Background and Experience

Drawing from my  extensive work with parents, teenagers, young adults, and families, I offer  the information, direction, and guidance you need to help adolescents develop into independent, healthy, and highly functioning adults.

I have worked with adolescents, young adults, and families as a clinical psychologist and mental health counselor since 1996.  I grew up in Papua, New Guinea and returned to the USA at age 14 to continue my education.  In 1994 I graduated from Yale University with a BA in music and psychology. I continued my education at the University of Bridgeport, graduating with a MS in mental health counseling.  I earned a PhD from the University of Miami in counseling psychology in 2002.

I have  worked in in- and outpatient mental health settings, college and high school counseling departments, and most worked as a clinical therapist and team leader for adolescent girls at Open Sky Wilderness Therapy.  In my private practice I  extensively with families dealing with life transitions, including the transitions to and from residential, wilderness, and substance abuse treatment settings.

I have authored peer-reviewed articles on adolescent and women’s health risk behaviors and lectured nationally and internationally to parents, young people, and professionals on adolescent health risk behaviors, internet safety and awareness, parenting, motivational interviewing, and understanding personality disorders.  My current book on parenting adolescents in the 21st century is currently under final review.

Regarding clinical work, my areas of specialty include clinical assessment, mood disorders, anxiety, substance abuse, self-harm, trauma, ADHD, oppositional defiance, parent/child relationships, and internet/technology addiction.  I am  known  for my warmth, compassion, blunt honesty, irreverence,  and wonderful sense of humor.   My treatment approach combines dialectic and cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, mindfulness-based therapy, and family therapy.

I absolutely love being outdoors and feel at home in the natural world. I teach snowboarding in the winter and love to go camping and traveling whenever I can. When not working, I love snowboarding, traveling, sailing, scuba diving, singing, camping, and cooking.