In the early days of neuroscience, they thought the brain stopped developing at a certain age. 5, 10, 20, etc.
Good news! Modern neuroscience has proven that the brain never stops changing and developing. In other words, if you’re struggling with mental health issues, you’re not stuck with them forever because it’s possible to change your brain no matter your age.
Change your brain, change your life
Granted, it’s easier to change your brain the younger you are. Changing a 5-year-old brain is a lot less work than changing a 50-year-old brain.
This also explains why early life experiences are so influential. What happens when we are a child shapes our soft little brains very easily, therefore having a much bigger and longer-lasting impact on our lives than things that happen to us later in life.
So, you can change and heal your brain! You’re not screwed after all The healing and the change just take a lot of hard work.
Your thoughts and behaviors have created well-worn pathways in your brain. Literal pathways made up of your brain cells. And since the human brain is built for efficiency and convenience, your brain wants to take the well-known and easy way every time.
Therefore, it’s been hard for you to heal. Those frequently used paths are just too easy for your brain to resist! So even if unhealthy thoughts and behaviors are causing you pain, you brain will still favor them strongly because of how convenient their pathways are.
Please don’t be too hard on yourself about these thoughts and behaviors. You’re a smart person. You developed these things as coping mechanisms to help you survive tough times.
Think of them like inflatable water wings you made and wore as a child. You were out there drowning, and smart little you came up with these ways to keeping your head above water. You kept yourself alive with those things!
And as you grew… your water wings didn’t. So now you’re an adult wearing kid-sized water wings. They are cutting off your circulation and causing you to drown, doing the exact opposite of what they were created to do.
“But these used to work so well!” you shout as you flail in the water. Agreed, but it’s clearly time to let them go. Cut them off and swim to shore with me.
Ok, back to the healing!
Healing happens when you consciously decide again and again and again to choose different thoughts and behaviors. And damn, is that hard. When you do this, you are creating new little pathways in your brain.
And just like the well-worn paths in your brain, the more you take these paths the easier and more convenient they become. Plus, the less you use the old paths, the more they “grow over”and become harder to use.
You don’t have to be perfect and pick the new paths 100% of the time. That’s pretty much impossible, and expecting perfection is counterproductive to healing.
But the more you use the new healthy paths… and the less you use the old unhealthy paths… the closer to healing you get.
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When you work with me, you are accepted and listened to carefully and perceptively. My therapeutic approach helps you feel centered and much more grounded.
Initially, I work hard on getting to know you and the issues that have brought you to see me. Then I adapt my style to meet your needs and strive to treat you with a balance of gentleness and active encouragement. We engage in an active dialogue that will be equal parts expression, keen listening, and humor.
Sometimes I might push you just a little! I believe that “nothing changes if nothing changes,” so I help my clients gain the willingness and strength to do things that are initially scary but ultimately very rewarding.
After we are a few months into your work with me, you will be able to see the seeds of hope we plant together begin to grow and blossom in your life.
When you lack hope, I am here to hope for you until you can see it become a reality.
I’m an LA native who went to UCSD to get my BA in Psychology and then came back home to get my Master’s and Doctorate in Psychology from Pepperdine University. I’ve been helping people using psychotherapy for over 15 years… and I want nothing more than to continue to do so!
I know what it’s like to have to reach out for help and how the transformation process can be both grueling and exhilarating. I am a huge movie fan, and my husband and I have a menagerie of rescue animals that we hope to never stop increasing.
Do you take insurance?
I am not in-network with any insurance companies, because I do not believe your mental health is their top priority. If I was in-network with your insurance, employees there who have never and will never meet you would dictate how long you should be in therapy, what your goals for therapy should be, and what therapeutic interventions I should use with you. I want you and me to make these key decisions together, so your treatment can be completely customized to your individual healing needs.
For clients that want to use their PPO insurance benefits, I offer a free VOB that will inform you what your reimbursement rate is and how to submit your claims for prompt payment. My office management system automatically emails you monthly with the paperwork you can submit to your insurance company.
How much do you charge?
My fee is $200 per session.
I see adults of all ethnicities, national origins, sexes, sexual orientations, gender identities, familial statuses, disabilities, religious / spiritual backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses, and political beliefs.