“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain”
— Dolly Parton
Each person begins therapy for different reasons, and in those differences I seek to understand your unique qualities and experiences. Together we explore who you are and how certain behaviors, beliefs and responses have led you to therapy. We work towards developing insight, gaining awareness, and utilizing tools to create lasting psychological change. I believe that change is built from a foundation of compassionate noticing and finding intrinsic motivation. Importantly, much of that understanding must come from a place of exploring relational, biological, socio-cultural aspects. It is my goal to get to know you so that you can get to know yourself–to better understand your thoughts, feelings, needs, conscious and unconscious beliefs/narratives, and relationship dynamics. Together we use that information to get to the action – the behavior change, the communication tools, the stress management techniques, and the improved relationships.
“Genuine love is rarely an emotional space where needs are instantly gratified. To know love we have to invest time and commitment…’dreaming that love will save us, solve all our problems or provide a steady state of bliss or security only keeps us stuck in wishful fantasy, undermining the real power of the love — which is to transform us.’”
— bell hooks
Seeking connection is an innate part of the human experience–we long for it–and when that feels threatened, conflict often ensues. Based on early relationship development, we each learn different strategies to feel connected and safe; however, sometimes those strategies can be misaligned or stop working. We often get lost in cycles of conflict– making assumptions, projecting, becoming defensive or self-protective, and subsequently participate in dysfunctional communication patterns. In couples therapy, we work to unpack these nuances and create greater awareness around your individual contribution to these particular cycles of conflict. We seek to practice empathy and understanding for each other’s needs and build effective communication and connection that feels approachable and safe. I assist couples in developing a secure relationship that thrives on play, trust, resilience, and a knowingness that each person can be both dependent and independent and still feel “okay.”
“The longer I live, the more deeply I learn that love – whether we call it friendship or family or romance – is the work of mirroring and magnifying each other’s light.”
— James Baldwin
I have a deep appreciation for complexity and the human experience. I am drawn to and inspired by each person’s unique makeup. I strive to help people deepen happiness through developing and supporting healthy relationships as well as helping to develop a more robust tolerance for lifes inevitable stressors.
I received my Masters degree in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Somatics from California Institute of Integral Studies and hold a BA in Psychology from The University of New Mexico.
“Healing is about taking the time to notice what gets in the way of feeling connected to your life, your community, and your sense of possibility. Healing, at its core, is about slowing down so that we can better listen, to ourselves and each other.”
— Susan Raffo
My approach to therapy starts with curiosity, play, and meeting you where you are at. I believe firstly, we are humans seeking to connect. My training prioritizes that knowledge–how we as humans connect and how those connections or disconnections impact many aspects of our lives, usually in the form of stress, trauma, or relationship issues.
My theoretical orientation comes from a somatic (or body-based) approach. I think of the body as an integral source of information which can help guide us to processing challenges, stress, trauma, and well-being. I am also psychodynamic or relationally trained – using the relationship between therapist and client to be the microcosm for outside relationships. I find tremendous influence from mindfulness, neuroscience, attachment theory, feminist and sociocultural theory. Together we explore your background and lived experiences – exploring how your race, ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual orientation, and familial/other significant relationships have influenced your state of being.
I believe healing develops from a place of self-compassion, acceptance and belonging, and a deeper understanding of self and other. As well as actual nervous system change which happens through learning emotional regulation techniques and effective communication tools. In my experience, the journey involves the integration of the fiercest parts of oneself; both darkness and light. I am deeply honored to do this work and look forward to an opportunity to work with you.
Successful therapy outcomes often result from having a good rapport with your therapist, so finding the right fit is important. Please reach out to schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation to ask questions, discuss your goals for therapy, learn more about my style and approach, get a sense of one another, and schedule an appointment. If we don’t feel like a good fit, I’m happy to provide alternative referrals.
You have a right to receive a “Good Faith Estimate” explaining how much your medical and mental health care will cost.
Under the law, healthcare providers need to give patients who don’t have insurance or who are not using insurance an estimate of the expected charges for medical services, including psychotherapy services.