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, Psychodynamic, 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.

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 in Community Mental Health Department at California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), San Francisco and Behavioral Health Educator at Kaiser Permanente, Oakland.

My teaching experience includes Addiction, Recovery and Wellness, Psychopathology, Cross Cultural Counseling, Independent Study, and Group Practicum Supervision.

My areas of expertise and interests include:

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

A Bit More About Me

I have a strong interest both personally and professionally in helping people navigate the relationship between mental and physical health as well as recognize the deep correlation between care of self and others. I know from personal experience how daunting it can be to negotiate health challenges and daily demands of work and relationships.

Several years ago, after having worked in the mental health and addiction fields for 13 years, 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 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 attend to my own healing for an entire year. In addition to the break from work, the emotional and spiritual support I gave myself and received from others was central to my healing. While I am grateful that this opportunity was available, I realize this doesn’t happen for everyone.

It is from this personal vantage point, along with my extensive experience of having supported clients through difficult lifestyle changes that I feel especially inspired to help people rediscover their own balance. Whether it is about shifting roles and responsibilities at work, communicating needs to loved ones, or navigating healthcare options, I am committed to helping my clients navigate their unique challenges and pathways to renewed aliveness.