My passion in life is self-transformation and my mission is helping those who have been impacted by trauma, complex and abusive childhood experiences, and those suffering from depression, anxiety and relational challenges.
Over the past 20 years, I have studied many paths to healing and have discovered that every person has a unique rhythm of recovery related to their personal history of development. My role as a therapist is to help my clients find their story hidden in the rubble, shards and darkness. Finding the missing pieces and meaning along the way signifies the process of healing. For my CV, go here...
My journey as a psychotherapist has taken me from psychodynamic therapy to Gestalt therapy to trauma-informed therapies. There were many interesting stops along the way with training in Schema Therapy, Existential therapy, Somatic Archaeology, Somatic Experiencing and several forms of Energy Therapy. My work reflects a synthesis of twenty years of study, training, teaching, group work and private practice that has come full circle.
What stands out for me is:
* The work of Carl Rogers taught me the central characteristics of all good clinical work
* I highly value and recognize my client's strengths, past successes and core beliefs, as well as their true Self are the resources that must be named in therapy.
* Much of our behavior is unconsciously motivated (Freud) with an internal system of countless parts (memores, sensations, beliefs) interacting with each other and within us that we need to find, unburden and accept (Richard Schwartz).
* The work of Irvin Yalom taught me the value of regular client feedback as necessary to keep therapy on track and effective.
* Lengthy treatment is not necessarily better treatment and each client is different and the work needs to follow what the client needs.
* The work of Carl Jung, taught the importance of doing my own inner work to understand my clients.
* Individuals and couples in pain or in crisis, are not necessarily ready to make changes when they start therapy. Rushing into treatment and focusing on the pain often backfires.
* The work of Dr. Besel Van der Kolk taught me that we can regulate our own physiology, including involuntary functions of the body and brain, comes through basic activities like breathing, moving, and touching.
I was born in Istanbul, a city that bridges East and West, and raised in a cross-cultural family that included American, English, French and Italian This both broadened and narrowed my horizons. I felt like an outsider growing up, not as “American” as everyone else I knew. And being exposed to people from other cultures and religions and speaking different languages had an enduring impact on me, laying a foundation for my love of languages, cultures, anthropology, philosophy and psychology.
I experienced my share of trauma growing up and have come to understand more about inter-generational/family legacy trauma through my own personal healing journey. I explored a variety of different therapeutic modalities, both traditional and non-traditional, for over a decade, that included various forms of psychotherapy, bodywork, shamanic healing, creative therapies, and trauma therapy and it was healing and amazing.
My first introduction to working with trauma and catastrophic human experiences came during child protective work , where poverty, immigration, all forms of abuse, and intergenerational/ family /cultural violence and community stress brought traumatized adults and children into human services,. These experiences increased my understanding about responding to trauma in relation to different cultural values in terms of verbal or body expressions of pain, suffering or victimization. My experiences over the last 20 years have reinforced my understanding of the inseparability of psyche and soma, as well as, the diverse and culture-specific impact of trauma in a world where migration and immigration is extensive. I respond to trauma with understanding and awareness of the interface between culture and somatic/psychic expressions of distress, along with my background and personal healing work. My life and work has helped me be with my clients in a very authentic and compassionate way.
My earliest method of inner work and personal growth was reading books. This is where I learned to travel inside myself and inside the lives of others, to find meaning, guidance and inspiration.
I spent my entire childhood reading in my room and read myself to sleep most nights, until I went off to college. A new idea just lights up my soul! I continue to be a voracious reader in my adult life as well.
Here are some quotes from authors who made me think and inspired me to learn more and be more....
"Read, read, read. Read everything...." - William Faulkner
"No one can construct for you the bridge upon which precisely you must cross the stream of life, no one but you yourself alone." - Frederick Neitzsche
"No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow."
- Alice Walker
“To be awake is to be alive.” - Henry David Thoreau
"Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise". -Sigmund Freud
"Everything flows when you find mental well-being." - Fritz Perls
"Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you." - J.P. Sartre
"Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes." - Carl Jung
"The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." - Ernest Hemingway
"Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people." - Carl Jung
"“..it's awful not to be loved. It's the worst thing in the world...It makes you mean, and violent, and cruel.” - John Steinbeck
"I love to discover potential in people not thought to have any." -Oliver Sacks
"A loving heart is the truest wisdom.." -Charles Dickens
“Every person is, in part, his own project and makes himself.” - Abraham Maslow
“Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth” – Albert Camus
"The mind is like an iceberg, it floats with one-seventh of its bulk above water." - Sigmund Freud
“Learning to love is hard and we pay dearly for it. It takes hard work and a long apprenticeship, for it is not just for a moment that we must learn to love, but forever.” - Fyodor Doestoevsky
“The subjective thinker is continually striving, is always in the process of becoming...” - Soren Kierkegaard
"I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence but it comes from within. It is there all the time." - Anna Freud
“To free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves--there lies the great, singular power of self-respect.” - Joan Didion
"There is no confusion like the confusion of a simple mind…” - F. Scott Fitzgerald
"A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. - John Steinbeck
“To have that sense of one's intrinsic worth which constitutes self-respect is potentially to have everything:...To lack it is to be locked within oneself,.."
- Joan Didion
“Life changes fast. Life changes in the instant. You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.” - Joan Didion
"A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us..
- Jane Austen
"We don't receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us. " -Marcel Proust
"We are healed from suffering only by experiencing it to the full." - Marcel Proust
"Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor." - Ann Lamott
"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.". - Anais Nin
"“Memory believes before knowing remembers." - William Faulkner
“One's life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others by means of love, friendship, and compassion." - Simone de Beauvoir
I am currently based in Colorado (Boulder and Denver) and the mother of a teenage daughter. I enjoy yoga, reading, cooking , traveling and the outdoors. I have recently rediscovered my love of painting and speaking French fluently. And I'm just in love with my work and helping others heal, evolve and live more creative and joyful lives.