What is Therapy with an MFT?

Therapy is intended to treat many different types of clinical problems. A licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) is a mental health professional trained in psychotherapy and family systems and licensed to diagnose and treat mental, behavioral, and emotional disorders individually or within the family system in a framework of interpersonal relationships. MFTs have a graduate degree in marriage and family therapy, at least two years of experience, and are licensed in the state of California by the Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) to practice therapy. MFTs are concerned with the total health and well-being of the individual and the family within a family system. Therapy with an MFT is NOT being told what to do by your therapist nor is it advice giving. Therapy can be both a short term or long term process. Some people find that a relational issues can be addressed and improved in only a few short sessions while others need longer and more intensive time to work in therapy. Either way, you are entirely responsible for your progress and growth. Therapy is not a “quick fix”. I will work to help you find and improve skills needed to foster personal growth, manage, and overcome difficult life stressors but I cannot apply those skills for you or force you to use them. Therapy requires a commitment by you and/or your family to make changes and improve your overall mental health and well-being.

Training & Experience

Training/Certifications– I am a licensed Marriage Family Therapist with over 15 years of experience in the mental health fields. I have a Masters degree from California State University of Sacramento in Counseling Education and I am licensed in California as an MFT through the BBS. With over 6,000 hours in the field of sex offender treatment and more than forty hours of training I was able to apply and was granted a certification through the National Association of Forensic Counselors as a Clinically Certified Sex Offender Treatment Specialist (CCSOTS). I specialize in working with adolescents who engage in sexually abusive behaviors. I also work with the victims who have been sexually abused. I am NOT certified in the state of California to work with adults offenders but I would be happy to make any referrals needed if you are seeking this type of therapist. I am also certified as a child/adolescent parent trainer with Active Parenting and spent a significant amount of time training and working with parents to improve and modify their children’s behaviors.

Experience: My theoretical orientation is focused in Cognitive- Behavioral with a strong emphasis on behavioral theory and I trained and worked under a behavioral psychologist for a year back in 1999 as a behavioral consultant. I have over 15 years experience in the mental health and behavioral fields. I worked as a behavioral modification specialist in a school district from 2009-2012 with children and adolescents on the Autistic spectrum and with developmental delays. I spent 9 years working in a non-profit agency with children and their families. I have experience working with children and adolescents experiencing a wide range of mental health symptoms including anxiety, depression, attachment issues, behavioral disorders, abuse and trauma and I extensively worked in the field of sex offending with adjudicated and non adjudicated youths. In 2010 I started Sac Family Solutions, a private practice that uses a variety of different interventions tailored specifically to each individual. During this time I have independently consulted to several different school districts to provide mental health services including educationally related mental health services (ERMHS) for students in special education and social emotional mental health for general education students. I am familiar with mental health in the school system and with educationally related mental health goals on an Individual Education Plan (IEP).

Client Population: I have a passion for working with adolescents and a large majority of my clients are adolescents or young adults. I enjoy watching their growth as they move forward to improve life skills and I gain a greater depth of understanding in my own field from what each client brings to my session. I have spent a vast amount of time with parents and enjoy parent education. I have worked with families to increase connection, build relationships, and help members address and cope with family related traumas or issues. I spent numerous year working with children struggling with school and home behavioral issues, anger, and oppositional troubles. Though I have worked with couples, it is not a specialty and if you are looking for this type of work you should contact me to consult and determine if your needs match my expertise in a certain area.