My name is Wendy. I’m so glad you’re here. I’m honored you’d like to learn more about me and I’m excited to share what I have to offer. Below, I’ll explain my philosophy and approach to working with clients, as well as share information about my education, experience and a bit about my interests. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me.
I commend you for taking the time to explore the potential for your own healing and emotional well-being. I work with individual children, teens and adults, couples, families and groups.
From birth to death, our lives are full of amazing joys and struggles. Our experiences are forever shifting, and this can be challenging for us, creating periods of fear, sadness, anger, confusion and grief. These challenging periods can feel intense; they can also offer us a rich opportunity for transformation and growth.
I believe that it is the extent to which we can turn toward and navigate our challenges that determines how gracefully we’re able to move through our lives.
When we accept our situation, whatever it is, and lovingly tend to our emotions, the feelings begin to soften, so that we’re able to better understand ourselves and integrate our struggles, creating wisdom, self-compassion and ease where before, there may have been confusion, anger, fear, and judgement. When we work with our feelings with open-hearted curiosity, we begin to feel lighter, finding hope and expansion. It is my highest goal and honor to accompany you along this journey of self-transformation.
My Therapeutic Approach
My approach to therapy includes:
- Developing an environment of safety and trust
- Honoring your uniqueness
- Trauma informed work
- A systems approach
- Attachment style
- Narrative therapy
- Existential work
- A somatic orientation
- Parts work
- Buddhist philosophy
- Tangible skills for the journey
- Nonviolent communication
Violet Oaklander has been my main inspiration for working with children. I use play therapy, staying within the context of the metaphor of play to bond with kids and get to know what’s important to them, what scares them and what brings them joy. I empower children by allowing them to control the play, and guide them toward compassion and kindness for themselves and those around them by being a calm, gentle presence who can accept them just as they are. My goal is to empower kids to find their own unique voice, and to brainstorm creative ways for them to express themselves that honor their unique and authentic selves.
I would love to support you in your parenting journey. Parenting can be so challenging in its relentlessness and because it’s something that we must learn by doing. I can help you connect with and trust your loving, intuitive parenting knowledge. We can explore the ways your own childhood conditioning may be impacting your parenting, and get curious about what your child is telling you about his or her needs, always focusing on maintaining a loving connection, especially in times of strain and challenge.
Education and Clinical Experience
I have an Master’s of Science degree in Counseling Psychology from University of California East Bay. I believe in the value of therapy, and am in the process of obtaining supervised clinical hours toward licensure as both a Marriage and Family Therapist (AMFT #126869) and a Professional Clinical Counselor (APCC registration pending), under the clinical supervision of Doug Ronning, LMFT, RDT/BCT (primary) and Grace Malonai, PhD, LPCC, BC-TMH.
My past experience includes individual and family therapy, maternal/infant and child therapy. I’m also a trained grief counselor and End of Life Doula. I received my doula training from The International End of Life Doula Association and my grief counselor training from Mission Hospice, where I worked with adults, couples and teens, and also ran a grief group.
Personal Interests & Inspiration
My favorite number is 9. I have three kids, three dogs, and three cats. I love gardening, reading, singing and knitting. Fortunately, I’ve had many wonderful teachers. I’ve been particularly inspired by the work of Ram Dass, Jack Kornfield, Pema Chodron, Richard Shwartz, Bessel van der Kolk, Gabor Mate, BJ Miller, Kathryn Mannix and John Kabat Zinn.
Prior to my work as a counselor, I worked as a birth doula, a writer and also an artist in the movie business. This varied experience has kept me open to new worlds and able to cultivate beginner’s mind. My BA is in Comparative Literature and I have an enduring love for reading fiction and poetry. I like to say that my best work has been having the honor of being the mother of three amazing children. They have been the most wonderful teachers and I cherish them always.
CAMFT – California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
EBCAMFT – East Bay Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
INELDA – International End of Life Doula Association