Born and raised in the Bay Area,I spent my teen years writing a column for the Conta Costa times called “Teen-to-Teen”. I gave advice to teenagers about parents, relationships and how to cope with life’s ups and downs. This experience gave me a passion for helping people, leading me to pursue my bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. During my 3 years there, I had the opportunity to work with autistic children and their families as well as to go on exchange studying at the University of British Columbia. After graduating with honors in the major, I went onto the graduate Clinical Psychology program at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, which had an emphasis on Marital, Family, and Child Therapy.
While at Pepperdine, I began working with teenagers at a local high school, conducting individual and group therapy. During my 2 years of studies there, I was inducted as a lifetime member of Psi Chi, the National Honor Society for Psychology.
After much contemplation about my professional goals, I pursued my doctorate in Counseling Psychology at the University of Southern California.
During the 4 years as a doctoral student there, I was fortunate to have a variety of clinical experiences working with people of all ages, starting with students at elementary, middle and high schools. I went on to working with adults, interning at California State University, Hayward (now East Bay) and completing my APA-accredited internship at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where I counseled students during the day and was on-call for crisis at night.