Pasadena Trauma Therapist
Associate Marriage and Family Therapist, AMFT #121615
Supervised by Cristina Mardirossian, MFC #49234
Being yourself is often easier said than done. As a trauma therapist, I see how easy it is for negative experiences to hinder our ability to be the people we want to be and create a life we want to live. Perhaps you have managed to create a wildly successful life but still find yourself unhappy, unsatisfied, and feeling like “something is missing.” Our bodies and minds are amazingly adaptable—we manage to find ways to survive horrible life events—but these survival instincts were meant to be used on a short-term basis. Chronic stress and an inability to find peace or rest will eventually catch up with us. Feelings of depression and anxiety are powerful indicators that we are not living authentically or are carrying around burdens from our past. Traumas—big or small—are stored in the body and will often show up as physical problems, illness, or pain. Trauma affects our ability to connect with others, trust, and feel safe in the world. The good news is that healing is possible!
I specialize in the treatment of trauma and all its various manifestations: Depression/Anxiety, Substance use, Eating disorders, Dissociation/Derealization, Chronic stress, Relationship discord/Infidelity, PTSD (nightmares, flashbacks, avoidance, hypervigilance), and Complex Trauma.
Therapy is never a “one size fits all”, so I bring the best of multiple modalities to assist you on your healing journey:
- Internal Family Systems (IFS) and “parts work”
- Brainspotting (a method similar to EMDR and does not require talking about past trauma)
- Dialectic Behavior Therapy (DBT)
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
- Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)
As well as an array of psychoeducation, grounding techniques, and somatic experiencing practices that can serve as resources to help you move through your healing process with an understanding of what is happening and practical tools for how to cope.
More about “parts work”
IFS and “parts work” are unique modalities that emphasize self-compassion and kind attention to all our various “parts.” Have you ever found yourself saying things like, “I’m torn,” “I have mixed feelings about that,” or “part of me feels one way and part of me feels another way?” Has anyone asked you the question “Who are you?” and your answer was multiple? It is nearly impossible to pick just one female mother, accountant, or artist because you are more than what you do or how others may want to categorize you. These are just a few examples of how “parts” show up in our everyday experiences.
In the case of trauma, some parts become burdened and compartmentalized in an effort to help us survive. These parts can be stuck in the past, but when “Self” is accessed, it can bear witness to these parts and help them let go of their burdens. “Self” is not a part but an intrinsic, spiritual core that is present at birth and cannot be damaged—indeed, it is the noble efforts of our parts that take on the burdens that would harm the “Self” and therefore need to be appreciated and acknowledged for the hard work they are doing.
These are the six assumptions of IFS and “parts:”
- All parts have good intentions, even those who misbehave; therefore, we begin therapy with a radical invitation: “all parts are welcome.”
- Our psychic response to injury is predictable: other parts step into protective roles when vulnerable parts are wounded.
- Protective parts behave in predictable ways, some of which look pathological.
- A destabilized, disrupted inner system can become reintegrated and balanced once it is in relationship with the client’s “Self.”
- The Self is neither created nor cultivated and cannot be destroyed but is intrinsic and present from birth.
- Every person has a Self, and the Self can be accessed for healing in every person.
(F. Anderson, M. Sweezy, R. Schwartz, 2017).
I have seen radical healing and powerful shifts in relationship to the past doing this work with my clients. If these ideas intrigue you, please reach to me out to find out more and how “parts work” might help you with whatever you are struggling with. I believe you have the answers and the resources to get what you need and how to heal. I will simply aid you in gaining access to “Self” and to help parts let go of their burdens.
When I am not doing therapy, I have parts that enjoy creative expression, learning about outer space, and experiencing different cultures through food and travel.
Antioch University Los Angeles – Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology
Antioch University Los Angeles – Bachelor of Liberal Arts- major in Psychology