Focus: I am passionate about working with children and families, especially our community’s youngest members. Infants, toddlers, and preschoolers are my heart and where I have focused much of my career. I also have interest and specialty training in diagnosing Autism/Asperger’s, supporting children on the autism spectrum, and helping kids with feeding problems. Women’s issues, relationship struggles, family stress and conflict, existential issues, and all medical and developmental problems are also areas of emphasis.
Approach: During my career I have seen firsthand the power of relationships in both healing and harming. My approach focuses on strengthening communication and feelings of safety and security within families. I believe that families are doing the best they can with what they have, and have many strengths that can be built upon. My role as a therapist is a partner. I see myself as working with clients to make goals and a plan to reach them. I try to help families see what is going well and where they would like to see change or growth in themselves or their child. I help parents learn new ways to manage difficult behaviors and support development, with my ultimate goal being to help parents better understand and relate to their child and each other. I provide a safe place to explore emotions and struggles without judgment. I find that supporting people in connecting to others empowers them to positive changes and stronger relationships that can see them through any challenge.
Professional Background: I have wanted to be a child psychologist since reading a book for teen girls during a turbulent year of middle school. Lending a sympathetic ear came naturally to me even in childhood and hearing the struggles of my friends only increased my interest in psychology. Right after college I entered a graduate program and worked to get my doctorate in psychology. Along the way I found a niche in working with young children and kids with developmental issues. That interest led to me to do an internship in pediatric (health) psychology at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County and a two-year post-doctoral fellowship specializing in early childhood mental health at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). I also applied and was accepted as an Autism Fellow in the Interdisciplinary Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Training Program (LEND) at the University of Southern California University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD). This gave me a chance to learn with and from other disciplines about interventions, policy, and research related to autism spectrum disorders and children with special health care needs.
Credentials: Licensed Clinical Psychologist. Certified by the National Register as a Health Service Provider in Psychology. Trained in a number of evidence-based treatments including Positive Parenting Program (Triple P), Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP), Floortime, and Trauma Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. Also trained in clinical hypnosis which can be useful to address specific issues such as stress management or smoking cessation.
Personal: Being both a New Orleans native and from an Italian-Creole family, food is a major interest. I love to cook and am frequently inspired to throw together some ingredients and hope that my concoction is a success! There is nothing I like more than preparing a meal for my loved ones and sharing stories around the table, over a nice glass of wine. My relationships with family and friends are hugely important to me and I see them whenever I have a chance. During my training, I was lucky to live in Southern California, but I’m thrilled to finally be back home in the South. I love warm summer days relaxing by the pool, grilling out on the patio, and hanging at the lake. Right now, I’m enjoying decorating my new home and planning my marriage to my love. I’m an avid reader, lover of the arts, and curious traveler.