After I earned Master's and PhD degrees in clinical psychology, I completed post-doctoral clinical training at UCLA, which included three years in the Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Intensive Treatment Program at the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Institute and Hospital. There I was trained in Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), a treatment for OCD and other anxiety disorders.
While at UCLA I also received training in mindfulness practice as an adjunctive form of treatment for anxiety disorders, and learned to use Eastern philosophical principles to bolster traditional Western approaches to psychiatric conditions. Mindfulness practice taps into the wisdom of the human body and redirects our attention to the present moment by teaching us to listen to our bodies and observe our physiological responses to the environment. It also teaches us to track our thoughts and feelings nonjudgmentally. It is based on the assumption that many forms of psychological distress stem from our tendency to ruminate about the past or obsess about the future, which robs us of the opportunity to enjoy and fully experience the present. Regular mindfulness practice has been shown to alleviate the bodily symptoms of anxiety as well as the worried and anxious thoughts that typically accompany them.
After becoming licensed as a psychologist I completed a yearlong training program in psychoanalytic psychotherapy at the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis (ICP) and I received five additional years of psychoanalytic training at the New Center for Psychoanalysis (NCP). There I learned to blend and integrate different theoretical perspectives and clinical approaches to mental health conditions and human suffering.
Psychoanalytic treatment focuses on the emotional effects of our earliest relationships on the development of our personality, our capacity to form and sustain healthy relationships, and our general orientation to life. Psychoanalytic psychotherapy aims to identify and repair traumatic relational ruptures that may have derailed or arrested normal childhood development. These disruptive early experiences often generate the repetition of painful emotional and behavioral patterns of relating throughout life and undermine our efforts to achieve our goals.