. For example, some therapists focus exclusively on the issues of couples, families, and children. Some specialize in school counseling, career counseling or rehabilitation counseling for clients returning to work. I have chosen to work in the field of trauma therapy. I am drawn to work with adult clients who, as children or teens, were neglected, invalidated or abused, by their own parents, step parents or foster parents. I have tremendous compassion and empathy for these individuals because their adverse childhood experiences have locked them into a daily struggle to feel normal, find peace, accept themselves, and risk reaching out to others for friendship or love. They suffer terribly because they see themselves through the eyes of those who harmed them and experience themselves as inadequate, worthless or unlovable. Many of these individuals unconsciously use substances, verbal self-attacks, physical self-harm or dissociation to numb their chronic emotional pain.
Since obtaining my Master's Degree with honors in Mental Health Counseling I have trained in a variety of techniques to assist adult clients whose identities and ways of living were molded by childhood trauma. These include EMDR, brainspotting, Compassionate Inquiry, hypnosis, meditation, mindfulness, and guided relaxation. During my post-graduate internships I have applied these techniques to treat trauma manifestations as diverse as anxiety, depression, PTSD, addictions, panic disorder, and phobias.
Currently I am pre-licensed as a professional clinical counselor because I am still accumulating the 3,000 hours of counseling experience required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences for my license. I have a bit over 2,800 hours already and expect to obtain my full professional license early next year. Currently I work under the direct supervision of clinical psychologist Leona Kashersky, PsyD, owner of Healing Pathways Psychological Services, Inc. of Sacramento. This enables me to meet with Dr. Kashersky twice a week to review and discuss my treatment of clients and receive her astute guidance and feedback.
Prior to attending graduate school to obtain a Master's of Science in Mental Health Counseling I had my own law practice as a plaintiff's lawyer for injured individuals for 25 years in San Francisco initially and later in Oakland. Multiple factors led me to make a mid-life career change including my growing interest in mental health. As a lawyer all the cases I handled focused to some extent on the client's emotional distress in response to the trauma of the incident, her bodily injuries, chronic pain, and physical disabilities. I often worked directly with consultants and expert witnesses in such fields as psychology, neuropsychology, and psychiatry.
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