About Me

I have been in the business of psychotherapy since 2006. I am very familiar with issues of trauma and attachment (early childhood bonding difficulties). How we attach to our caretakers imprints us for life: it is the foundation of our being, of our self-esteem and of how we relate to others well into a ripe old age. Developmental gaps that occur during childhood can resonate into adulthood, causing heartache and misery. Trauma often comes as an added piece to this puzzle, causing more challenges for the child and later on for the adult. Trauma can also come on its own in a variety of ways, fragmenting us into pieces and leaving us fragile, scarred and unable to catch up.

I believe in the inner wisdom of the body. I practice a body-oriented psychotherapy because I resonate with body awareness and “felt sense” as being the road to the healing process. Tracking the body experience leads us to the juice of the wounding and its “re-solution”, much more than the mind alone can do for us. Therapy is not a one size fits all and I will try to meet you in the particular way that works for you. This might involve a variety of basic ways for us to connect, to trust and to learn to regulate as we embark on the somatic journey. I like to use Somatic Experiencing because it is gentle, safe and it works well with both attachment and trauma issues.

My training background comes from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco where I received a Master’s degree in Integral Counseling Psychology, with an emphasis on the Transpersonal. I also studied Somatic Experiencing during a three-year certification program. SE is an approach aimed at trauma resolution through felt sense and body awareness. Both degrees reflect a body/mind/spirit orientation. I am also a Certified Massage Therapist.

I trained as an intern at the Integral Counseling Center in San Francisco (Gestalt orientation) and worked a school year at the Livermore Valley Charter School where I was a counselor to more than thirty children. I started my internship at New perspectives Center for Counseling in 2008 and shortly after being licensed established myself in private practice.

I am Belgian and American. I was raised French speaking in a country torn by linguistic problems and challenged by post war recovery. I studied languages and worked briefly as a teacher in Belgium but soon looked on the other side of the border and became an international student of life through traveling and free-lancing in several professions. I was an immigrant when I came to the United States in 1983. This challenging time was about learning the tools to survive in a new country, build a business and find my own way.

The Art of practicing psychotherapy is relatively new. Yet, it is ever evolving. I am always on the lookout for new tools to fine-tune my skills as I sit with clients. I am now actively pursuing a two plus year training in Pre-and Perinatal Somatic Therapy with Myrna Martin.

EDUCATION – TRAININGS – CERTIFICATIONS

  • License in Philologie Germanique, (B.A.equivalent), Majors: English/Dutch. Universite Catholique de Louvain. Leuven, Belgium (1977)
  • B.A. Integral Studies, California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco (2004)
  • Certification in Massage Therapy, Somatic Educator—Moving On Center/Alive and Well, (2006)
  • M.A. Integral Counseling Psychology, California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, CA (2007)
  • S.E.P. (Somatic Experiencing Practitioner) Certification, Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute, Boulder, CO (2008)
  • Touching through Body Layers—Kathy Kain, Workshop, January 2009
  • Trauma Resourcing—Kathy Kain, Workshop, June 2009
  • High Velocity Accidents—Kathy Kain, Workshop, March 2010
  • Attachment Workshop—Diane Poole Heller, March 2009
  • How to shift symptoms quickly Workshop—Raja Selvam, 2009
  • Pre- and Perinatal Workshop (PPN)—Ariel Giaretto, 3 modules 2010/2012
  • The Eye of the Needle Part I (October 2010) and II (March 2011)—Peter Levine
  • PTSD and Addiction—Jerry Boriskin, October 2011
  • How nutrients affect mental health and the brain Workshop—Naomi Lam, 2012
  • Healing Shame Workshop—Brett Lyon and Sheila Rubin, Feb 2013
  • Integral Somatic Psychology—Raja Selvam 3 modules, 2013/2014
  • Concussion and PTSD Workshop—Dave Berger, Feb 2015
  • Bodynamics: Foundation level Training and Training in Ego functions—Anne and Joel Isaacs, 6 modules, 2014/2015
  • Resilience and Self-Regulation—Kathy Kain, Workshop, April 2016
  • Somatic Resilience and Regulation (SRR)—Kathy Kain & Steve Terrell, 3 modules 2016
  • Touch Skills for Therapists (TST)—Kathy Kain, 4 modules 2016/2017
  • Coupling Dynamics, Elective C—Kathy Kain & Steve Terrell, 1 module, Jan 2017
  • Somatic Resilience and regulation (SRR) (retake)—Kathy Kain & Steve Terrell, 3 modules 2017/2018
  • Introduction to Cranio-sacral Therapy—McKinnon Body Therapy Center, Jan 2017
  • Narrative; Vagus System and Anxiety; Sexual Dysfunction and Trauma, Elective A—Kathy Kain & Steve Terrell, 1 module Jan 2018
  • Bio-Geometry: The Personal Wavelength—Dr. Robert Gilbert, 2018 (online course)
  • Transforming the Experienced Brain (TEB)—Steve Terrell, 4 modules 2018
  • Pre- and Perinatal Certification (PPN)—Myrna Martin, 10 modules 2018/9-2020
  • Safe Sound Protocol (Dr Porges) Certification (2019)

Feel free to click on “My tools” to get a better sense of my area of expertise.

Professional Memberships

California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists: San Francisco Chapter (SFCAMFT)
California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT)

Languages

I am French/English bilingual