I am an author, psychiatrist, therapist, speaker and trauma specialist who’s spent the past three decades studying neuroscience and trauma treatment. My mission is to heal trauma and bring more love, compassion, and unity to the world.Media & Press Bio
I began my professional journey as a chemistry major at the University of Illinois in the prepharmacy program, initially wanting to become a pharmacist just like my father. I quickly connected with my fascination of the human body and switched into a pre-medicine program.
I happily entered Rush University Medical College, wanting to become a pediatrician due to my love of children but switched into psychiatry after a close family member of mine developed significant mental health symptoms. I was profoundly affected by this experience and keenly aware of the impact it had on others around me. During my residency in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, I noticed that many of my clients struggling with major mental illness had also experienced significant trauma in their lives.
The pain I witnessed in others activated something deep within myself, compelling me to enter therapy, which quickly connected me to my own trauma history.
Becoming a psychiatrist at the Trauma Center in Boston under the direction of Bessel van der Kolk was the next right step for me. I was able to learn more about trauma while simultaneously continuing my quest of helping others heal. I was fortunate enough to meet Dick Schwartz at a conference and my career focus instantly came into full alignment. I was now able to integrate my knowledge of neuroscience and trauma treatment with Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy.
I was the former chair and executive director of the Foundation for Self Leadership, an organization focusing on IFS research and the expansion of the IFS model beyond psychotherapy and authored the chapter “Who’s Taking What? Connecting Neuroscience, Psychopharmacology, and Internal Family Systems for Trauma.” Never really thinking of myself as an author, I surprisingly felt drawn to coauthor the chapter “What IFS Brings to the Treatment of Trauma,” and the book Internal Family Systems Skills Training Manual. My most recent book, Transcending Trauma is the culmination of my professional and personal journey to date. I am extremely proud of it!
I’m also lead trainer and consultant for the IFS Institute, an advisor to the International Association of Trauma Professionals (IATP), and maintain a private practice. I am passionate about teaching, enjoy providing therapy consultations and trauma informed IFS-related workshops throughout the world.
I currently feel compelled to bring the message of healing trauma to the larger world and invite you to join me on this very important mission.
Thank you for visiting my website.