From a young age I have been fascinated by what drives people. I have been curious about people’s deepest desires and insecurities and how they affect a person’s personality and behavior. Due to my shame about my own personal challenges, it took me a while to realize how helpful psychotherapy can be. Once I embraced and accepted help for myself, I realized that I wanted to be a psychotherapist. As I stepped into that role, it became clear that this work meets me in the areas of authentic communication, emotional bonding, relational repair, and creative expression.
I graduated with a Master of Arts in Integral Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in 2014. I received training in depth-oriented psychotherapy and Gestalt therapy at the Church Street Integral Counseling Center in San Francisco for two years. Then I was a member of the Bay Area Gestalt Institute (BAGI) for four years. As of 2016, I am licensed in California as a Marriage and Family Therapist. I had a private practice in the Mission District of San Francisco until the end of 2019.
I grew up in Germany and lived in the United States from 1996 to 2019, seventeen of those years in San Francisco. A lot of my personal growth work has been around processing the guilt and shame associated with the history of Germany.
My approach is client-centered and relational. I strive to meet you where you are and as you are. I place great emphasis on the client-therapist relationship, as I believe it often parallels your experiences in real life.
With compassion and curiosity I use a logical approach to help you meet your soul’s needs and live your favorite life. I worked in the software industry for many years. Because of this experience I bring a strongly developed logical, problem-solving side to my work. As a former software debugger, I now see myself as a soul debugger. Together we can figure out what you want and how you are interrupting yourself from getting there.
In terms of psychological approaches, I identify as a Gestalt therapist first and foremost. In our sessions I like to start with awareness in the here and now. Out of this awareness emerge sensations, thoughts and feelings which need to be experienced, digested and integrated into the whole of one’s being. Sometimes integration means not digesting a particular byte of information. Accepting this refusal can also contribute to greater wholeness.
A lot of times a sense of well-being can come from making a clear decision about what you want to do with a particular sensation, thought or feeling. You learn to be and accept who you are, with your likes and dislikes, preferences and resistances. Sometimes, owning the unknown or confusion can be part of this. We can become clear about being confused and make a choice based on this clarity, and that feels good.
Another big part of my work is parts work. In parts work, we identify and communicate with different parts of your psyche or personality that may or may not be in conflict with each other. Common parts are the inner critic, judge, protector, or fighter. We explore what a dominant part needs. We explore what a hidden part is afraid of. Insights, relief and freedom can emerge from this work.