Training and Experience:
I am grateful to have discovered my calling early in life, and for the opportunities to build a strong foundation of academic and clinical training. I completed my B.S. at U.C. Berkeley with High Honors in 1981, and my Ph.D. at California School of Professional Psychology, L.A, in 1986. I had the privilege of training in a wide variety of clinical settings to understand the full spectrum of psychological functioning, mental illness and its treatment.
This included a full-time APA internship at Didi Hirsch Community Mental Health Center, working with family systems, crisis intervention, incest and sexual abuse. My dissertation was a study on self-esteem and family boundaries. After earning my Ph.D., I completed a two year postdoctoral fellowship at Reiss-Davis Child Study Center, specializing in psychoanalytic psychotherapy and psychological assessment. During that time I also worked as a psychological assistant in private practice in Beverly Hills, CA.
I started in the Bay Area as Staff Psychologist/Director of Training at Children's Hospital, S.F, AIRS program, where I provided patient care, supervision, and developed a psychoanalytic psychology internship program.
In 1989, I opened a practice in Walnut Creek, specializing in child, adolescent, adult and family diagnostics and psychotherapy. Thanks to the wonderful patients with whom I have had the privilege of working, and the confidence of referring physicians and peers, the practice has flourished for 25 years.
Currently, I serve as senior clinician and consultant to a Home Within, a non-profit agency that offers ongoing therapy to foster children. My work continues to evolve as personal and professional experience deepens my compassion, spirituality and understanding of life's challenges and how to overcome them.
Awards and Achievements:
I enjoyed serving a long term as President of the Contra Costa Psychological Association (CCPA), the local chapter of the California Psychological Association. I was very proud to receive the "Diamond Award for Outstanding Service to the Profession of Psychology" in January, 2009. I also received CCPA 's "Outstanding Service Award" in January, 2007.
In 2015 I was selected for the International Association of Health Care Professionals, a network of "top doctors" who are deemed leaders in their respective fields (link to my biography at IAHCP).
I also served on the Board of Directors of CCPA as Chairperson of the Information and Referral Network and Member at Large . My contributions included strengthening our professional community, creating interdisciplinary networks and hosting an ongoing consultation and networking group. I helped to improve our website and create the "Find-A-Psychologist" search engine, which allows professionals and consumers to find qualified psychologists based on specific criteria (browse: Cocopsych.org). I also served in the Leadership and Advocacy program of the California Psychological Association, promoting public mental health care through legislative advocacy in Sacramento. I am a member of CPA, APA, CCPA and IAHCP.
In my free time, I enjoy listening to and playing music, as well as cycling, sailing, running and hiking with Luna, who works as a therapy dog. I also try to maintain my own yoga, mindfulness and spiritual practices.