“I am honest and engaged in every conversation with you. I listen with curiosity and ask questions for clarity. I will tell you what I am thinking and feeling.”
- Paul Taruskin
I am a warm challenger.
I believe deeply in the capacity of relationships to heal and grow. In therapy, our sessions become the container for the change you are looking for.
People generally go to therapy because we want something to be different in our lives. And yet, we are often reluctant to change ourselves at all. I am committed to the goals that brought you here and therefore, I will speak up when this dilemma arises.
However, I will never pressure you to do anything that doesn’t feel right. And if it feels right but you don’t feel ready, I will stay with you in that process. My challenge as a therapist is never to DO anything, but to invite us to notice opportunities for change and to be curious, together, about how it might feel to try something new.
About My Approach
I will interrupt you. I know, it’s rude. I make an effort to do this softly, with respect and transparency when it happens. However, I consider it my responsibility to support you in creating the change that you desire, so my intention when I interrupt you is to notice the process in the present moment. Is this different, or how this usually happens outside of therapy? The last thing I want is for our limited time together to be a continuation of patterns or reactions you want to change. When we pause, it allows us to notice opportunities and try new things.
I believe in your capacity. Capacity to feel. Capacity to understand. Capacity to grow.
Most of us are not taught to pay attention to our bodies. I sure wasn’t. We don’t often get invitations to think about the way we think in everyday life. It is okay to not know how you feel or where your thoughts go when big emotions arise. The practice of noticing yourself – the way you experience your inner world – is the greatest gift I have to offer my clients.
Our bodies are sending us signals all the time. We call them “feelings” for a reason! I want to help you connect to the wisdom your emotions offer you. Becoming deeply connected to yourself comes from paying attention to what’s already happening.
I have spent my entire career in helping professions. Prior to becoming a therapist, I spent eight years as a teacher and program manager at therapy-enriched non-public school programs for teenagers with acute emotional and behavioral needs.
This experience ingrained in me the immense power of unconditional love and support in helping people learn, grow, and redefine their sense of self. I have witnessed, firsthand, how children who had experienced nothing but failure and rejection from adults at school came to our programs with the perception that they were incapable of success, unable to see their unique strengths and positive qualities.
This experience gave birth to my passion for helping people overcome deep-seated and limiting beliefs about themselves. Empowering children to discover new possibilities for their lives was what inspired me as a teacher and has now become my purpose in life.
Driven by my passion for social justice, I have worked with diverse populations, providing therapy to adults, couples, youth, and families suffering from a variety of issues including depression, anxiety, childhood trauma, abuse, addiction, and relationship distress.
Education & Experience
University of California, Davis: Bachelors, Sociology
John F. Kennedy University: Masters, Counseling Psychology
Practicing Marriage & Family Therapy; 5+ years
Mental health counseling; 13+ years
Emotionally Focused Therapy training & emphasis; 4+ years
Seneca Family of Agencies; 8 years, Counseling & behavioral modification interventions
Community Institute of Psychotherapy, San Rafael; 2 years, intensive training and practice in psychodynamic theory
Albany High School; 1 year, school-based mental health counseling
Helen Vine Detox Center, 2 years, substance abuse and recovery counseling