You’ve come such a long way in your life, dear one. And yet, you may still feel confusion, as if the inner and outer success seems to fold back into dizzying complexity.
You have so much to be grateful for, perhaps you’ve landed that high paying job, or finished a painting that worked its way through your soul, or you finally became a parent, moved to your dream home, or read that elusive novel you knew would lead you to deeper wisdom. And yet, the money from that job has left you yearning, that painting only calls you to paint more, the incredible love for your child has led to a sexless marriage, or that dream home turned to a playground of repairs, and the novel’s wisdom begets more questions than answers.
You’ve done good personal work as well. You've grown in sensitivity, generosity, and thoughtfulness. You embrace your shadow, you're wildness. Perhaps you’ve sat with plant medicines, been to therapy in the past, written treatises of wisdom and knowledge, Maybe you’ve traveled to incredible destinations, both of the inner mind and the outer world. You love and cherish self knowledge. You can say you’ve made progress in your development. You know who you are and simultaneously, unsure of who you want to become, or what to do with all your power.
There’s personal struggles and regrets.You may have difficulty letting go, of past partners, of sugar or alcohol, stuck in dreams that haven’t manifested no matter how many self help books you’ve read. Even more vexing... anxiety, panic, sadness or stifled creativity are still present. You may look in the mirror and see the changes of age or step on a weight scale and wonder why you can’t change what you see and therefore feel. If you come to my practice its not be cause you must, your are perfect in my eyes, you come because you want to continue growing.
And still you go on, finding deep friendships and kinship, those you can converse with around deeper philosophical and spiritual themes and resonances that you find valuable and worthy of cultivation. And you enjoy the excitement of discovering the love of process and becoming. You hope therapy and your relationship with your therapist will be an integral part of your life/creative/emotional process, not as a quick fix towards a solidifed state of problem-less oblivion.
My practice is a refuge, a space for you to go deeper into knowing yourself, your creativity, your systems of value, your identity, your sexual expression, your spirituality and all the things that lead you to feel more authentic and situated in your body. What happens in this sanctuary, is like the life of tree. Your crown may be green and verdant, reaching to the sky with dense foliage, but your underground work, the work of your roots yearns to extend wider, deeper.There is no finality, no perfected state of being, rather the morphology of healing, which curates acceptance, validation, compassion, forgiveness, and confidence, is found in a permission to settle, allowing you to feel more at home in this world, in all your struggles and successes, this is what I provide space for.
I grew up among the golden hills and oak filled outskirts of Los Angeles, with the briny sea breeze that is infused with scents of sage and the unmistakable magic of Southern California. Spending my youth embedded in punk, skate and surf culture, I took to the arts and crafts quickly, immediately drawn to woodworking and classical guitar. The communities of folk music, punk rock allowed me to be surrounded by makers and mentors who gave me an appreciation for the unique expressions that art can have on the world.
Even before high school graduation, I began touring with metal, hardcore and emo bands playing internationally and excitedly to both makeshift punk venues all the way up to arenas, selling 7” records, handmade zines and t-shirts, extending my personal relationships to an interconnected and supportive DIY scene while making lifelong friendships, playing a tiny but passionate role in the DNA of the underground music scene.
While on the road I was lucky enough to be exposed to self studied intellectuals and a kind of brilliance that is only gained through deep engagement with a dynamic sea of ideas. I read Nietzsche, Lao Tzu, Adrienne Rich, and Alan Watts in the back of dusty vans and on motel floors. I was exposed to ritual magic, esoterica, Buddhism, Taoism. I also met inspiring individuals who came from all over the world no matter whether they were adherents to Krishna, math metal geniuses or crust punks.
Somewhere between tours I took a job as a ceramicist and scraped up enough money to attend classes in philosophy at Moorpark College, and though it would be years until I put touring behind me, those classes planted the seeds of my future.
By the time I was in my late twenties, I knew I had a gift for listening deeply to people’s desires, perhaps influenced by my parents, one a professor, the other a therapist. My time in music trained me to be attuned to others and to collaborate effectively. As I got older I was drawn to academia. I attended a college founded on radical thought at Antioch. After my mother passed away from cancer, the sublimity of loss and the unexpected explosions of kairos inspired me to enroll and finish my degree. There I studied eastern wisdom traditions, The history and sociology of American Utopian and communal movements, mysticism, classical literature, new religious movements, the philosophy of religion as well as continental and post modern philosophy. I did field work in the areas of sociology of religion and traveled to sacred sites in Mexico, Spain, Japan, Israel and South America. I sought out mystics, artists and ethnobotanical adventures, writing about my travels in journals and zines.
