therapist, author, speaker, wife, mom, feminist, entrepreneur, wine drinker, chocolate lover, french bulldog snuggler (not necessarily in that order)
I’m one of the lucky ones who knew at 15 what I wanted to be when I grew up. I had no idea how rich, meaningful, and varied my career as a psychologist could and would be. I got my PhD in clinical psychology from Boston University where I was fortunate to be mentored by remarkable people like Dr. David Barlow and Dr. Stefan Hoffman. It was there, at the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders, that my passion for treating anxiety using evidence based methods took root. I learned Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy from some of the best. After four years of New England winters, I returned to the place that had become my beloved home—”America’s Finest City,” San Diego, CA. I completed my internship and post-doctoral training at UCSD, became a staff psychologist at the San Diego VA, and hung my own shingle, starting a very small, part-time private practice—The Center for Stress and Anxiety Management (CSAM). Over the following years, I transitioned out of the VA and into a faculty position at Alliant International University where I could do more of the things I loved—teaching and mentoring—while also growing my practice. Eleven years later, CSAM is thriving with three locations across San Diego county and an incredible team of women that are the life blood of the clinic. Recently, I made the difficult but values-based decision to leave the university so that I could have more time to focus on my growing passion for writing. My new book, Be Mighty: A Woman’s Guide to Liberation from Anxiety, Worry, and Stress Using Mindfulness and Acceptance was born out of this change. When I’m not writing or counseling my fierce clients, I’m spending time with my amazing family, friends, and dogs, feeling grateful for this mighty life.