Let’s start with something easy. Can you tell us a little about your professional background and areas of focus?
I’m originally from California and have a Bachelor’s of Arts (B.A.) in Anthropology from UCLA (Jun 2004) and a Master’s of Arts (M.A.) in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University Los Angeles (Sep 2008). I became a fully licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in October 2015, following therapy internships at San Francisco AIDS Foundation, Girls Inc. of Alameda County, Queer LifeSpace, Lincoln Families and St. Joseph Center. Since March 2018, I’ve maintained a LGBTQ-centered private practice and expanded virtual access to clients in four states.
How would you describe your approach to therapy?
My approach to therapy is “Psychodynamic-Existential Therapy”. This integrative therapy type examines the interplay between the various levels of consciousness: while awake, dreaming and in non-ordinary states. This approach considers how patterns created in the past are influencing what is happening now, seeking to deepen and develop inner wisdom. I also blend therapeutic techniques from cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical-behavioral therapy (DBT), play therapy, and structural family therapy into treatment.
What would your patients say about you?
My clients say that I have a “no-bullsh*t attitude”; I think because I’m authentically myself and unusually perceptive in sessions.
How did you become interested in working with psychedelics including ketamine?
While working in Venice Beach on an outreach team for chronically homeless clients, I noticed that some clients just didn’t seem to get better. I began looking into new treatments for chronic pain, substance use disorders, major depression and post-traumatic stress and was encouraged by research studies using psychedelics. Then I attended a Psychedelic Science conference in 2018 and emerged convinced that psychedelics would revolutionize the future of medicine.
What has been your most meaningful experience in working with psychedelics?
On a personal level, working with psychedelics is a connection to my father. He’s a retired nurse anesthetist who also loves psychedelic rock; his stories about transformative psychedelic experiences during the 1960’s definitely inspired my path towards working with psychedelic medicines.
What excites you most about the future of psychedelics?
In the future, psychedelics may actually ensure the survival of humanity by increasing the overall emotional intelligence of human beings.
Enough about work! Let’s try some rapid fire questions;
- First, Where do you live? - Spokane, WA.
- What's a perfect afternoon? - I really enjoy wandering around botanical gardens with a parasol.
- Favorite food? Pizza/Pasta - Crab legs.
- Describe yourself in two words. - Intuitive and approachable.