I named my practice Garden Heart Counseling and Healing Arts because I believe in the healing power of creativity and the natural world.
I grew up in Hayward California at a time when Hayward was still relatively rural. I am deeply grateful for the opportunities I had as a child to explore the woods, play in the creeks and run through the grassy fields on my Welsch pony, Mr. Ed.
My father was traumatized, first in his childhood and then from serving in battle and losing his leg in World War II. He turned to alcohol to try to cope. My mother had her own traumatic background and was deeply codependent. Being able to escape from the chaos and unpredictability of my family to the tranquil beauty of the hills above our home was literally a life saver for me.
I found comfort in the sun and the flowers, freedom in the wind, and gained strength from the towering Sycamore, Oak and Eucalyptus trees. I learned about patience, faith and the miracle of life by watching the fat, furry black caterpillars, who gathered on the old splintered bridge in front of our house, spin themselves into a chrysalis and then emerge only days later completely transformed as colorful winged creatures.
When escape to the great outdoors wasn’t an option, drawing and painting, crafting and creating, gave me a place to focus my feelings and a way to calm my mind and body.
My life as a therapist is a second career for me. My first career was in architecture. My love of the natural world and of art and creativity became a love of design and I went to UC Berkeley and got my BA in Architecture in the College of Environmental Design.
In my mid-20’s I experienced a traumatic event that turned my world upside down and altered my path forever. It caused me to question all of my values and priorities.
I embarked on a healing quest that led me to participating in social justice community theater where I wrote and performed original theater pieces exploring personal issues that were also universal.
From here I learned about the field of drama therapy--a combination of theater and psychotherapy that uses theater processes and products with the goal of personal and collective healing.
I went to graduate school at The California Institute of Integral Studies and in 2001 received my Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Drama Therapy.
I have had the opportunity and the pleasure since that time to work in many different settings with diverse clients with a wide range of issues. It is always an honor to accompany people on their healing paths.
There have been many healing forces in my life:
nature and plants, gardening, connection to animals (wild and domestic), my own work in therapy, theater, painting, poetry (reading and writing), Buddhist thought and mindfulness practices, spiritual literature and practices, 12-step work, and the love of my family, friends and communities. All of these have informed who I am and the healing work I do with clients.
If you are interested in exploring how we can work together,
call or email to schedule a free phone consultation
"When I stand before thee at the day's end, thou shalt see my scars and know that I had my wounds and also my healing."