About Deborah

deborah 1013cropbigI am an intuitive and creative person with an eclectic background in the healing arts. I began my journey as a massage therapist, and included the uses of acupressure and energy balancing.  I have studied and practiced many forms of counseling and psychotherapy, such as Somatic, Psycho-dynamic, Cognitive Behavioral, Primal Therapy, Gestalt, Systems, and Re-Evaluation Counseling.

My approach to counseling is warm and humanistic. I am a keenly intuitive healer. My practice is informed and influenced by my sensitivity and deep respect for peoples’ varying cultural backgrounds and identities.

I am very present-time focused and will encourage  exploration of  the past as it is appropriate. My uses of the creative arts and of humor are  integral to my work.

As a licensed MFT, I have  more than thirty years experience as a counselor, therapist and supervisor in a variety of community based and private practice settings  in The San Francisco Bay area.  Currently, I am an Assistant Professor at CIIS in San Francisco, in the Community Mental Health Dept.  As an  instructor at CIIS and Patten University, I have taught Addiction, Recovery and Wellness, Psychopathology, Cross Cultural Counseling, Independent Study, and Group Practicum Supervision.

My areas of expertise and strong focus include:

  • Health and Gender Transitions
  • Addiction
  • Anxiety Patterns
  • Navigating Alternative Lifestyle Changes
  • Family & Group Dynamics
  • Sexual Abuse Recovery
  • LGBTQ Empowerment

I have a strong interest both personally and professionally in helping people navigate lifestyle changes, especially  as they correlate with people’s unique personalities and deep interests.

A bit about my own health journey... Several years ago, after having worked in the mental health and addiction fields for quite some time, I began experiencing an ongoing and debilitating fatigue along with flu-like symptoms.  I had blood tests which showed no problems. I immersed myself in holistic and homeopathic remedies. I could not follow my strong belief that what I needed most was to stop working because I had no idea how I could afford to do that.

I prayed for a solution and was soon diagnosed with breast cancer. Although it was not a solution I imagined, getting on disability gave  me the chance to stop working and I healed myself for an entire year.

From a place of rest and distance, I understood the deep  correlation between care of self and care of others. I know from personal experience how challenging the discipline of changing one’s lifestyle is, especially when work loads and demands are high.  I understand how ingrained our daily habits are, how we are pulled on and expected to do more  and how much effort it takes to avoid or change certain things.

I believe the emotional and spiritual support we are able to give  ourselves and  receive from others is  central to our ongoing healing. It is from this personal vantage point, along  with my  extensive experience having supported people through difficult lifestyle changes, that I am committed to helping others navigate their own unique challenges.