My specialty is interpersonal communication, helping folks to talk to each other in a more direct and honest way. I have worked with couples, families, and groups for the last 40 years. I taught experiential classes in Family Dynamics, Couple Counseling, and Group Dynamics at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco since 1984, where I became a Full Professor and Core Faculty member. I am currently Professor Emerita. I have also taught these courses at John F. Kennedy University, Sofia University, Holy Names University, California State East Bay University and St. Marys College. I have had a private psychotherapy practice in Berkeley, CA since 1980 where I see couples, families, and individuals, and have facilitated groups for many years.
My therapy style is informed by Gestalt therapy, Systems theory, Psychodynamic therapy, my own personal therapy and psychospiritual practice over many years. I have been trained in Emotionally-focused therapy (EFT), Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy, Existential-Humanistic therapy, and Non-Violent Communications (NVC).
In regard to Group Therapy, I am an active member of the Northern California Group Psychotherapy Society (NCGPS) and the American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA) where I have facilitated groups (Interpersonal Gestalt, Interpersonal Growth, and Group Process in the NOW) at both local and National Conferences and Institutes for the last 40 years. I am currently a Certified Group Psychotherapist (CGP), an honor awarded to experienced group therapists by the American Group Therapy Association (AGPA). A few years back I wrote an article with two colleagues (Kahn, Cortright) at the California Institute for Integral Studies entitled Speaking from the Heart: Integral “T” Groups as a Tool for TrainingTranspersonal Psychotherapists.
Regarding Family Therapy, I am an active member of the Association for Family Therapy of Northern California (AFTNC), and the International Family Therapy Academy (IFTA). I have presented at national and international conferences in the Netherlands, Turkey, and Vancouver, Canada, on my method, as represented in my book, Core Focused Family Therapy: Moving From Chaos to Clarity, which I wrote with Ross Cohen, LPC. (Idyll Arbor Inc, 2008)
Regarding Couples Therapy, in 2001, along with colleague, Padma Catell PHD, I wrote an article entitled “Dual Dwelling Duos: An Alternative for Long-term Relationships“ which was published in 2001, in The Journal of Couples Therapy (Volume 10, Numbers 3/4) as well as being a chapter in Couple, Intimacy and Addictions, edited by Barbara Jo Brothers (Haworth Press, 2001). The article is about couples in which each member chooses to retain their own separate domicile while still being in a long term committed relationship. The articles achieved national fame in the NY Times, SF Chronicle, CBS-TV and several radio stations (see qualifications).
In 2005, I wrote an article entitled “Closeness and Distance in Intimate Relationships” which concerns the differences two people in a couple might have in regard to their needs for closeness and distance, and how important a factor this is in relationship compatibility.
I graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a Ph.D. in clinical psychology in 1975 and have been licensed in the state of California since 1978. (lic. # PSY5553)