After receiving my B.A. in philosophy, I was at a crossroads. I knew I would either continue in academia towards philosophy or study psychology, I couldn’t decide and so I took a hiatus. During that time I started the non-profit, Rogue Scholars, which was a radical experiment in pushing experiential learning to my own conception of its zenith point and challenging current pedagogical models. All events were free, the only cost was one had to have read the selected text before entry. I ran the group for two years putting on events almost everywhere in Los Angeles, utilizing a non-hierarchical model to facilitate the interpretation of texts through curated experiences bringing to life works by folks like Maggie Nelson, Noam Chomsky, Guy Debord, Jane Jacobs, Jack Haberstram, Jurgen Habermass, Henri Lefebvre as well as collective works such as The Invisible Committee. The project was committed to making critical yet free thinking ideas accessible no matter the attendee’s level of scholarship.
I went back to gain my masters at Antioch and found alignment with the work of Michael White and Narrative Therapy. Such work spoke to me because it drew much of its ideas from the realm of anthropology, local knowledge, semiotics and critical theory. I also gravitated towards the work of Carl Rogers and the Humanistic theories the came to inform relational Gestalt therapy. Even so, I continued to be drawn to the Taoist tradition, its wild subversion of language and the beautiful potentials embedded in the rich poetry, which is the primary influence my practice. I interned at both the Southern California Center and Narrative Counseling Center and upon completion opened my own practice which is now a decade running.
Through this I found myself writing less about obscure, wayward cults and moved towards the intersection of ecology and psychology. I also hosted a scholarly podcast Shoot The Dancing Bear, and intersectional exploration of pop culture, philosophy, literature and psychology. I’ve led workshops educating therapists on psychedelic psychotherapy and worked training talented and inspiring fledgling therapists towards effective, compassionate and caring therapeutic environments.
I will always be...
Sex pos, kink pos, body pos, celebratory ally of all that is LGBTQI+, An advocate of artists, growth oriented, non-shaming and non -judgmental, pro queer, holistic, a champion of oddity, anti-pathology, anti-authoritarian, plant ally, eco-centric, poetically inclined and metaphorphillic
Joe Strumer of The Clash sums it up well: “We’re anti-fascist, we’re anti-violence, we’re anti-racist, and we’re pro-creative. We’re against ignorance.”
Themes I see most often in practice:
• All forms of Stress
• Anxiety and Panic
• Life Purpose and Career
• Depersonalization and Derealization
• Substance Abuse
• Sexuality and Identity
• Life Transitions and grief
• Mindfulness and Acceptance
This option typically works for most people. The therapeutic process emphasizes understanding your current circumstances by looking at who you've needed to become in context of your life up til now. This exploration allows you to explore many facets of your being and allows you to zoom out in order to have a deeper understanding and compassion for yourself in regards to what your specific challenges are. After understanding is achieved we work towards examining the beliefs that have arisen to help you adapt to life and we start to gently change these through your own hidden wisdom and by my sharing and teaching, Finally, we work to shift the material conditions in life, your circumstances. Change starts from within and radiates outward, just like any birth. There is no set time work is done, I continue to be there for you until you measure the work complete. I see clients weekly until your goals are reached.
Couples and Family Therapy:
This option is for any unit of care of more than one individual. Examples might be a married couple, siblings or even creative partnerships, basically any group that has a desire to function with more ease and grace. It is important to understand that in this modality, I serve the unit, not any individual. I work as an outside influential force to coax the individuals out of their separate egos and into a deeper sense of acceptance, compassion and healthy inter-dependence. We focus on letting guards down, communicating lovingly and authentically, and learning how to accept love and love the other. I work with you weekly with you until your goals are reached.
Masculinity and men:
Men want to love, they need to love and be loved. Men want to know themselves, they need to know themselves. What are the forces that keep men from knowing and loving themselves and others, what are the narratives about masculinity that act to create “men”? Masculinity is a starved affair, men’s desires have been shaped to pressure them into constriction. They are taught to feel anger and humor, but not much else. They are taught to give primacy to the intellect and not their feelings. Men are sometimes asked to share their feelings, then may be shamed for it. This is not how it should be. This group works towards deep connectivity, so that men can be more fully accepted for just themselves and not what they provide. The acceptance of their beautiful sensitivity, emotional intelligence, and vulnerability. Contact me to find out more about this group.
Supervision for new practitioners and healers:
I provide clinical supervision for newly licensed therapists and healers of all kinds that are starting their careers. Having practiced for over ten years, I consider myself a "junior elder" who can help guide you into a sustainable and thriving career, help you avoid burnout, assist you in setting up your own self care, and offer my own unique approach to the problems you face helping people. This offering can be ongoing or single consultations.
Panic and Anxiety Coaching:
I suffered from panic attacks with prolonged exposure to heightened anxiety and came through it. You don't need to live with a panic or anxiety disorder, you can heal from it, no matter how long you've suffered. Healing is relatively simple in its essence, yet I know how challenging and distant healing seems when you are in the midst of it. If you have intrusive thoughts, health anxiety, otherwise unexplained physical symptoms... if you struggle to even find the words to describe your experiences, this may be a good option for you. When I was in the midst of it, information and perspective was key. I have a deep desire to guide others through this experience in life which always leads to more wisdom about the life you are meant to lead.