About Barb

The desert works constantly to forbid it, and still the cactus blooms.

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My Story

Before becoming a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, I spent 13 years working on college campuses in Student Affairs.  Both roles allowed me to do what I love - advocate for and support teens and young people. I've spent many hours, often late at night, helping them work through issues, manage anxiety and depression, build better relationships, and figure out how to deal with life.  

 

I spent four years working at the YWCA where I learned how to support clients going through intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and childhood trauma.  I spent five years working with the Santa Clara School District, primarily in their continuation high school, where I counseled teens struggling with trauma, family issues, substance abuse problems, gender identity, suicide, and self-harm.

 

In the middle of all that I learned a lot about life - mainly that just when you figure it out, you move into a new phase and have to figure it out again!  Thankfully you get to bring what you learned into the new phase. 

 

Today I am using my expertise to help people rewrite their story, integrating their past, present, and evolving future selves.

M.Ed. Student Affairs In Higher Education

In addition to my MA in Counseling Psychology, I hold a second masters degree in Student Affairs and spent 13 years working with young adults.

Certified Youth Mental Health Specialist

In 2022 I took a 16-part training course to become certified in Youth Mental Health.  The course included topic such as suicide, family stress, mental health in schools, play therapy, and internal family systems.

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Additional Training

I have additional training in several specific areas.  While I am not yet certified, I do

have a deeper knowledge of them.

DBT in Practice:  Mastering the Essentials

A six-part training on the core facets of DBT.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy Certification (C-DBT): Practical Clinical Applications

for Trauma, Comorbidities, Addiction and More

A 3 day certification training on all aspects of DBT.

 

Seeking Safety

A program for individuals and groups who are seeking treatment for trauma and substance abuse.

Trauma Work for the Clinician 

A 12 hour training on trauma informed care and interventions in the areas of neurobiology, developmental trauma in children and teens, domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking.

Hardcover Book
Image by Jake Goossen
Image by Visual Stories || Micheile
Image by Pelayo Arbués

My Path

I grew up in a small town just north of Pittsburgh, PA.  I moved to California 24 years ago, threw on a pair of flip-flops, and felt an instant sense of belonging.  I love the beach and all the cultural diversity - which I explore through food! Mostly I love looking at snow on a distant mountain and not in my driveway.  For fun I enjoy bicycling, crocheting, travel, and watching cheesy action movies.  Music is always playing in the background - angry 90s grunge if I'm on my bike, or film scores if I'm reading.

Image by Jordan Ling