In 1997 I earned my Master's in Social Work at Smith College and a B.A. in Critical Gender Studies and Psychology from UC San Diego in 1994. I became a licensed therapist (LICSW #1032212) in Massachusetts from 1999-2010 and have been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (#23663) in California since 2006. I have had a private practice running since 1999 while also working in various mental health agencies and hospitals at different points in my life, giving me a wide range of clinical experience. I have been a Gender Specialist since 2002, beginning my work in the transgender community in 1999. I have been a WPATH GEI SOC7 Certified Member/Mentor since 2018.
At Smith College School for Social Work I was a Clinical Asst Professor from 2010-2011 and a Part Time Lecturer in the Continuing Ed Summer Seminars (2007 & 2012). At JFK University I taught their continuing education course on Advanced Clinical Work with Transgender Clients Spring 2014-2016. I have been trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Treatment (EMDR) since 1998.
Since 1998 I have been providing high quality presentations and workshops for therapists, social workers, community organizations and conferences. I have presented at various graduate schools, intern and post doctoral programs including: Smith College School for Social Work, UC Berkeley, JFK University, The Wright Institute, CIIS, Sanville Institute, UMass Amherst, Kaiser Permanente, Springfield College and Southern Connecticut State University. I have lectured at various conferences including the National Transgender Health Summit, Gender Spectrum, Gender Odyssey, True Colors and Queer Families=Healthy Families, among others. In 2007 I created a three day conference focused on bringing together therapists and experts in the field of transgender healthcare in New England.
Below are examples of typical presentations I provide which include powerpoint slides, case vignettes and are multi media. They are often 2 hours unless indicated. Link to Upcoming Trainings for Therapists
The Transgender Client ~ Working with Clients Across the Gender Continuum
1.5 to 4 hours
Reviews general terms related to gender identity and the transition process. We will explore how to be a gender affirmative provider and discuss brief case presentations to clarify various types of therapeutic interventions useful for non binary, intersex and transgender identified clients.
Clinical Work with Transgender and Non Binary Clients
3-6 hour course which starts with the basics related to gender identity, gender presentation, gender role and overlaps with sexual orientation. We review general and more advanced concepts related to clinical work with transgender clients inand include non binary and intersex individuals. We review common experiences of clients who are making social gender role changes or those who medicalize to make body changes. We discuss standards of care present in larger cities with harm reduction approaches, informed consent models, as well as the World Professional Association for Transgender Health guidelines. Using a variety of case presentations and media, such as documentaries, we discuss treatment planning and common interventions in clinical work with trans, non binary, intersex and gender nonconforming individuals.
Clinical Work with Transgender, Intersex and Non Binary Clients Preparing for Medical Interventions 3 to 6 hours
We review advanced concepts related to clinical work with transgender clients including intersex individuals and those planning medical transition. In this course we learn about helping patients move toward medical interventions within the context of the WPATH Standards of Care as well as discuss harm reduction approaches and informed consent models. We talk about how the letters we write to other providers, such as surgeons or endocrinologists, are the result of an individualized, collaborative process. In this process we get to know our patients and how they reached the point at which they have sought gender care. We will discuss the history of mental health and medical providers as gatekeepers and sometimes, contributors to patient's pain and trauma. We will explore the impact this experience has on patient care including on trans, non binary and intersex clients' ongoing (justified) lack of trust. In the course we discuss details related to gathering psychosocial history, experience of gender across time, supports, expectations and how to discuss medical interventions (to name a few). We discuss rapport building and information gathering with our clients in the context of helping our clients prepare for obstacles to a positive transition rather than therapists becoming the obstacle. Using case presentations and media, such as documentaries, we discuss how understanding our clients' gender narratives, needs, goals can be valuable in our clinical work with trans and non binary individuals.
Working with Significant Others and Family Members of Transgender People 1.5 to 3 hours
Designed for psychotherapists and mental health clinicians wanting to serve the loved ones of trans and non binary people. We discuss initial reactions of family, romantic partners, spouses and/or friends to a transgender or non binary person coming out. We also focus on how transition can be complicated based on a romantic parter's sexual orientation as well as the social and family context. In addition, we cover how partners' experiences change over time and how they are impacted by medical transition and surgeries. Common stressors for loved ones and friends are reviewed including ways to best support those whose partner is transitioning.
Surprise and Sorrow: Transgender and Non Binary Clients In the Times of Corona
Transgender, Non Binary and Gender Expansive clients of all ages have special challenges as well as unexpected benefits from the COVID19 crisis. Therapists attending this training will learn about how online daily life and a smaller physical radius impact the ability to live authentically. Video psychotherapy sessions can bring new opportunities for mirroring and therapeutic interventions. Body dysphoria, as well as gender euphoria, can be experienced differently through telehealth platforms. The bleaker side of the Corona Virus crisis can include increased depression, risk of suicide, a lack of support, cancelled appointments/surgeries, and problems accessing prescriptions. Using your own case examples, and participant small group discussion, we will grapple with challenges and develop creative approaches.
Creative Online Play Therapy with Gender Expansive Youth and Their Familie
The COVID19 Pandemic has changed the way we practice therapy. Translating play therapy into the online work space with children has unique challenges. This workshop will transform old favorites and introduce new innovations for online therapy with children, youth and their families. You will leave this workshop with new ideas, increased confidence in your abilities and have fun doing it.
LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, TRANSGENDER, INTERSEX, QUEER, QUESTIONING IDENTITIES
Exploring and Supporting LGBTIQQA Identity Development (1-3 hours)
LGBTIQQA Sensitivity Training
Clinical Issues in Working with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Non Binary, Intersex, Queer, Questioning, Agender (LGBTIQQ) Latinx Clients
Understanding the Myths and Realities Impacting the Bisexual/Pansexual Identified Client
GROUP DYNAMICS AND GROUP THERAPY
Unraveling the Mystery of Group Dynamics: Peer Group Facilitator Training
Are You A Peacemaker or a Risk Taker? Understanding Group Dynamics
MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES
Managing Stress (English and Spanish)
Coping with Depression (English and Spanish)
PRIVATE PRACTICE DEVELOPMENT
Developing and Maintaining a Thriving Private Practice